Corvair Houston H.O.T. 2013

2013 Heart of Texas Corvair d’Elegance by Greg Wrobleske
This marks the 17th year for “Heart of Texas” and the theme for the event was “Corvair d’Elegance. The vision for the event was to make this event as grand as the Texas d’Elegance event held yearly featuring some of the finest vehicles in the country. Corvair Houston’s mission was to feature the fineness Corvair’s from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado in d’Elegance style and with Concours judging. Our setting was to use the same resort that the Texas d’Elegance used, the beautiful La Torrretta Resort and Spa located on Lake Conroe north of Houston, Texas. While we didn’t make the Velocity channel as they did, we did reserve more rooms and have larger banquet attendance than they did!

Our Friday arrivals were welcomed in our hospitably room with a canvas emergency kit gift bag and full display of the 100 plus door prizes to be given away at Saturday’s banquet. We would also be raffling off a Texas Corvair custom cooler featuring Texas-made Wine/Beer/Food. Our second raffle item was donated by Snap-On Tools was an electronic juke box. Due to the number of vehicles and an early morning car show we began staging vehicles around the lagoon Friday night until dusk. After the vehicles were staged participants were welcomed into the Energie Bar for socializing and karaoke.

One could not have asked for a more beautiful day than Saturday morning. It was a cool crisp morning. There’s nothing like walking out on my 20th floor balcony and seeing below the crescent arrangement of Corvair’s below surrounded by the lake. We had the honor of having six notable judges from the Houston area. The judges have judged at the Texas d’Elegance, Keels and Wheels and Amelia Island. They know and have judged Classics, Pierce-Arrows, Duesenburgs, Cords, etc. The judges were to judge the Corvairs by class on a ten point scale. Owners needed to be present to open the hood, trunk and doors. The judge would interview the owners. They had two hours to judge and the 1st place winners would be announced and given a blue ribbon. The winner’s would leave first for the rally and would return first so that their vehicle would be displayed in the courtyard at the Resort. The winners were:

1.    Best of Show        Mike and Pati Dobie               1966 Yenko Stinger
2.    Early Open            Mark and Waynette Clark       1963 Monza
3.    Early Closed         John and Ann Martin              1964 Monza coupe
4.    Late Open             Greg and Sandra Wrobleske  1965 Monza
5.    Late Closed           Matt and Kim Feehery            1966 Corsa
6.    4 Door                   Geary and Debra Grimes       1964 Monza
7.    Forward Control    Steve and Marty Kirkton         1965 Greenbrier  

After the car show we started an econo-run rally through the Sam Houston National Forest to Yankee’s Grille and Tavern about one hour from the Resort. This is a favorite stop for motorcycles and antique cars. We arranged for the Corvair’s to be displayed on the grounds of the restaurant and the participants enjoyed Texas BBQ and grilled chicken. The guest at the Tavern were encouraged to help us vote for the “People’s Choice”.  Once the voting was over and the lunch was finished the rally returned to the Resort.
            Saturday evening events started with a cocktail reception in the courtyard with the first place winner’s award presentation. Each winner was interviewed and asked to tell something about themselves, how they acquired the car, any details about the car and then presented with their trophy. The participants then moved into the banquet room for dinner, awards and door prizes. Other awards were given:

1.    2nd Early Open            Rich Ribble                             1963 Monza
2.    2nd Early Closed         Pat Silver                                1964 Coupe
3.    2nd Late Open             Charles and Joy Blanton        1965 Corsa
4.    2nd Late Closed           Ricki and Sally Jannise          1965 Corsa
5.    2nd 4 Door                   Corbin and Flora Tayloe         1966 Monza
6.    2nd FC                         Ed and Julie Murphy               1965 Greenbrier
7.    Hard Luck                   Matt Bruns
8.    Best Interior                 Jerry and Loretta Kelly
9.    Best Engine                  Dave and Gail Brown
10.  Best Paint                    Sam Baker
11.  Work-in-Progress        Jim and Dee Watkins
12.  Most Modified             Lauren Capron
13.  Wing-n-Prayer            Todd Hasfjord
14.  Longest Drive              Timothy Shortle (Durango, CO)
15.  People’s Choice          Ed and Julie Murphy               1965 Greenbrier
16.  1st Econo Run             John and Ann Martin              27.69
17.  2nd Econo Run           Jim and Dee Watkins              27.66
18.  Gas Guzzler                Ed Murphy                              1965 Greenbrier

Sunday morning we had one last surprise before departing home. We arranged a trip to the Thomas Ranch. This is a family working farm of 3,300 acres. The owner Bill Thomas is a car hobbyist. Bill was a high teacher for ten years when they discovered gas on the farm. Bill collects horse carriages, full-size trains, and antique cars. We enjoyed brunch in his Carriage House and then he opened his home for a tour of the antiques and the floor to ceiling pipe organ room. He saved this organ from a church about to be torn down in downtown Houston. He has a full restoration shop on the property with cars in different stages of restoration; Cadillac’s, Dodge’s, Chevy’s, Fire Trucks, military vehicles and even motorcycles. What a great finale to a great Corvair Event! Even Bill became a Corvair owner with the purchase of a Rampside from the Dallas area. Yes, this was a Corvair d’Elegance weekend to remember.