This is the story of the humble beginnings of the Heart of Georgia Corvair Club as written by Lillian Law based upon the recollections of Billy Bruce and Chuck Smith as well as information obtained from several old newsletters.
In November 1986, Billy Bruce was working for General Electric, based at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Georgia and drove a 1963 Red Corvair Convertible. Ted Fahrenthold was in the Air Force, stationed at Robins AFB and drove a late model Corvair. One day, Billy Bruce spotted Ted Fahrenthold driving his Corvair into the Base Exchange parking lot, chased him down and introduced himself. That impromptu meeting between two Corvair enthusiasts is credited as the birth of what would come to be known as the Heart of Georgia Corvair Club.
The first few meetings were held in the home of Billy and Eleanor Bruce. Billy had been a member of several clubs while in the Air Force and helped start the Red River Corvair Club in Shreveport, Louisiana. Based upon that experience, they requested a list of local Corvair owners from CORSA, advertised in the Macon, Georgia newspaper and made other contacts, such as Rhett Smith. Ted Fahrenthold worked with Rhett Smith who owned a 1962 Red Coupe, which he and his wife Lana originally took on their honeymoon.
In February 1987, Burnie Weddle, a CORSA Eastern Division Director and James Quinn, the President of Corvair Atlanta, met with the group at the Strawberry Creek Buffet, helped them formalize the club and elect the first slate of officers. Attending that meeting were Billy & Eleanor Bruce, Ted Fahrenthold, Rhett & Lana Smith, Ed & Betty Smith, Chuck Smith, Kenny Bowen and Billy, Wendy & Kevin Price.
The first officers were:
President - Billy Bruce
Vice President - Rhett Smith
Secretary- Lana Smith
Treasurer- Kenny Bowen
Newsletter/ Technical Adviser - Ted Fahrenthold
Activities - Ed Smith
Historian - Eleanor Bruce
Board of Directors - Billy Price, Billy Bruce, Kenny Bowen, Rhett Smith and Ted Fahrenthold.
Meetings were held the second Saturday of each month, dues were set at $12.00 and the newsletter was named The Vair Fax. We are proud to note that our meetings, dues and newsletter remain exactly the same today.
The club became a Chartered Chapter of CORSA on June 9, 1987.
Note: Billy and Eleanor Bruce are the only charter members that have been continuous members all these years.
Heart of Georgia Corvair Club