Updated 17-Jun-2014 ==== Copyright (c) 2014 Corvairs of New Mexico  
Wendell Walker

Jim Pittman asked me to write something about the Tri-State meet. After the
shock wore off, I tried to tell him that Ilva was my writer and that I just
didn't have the ability to do this type of thing. He out-paused me and in a
moment of self pity, I said, "Maybe I should try," so here goes.

It all started several weeks ago when, looking at my '64 Corvair, I noticed
that the front suspension had a tiny sway-bar instead of the correct one - one
of many things wrong with this car. I had a '65 front end on a parts car and
decided to try to switch it to the '64. Better brakes, stronger sway-bar, and
just better. The swap was perfect and all went well.

Well, not really, it just looked like a perfect front end. I went for a drive
around the block. One brake was oily, great car to turn left when you try to
stop. I almost got into the left curb before it stopped. Back to garage and
after new shoes, the thing stopped fine. I went into Albuquerque on the next
trip, dumb and happy. This car will take me to the Tri-State! But what is that
noise I hear, sounds like something loose.

No problem! I'll get it aligned and they'll probably find a loose bolt that I
overlooked. No problem? guess what? this like-new front end has a very loose
lower left ball joint. "You better change that thing," they said. Back to the
garage again. It's getting close to Tri-State time. Ordered new ball joints and
lower arm bushings, that took three days, another day to install, all is well.
Test drive and the noise now is better, but now it sounds like someone has a
small hammer and is hitting the body every time I hit a little bump in the

Being an engineer I started to remove parts to see when the noise stops, one at
a time. Lo and behold the first thing off was the shocks, the noise is gone,
time has run out and the Tri-State is only two days away. "If the Corvair has
Bump Steer, I'm in deep do do." After trying this car out on a bumpy road, I'm
happy to say, "No Problem." Bump Steer is when a wheel hits a bump in the road,
the wheel turns slightly and the car tries to move one way or the other. The
Corvair doesn't.
Many of my friends were less than happy that I tried to drive without shocks,
but I kept the front trunk very light, and the car ran fine.

On to Grand Junction, Colorado.

I met Steve and Emily Gongora at our prearranged point on I-25, and we headed
to Santa Fe, met with Tarmo & Kay Sutt, and their two wonderful students, whose
names are pronounced "Or" and "My-sue-me." I can't spell their real names. We
met Mark Domzalski in EspaNola, NM, divided up to have two in a car and headed
to Durango, Colorado. It was a very nice drive.

After getting into Durango and settled in a downtown motel, Mark, Steve, Emily,
Tarmo and I walked around until a lady invited us to come in to hear her play
the piano and sing. She was really great, old '40s songs. She looked at me and
said, "This isn't a nasty bar." (She thought I might object. Little did she
know, we were worried about Emily's age.) Everything was fine and fun.

Friday came and we drove to Grand Junction, stopping only for GAS, FOOD,
BATHROOM, and Mark's stalled car, don't know what that was all about, because
it started up fine after a 5 minute rest at the crest of the mountain. My
little car was slowing down the whole trip, it only wanted to go 30 MPH on a
lot of the passes. I'm going to make that little bugger into a 140 HP as soon
as I can. Friday night we all laid back and renewed friendships.

Saturday Car Show, about 35 or 40 Corvairs, good, great, and bad, but fun. A
nice crowd showed up to admire the cars. One man ask if Ralph knew we were
doing this show. I told him that I had asked his permission.

Saturday afternoon, on the Poker Run, my navigator, Ruth Boydston and I tried
to follow the map, missed the very first turn, drove and drove and drove
looking for the turnoff. When we found a sign saying "Welcome to Colorado" we
decided we must be entering UTAH so we turned back. 'NUFF SAID about that. The
trip was in Monument State Park, and beautiful, I'm sending some pictures to
Jim, maybe he can find room for a few.

Dinner Saturday night was a blast with good food and lots of door prizes. I
can't remember who all the winners in the car show were but Rocky Mountain
CORSA won for the most members present, 39 I think it was, Utah and Corvairs of
NM had 17 each. I didn't get the number attending from Pikes Peak.

That's about it. I'm sure I have left a lot out. Jim wanted me to describe in
tiresome detail the fun we had driving through Montrose, Colorado. While the
southbound two lanes and the middle passing lane were nearly empty, only one
northbound lane was open and the line of trucks and cars ahead of us stretched
as far as we could see! Creep ahead a few seconds, then wait! Some of us found
the hour or so (well, it seemed like hours) in Montrose quite a chore. But, we
all survived and got to Grand Junction in one piece.

Thanks to Rocky Mountain CORSA for making this a fine Tri-State. Thanks to
Laura Wilshire for an efficient after-banquet ceremony!
We all seemed to get home okay which is the important thing. What a GREAT time
we had.

I love this group.