corvair lineup with earlies
Allan V Lacki

Allan V Lacki

Meet the Makers: Lowell (Tommy) Espy

by: Eva “Corvair Lady” McGuire

Photo1-Tommy-Espy-operating-machine
Photo 1. Tommy Espy operating machine.

Lowell “Tommy” Espy was hired in at the Willow Run Assembly Plant on September 18, 1959, and worked there until its closing in 1993. He was hired in as an Assembler at Fisher Body at a pay rate of $2.29 per hour. He also spot welded in the Body Shop and ran the machine that drilled the holes into the Corvair bodies to prepare them for the chrome and emblem attachments. He would set the machine up for whatever the next Corvair on the line would need, i.e. a Spyder emblem, etc. He would then drill the hole(s) on the side of the body shell and then go in the back of the car and pull the fixture down and drill holes where needed.

There is a rare photograph that was taken of Tommy (who was 21 at the time) working at this machine. He said that the reason the photo was taken was because two skilled tradesmen had made a suggestion about the machine he ran. After one of the tradesmen took the picture (by Polaroid camera), they immediately threw it into the trash. Tommy observed them throwing the photo away and waited for the gentlemen to leave the site before digging it out of the trash bin and keeping it as a souvenir.

There was no explanation as to why they threw the photo away, but back in the day, no photographs were allowed to be taken in the plant due to confidentiality policies with the exception of two occurrences:

The Japanese car people were invited and given special access to the Willow Run Assembly Plant and took many photos that were used to help set up their own car plant facility (to this point in my interviews, no one knows why they were given access).

The other exception was when another GM plant needed to see how something looked or if an improvement was made; a representative would take an instant Polaroid photo of that site or improved item. The photo was then hand carried to the other facility for viewing by management and the photo was then to be destroyed. Instant Polaroid photos were taken so that negatives weren't available for reprints.

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Photo 2. Lowell “Tommy” Espy’s name plate.

Tommy showcased his name plate explaining that all Willow Run Assembly Plant employees were given a name plate that was affixed to the wall by their work station. When the plant closed in 1993, the employees were allowed to take their name plate. When the Willow Run Assembly Plant closed in 1993, Tommy retrieved some souvenir items that he knew were tucked and hidden away in the Migweld Booth at the former Fisher Body side of the plant.

These items were hanging off the ceiling ever since the 1960's. They were special made by an unknown former Corvair auto worker who worked at Fisher Body. He used the discarded roof tabs and other pieces of metal fragments from Corvairs to create four metal flying objects to pay homage to this air-cooled automobile.

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Photo 3. Helicopter made from Corvair discarded metal.
 Photo-4--Biplane.jpg
Photo 4. Biplane.
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Photo 5. Water plane.
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Photo 6. Starship Enterprise

These creative objects of art include a helicopter, bi-plane, water plane, and the Starship Enterprise from the original Star Trek television series from the 1960's. These flying objects, along with many other Willow Run Assembly Plant memorabilia, were generously donated by Tommy and we thank him for preserving these historical items.

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Photo 8. Close-up of Fordite-chip.

Tommy recently gifted me with a 'Fordite' (also known as Detroit agate or Motor Agate), a chip made of accumulated old automobile paint from the Willow Run Assembly Plant Body Shop. Workers would chip away the built up hardened paint off the floor and sand them making beautiful pieces of jewelry.

The particular chip Tommy gave me is very old and he stated that it's highly probable that it's from Corvair days. I'm trying to see if I can recognize any colors of my Corvairs in this particular fordite. Tommy was one of the guest speakers at my “Meet the Makers of the Chevrolet Corvair” event held on May 14, 2015. I want to thank Tommy and all the former Corvair auto workers, engineers, and GM designers who have participated with this historical preservation project I've created to ensure that the history of this one of a kind air-cooled wonder will be enjoyed by future generations of Corvair owners and enthusiasts.

Copyright 2017 Eva McGuire

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Photo 7. Tommy Espy giving gift to Eva McGuire.

Museum Memberships

We invite you to be a member of the Corvair Museum.

As announced in the January 2019 CORSA Communique, the Corvair Preservation Foundation is now selling Corvair Museum Memberships.

These are annual memberships that offer the purchaser unlimited CPF museum access and a very convenient way for everyone to help support the CPF and keep the museum open for all to see and enjoy.

Our museum exhibits are always changing so visiting often has a different perspective.

You do not have to be a Corsa member to be a Corvair Museum member (but it always helps). Dues are $40 per year and will be processed through the CORSA web site.

Remember your CPF membership card admits you to the CPF Museum as many times as you want to visit.

Click HERE to become a member!

Independent Accountant's Review

CORSA's Executive Secretary maintains the financial books for our organization on an ongoing basis and prepares reports for the CORSA Board of Director's Treasurer. 

In addition, every year, CORSA's Executive Secretary calls upon a Certified Public Accountant to examine the books and issue a report of findings.  Generally, the review consists of a Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Statement that the CPA prepares based upon bookeeping maintained by the Executive Secretary.

The review occurs after the closing of the books on December 31 and it often takes several months to complete.  It's typical for the review to be released not in January of the new year, but January of the year following.  This year is no exception. 

And so, now we present the CPA's review report for the 12 month period ending December 31, 2017.  Please follow the link to see the full report.  The size is approximately 2 megabytes and may take some time to download to your device.

Certified Public Account Review - 2017

 

 

Closely Held Stock

If you hold stock in a closely held business, you may be able to use that stock as a powerful way to support our future.  Closely held stock is most often used to support our work in the form of:*

  • An outright gift. You can make a gift of closely held stock as long as the constituting documentation for the business permits additional owners and it is debt-free.  The donation of closely held stock first requires you to value the interest in the business entity.  Review this checklist to see if you may benefit from donating closely held stock.  Then, consult your professional legal and tax advisors to see how to maximize the benefits of this tax-efficient strategy for making a difference.
  • You are a majority shareholder in a closely held corporation.
  • You would like to maintain a controlling position in the corporation’s outstanding stock.
  • You would like to avoid capital gains taxes on the shares you donate to the Corvair Preservation Foundation.
  • You would like to receive a federal income tax deduction for the full appraised value of the gift.
  • You would like to support our mission.
  • A gift in your will or living trust.  If you are not ready to make a gift of these assets during your lifetime, consider making a gift of all or a portion of your closely held stock through a gift in your will or living trust.
  • A charitable gift annuity.  Funding a charitable gift annuity with closely held stock not only provides you with fixed payments for life and allows you to support our work, but it can offer numerous financial benefits . You may receive a federal income tax deduction and, if you use appreciated stock, you can eliminate capital gains tax on a portion of the gift and spread the rest of the gain over your life expectancy.  It is possible to contribute stock in either a C or S corporation in exchange for a charitable gift annuity. The contributed shares must be valued by a qualified independent appraisal whenever the deduction exceeds $10,000. The appraisal is required in order to substantiate your federal income tax deduction.
  • A charitable remainder trust.  You may be able use your all or a portion of your closely held stock to fund a charitable remainder trust.  If you do, you receive a federal income tax deduction for your gift and there is no immediate capital gain on the portion gifted to the trust.  The trust pays you or other named individuals payments every year for life or a term of years.  When the trust term ends, the remaining principal goes to the Corvair Preservation Foundation as a lump sum.  Although a charitable remainder trust with a flip triggering event works well with most business interests, this type of trust cannot be the owner of S Corporation stock.
  • A charitable lead trust.  In certain situations, you can create a charitable lead trust that allows you to pass your closely held stock to your heirs after supporting the Corvair Preservation Foundation.  The trust makes regular payments to the Corvair Preservation Foundation for a period measured by a fixed term of years or the lives of one or more individuals.  After the term ends, the remaining assets, including any appreciation, pass to your heirs.  A properly designed lead trust will produce an estate or gift tax deduction for the value of that portion of the trust designated for the Corvair Preservation Foundation.

* A gift of closely held stock requires special handling, so you should always consult with your legal or tax advisor first.

Tangible Property

Did you realize that valuable antiques, stamp and coin collections, works of art, cars, boats, and other personal property can be used to support our work?  Your treasures can make suitable charitable gifts today or after your lifetime.  The financial benefits of the gift depend on whether we can use the property in a way that is related to our mission.

  • Related use property—e.g., a unique piece of Corvair memorabilia—is deductible at the full fair market value.  Any other property is deemed non-related use property and the deduction would be limited to the lesser of fair market value or your tax basis in the property.
  • If the federal income tax charitable deduction claimed for a gift of tangible personal property exceeds $5,000, you must obtain an appraisal from a qualified appraiser and submit a special IRS form with the tax return on which the deduction is claimed.

There are several ways to make a gift of personal property to us:

  • An outright gift.  This allows you to benefit our work today and receive a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize.
  • A gift in your will or living trust.  You can leave a legacy at the Corvair Preservation Foundation by donating your treasures to us through your will or living trust.  A benefit of donating property through your will is that it gives you flexibility to change your mind at any time.
  • A bargain sale.  You can sell us your property for less than the fair market value of the item.  For example, if you sell us an antique for $25,000 that is worth $50,000, you will receive a federal income tax charitable deduction of $25,000 plus the payment from us of $25,000.
  • A memorial or tribute gift.  If you have a friend or family member whose life has been a long-time Corvair enthusiast, consider making a gift to us in his or her name.
  • A charitable gift annuity.  You can sometimes use non-income producing property such as a valuable stamp and coin collections or works of art in exchange for life payments and a federal income tax charitable deduction.  The amount of the charitable deduction depends, in part, on whether the donated items are retained by the charity and used for its tax-exempt purpose.

Appreciated Securities

Securities and mutual funds that have increased in value and been held for more than one year are one of the most practical assets to use when making a gift to the Corvair Preservation Foundation.  Making a gift of securities or mutual funds to us offers you the chance to support our work while realizing important benefits for yourself.

When you donate appreciated securities or mutual funds you have held more than one year to us in support of our mission, you can reduce or even eliminate federal capital gains taxes on the transfer.  You may also be entitled to a federal income tax charitable deduction based on the fair market value of the securities at the time of the transfer.

Securities are most often used to support our work in the form of:

  • An outright gift. When you donate securities to the Corvair Preservation Foundation, you receive the same income tax savings that you would if you wrote us a check, but with the added benefit of eliminating capital gains taxes on the transfer, which can be as high as 20 percent. Making a gift of securities to support our mission is as easy as instructing your broker to transfer the shares or, if you have the physical securities, hand-delivering or mailing the certificates along with a stock power to us in separate envelopes.  (Using separate envelopes safeguards your gift—the certificates will not be negotiable without the stock power.)
  • A transfer on death (TOD) account.  By placing a TOD designation on your brokerage or investment account, that account will be paid over to one or more persons or charities after your lifetime.  It is not necessary for the TOD designation to transfer all of the account solely to charity—you can designate a certain percentage of the account.  With a TOD account, the beneficiary you name has no rights to the funds until after your lifetime.  Until that time, you are free to use the money in the brokerage account, to change the beneficiary or to close the account.
  • A gift in your will or living trust . If you aren't ready to give up these assets during your lifetime, a gift of securities through your will or living trust allows you the flexibility to change your mind at any time.  You can continue to receive dividends and participate in shareholder votes, and the securities are still yours if you need them for other expenses.  In as little as one sentence you can ensure that your support for the Corvair Preservation Foundation continues after your lifetime.
  • A donor advised fund.  When you contribute to a donor advised fund with appreciated securities, you may receive a federal income tax charitable deduction for the fair market value of the asset and eliminate capital gains tax.  Because of our nonprofit status, the Corvair Preservation Foundation does not pay capital gain tax when we sell the gifted securities.
  • A memorial gift.  If you have a friend or family member whose life has been touched by the Corvair Preservation Foundation, consider making a gift to us in his or her name.
  • A charitable gift annuity.  Funding a gift annuity with appreciated securities or mutual funds will not only provide you with reliable payments for life and allow you to support our work, but it can offer numerous financial benefits.  First, your annuity payments are often more than the dividends you would receive each year from the securities.  Second, you will receive a federal income tax charitable deduction (when you itemize) in the year the gift is made and eliminate part of the capital gains tax you would have paid if selling the securities.
  • A charitable remainder trust.  Highly appreciated securities are one of the best ways to fund a charitable remainder trust.  You may be reluctant to sell such assets directly because of the tax you would pay on the gain; however, if the assets were transferred to a charitable remainder trust, the assets can be sold without incurring the capital gains tax.  The trustee can then reinvest the proceeds in order to secure a higher current income yield.
  • A charitable lead trust.  Rapidly appreciating assets such as stocks are a great way to fund a charitable lead trust . The assets transferred to the lead trust are frozen in value for transfer-tax purposes at the time of funding.  At the end of the trust's term, all appreciation that takes place in the trust will pass tax-free to your heirs.

Donating Cash

One of the easiest and most common ways for you to support the Corvair Preservation Foundation is with a gift of cash. Cash can be used to support our work in the form of:

  • An outright gift. By making a cash gift by check, credit card or money order today, you enable us to meet our most urgent needs and carry out our mission on a daily basis. You will have the opportunity to see your generosity in action and will also receive a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize.
  • Memorial and tribute gifts. If you have a friend or family member whose life has been a long-time Corvair enthusiast, consider making a gift to us in his or her name.
  • A payable on death (POD) account. A POD bank account or certificate of deposit names one or more persons or charities as the beneficiary of all funds once you, the account owner, pass away. The beneficiary you name has no rights to the funds until after your lifetime. Until that time, you remain in control and are free to use the money in the bank account, change the beneficiary or close the account.
  • A gift in your will or living trust. Through a gift in your will or living trust, you can support the Corvair Preservation Foundation with a specific amount of money or a percentage of your total estate. This type of gift allows you the flexibility to change your mind at any time.
  • A donor advised fund.  A donor advised fund, which is like a charitable savings account, gives you the flexibility to recommend how much and how often money is granted to the Corvair Preservation Foundation and other charities. You transfer cash or other assets to a tax-exempt sponsoring organization such as a public foundation.  You can then recommend—but not direct—how much and how often money is granted. In addition, you avoid the cost and complexities of managing a private foundation.  In return, you qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction at the time you contribute to the account. This also allows for a centralized giving and record-keeping system in one location.

Are you ready to make a cash donation right now?  You can do it online very easily.  Please click HERE to visit our donations page.  Major credit cards accepted.

Create Your Legacy with a Charitable Bequest

Interested in helping the Corvair Preservation Foundation in its mission to preserve and promote the history of the Corvair? A simple, flexible and versatile way to ensure we can continue our work for years to come is a gift in your will or living trust, known as a charitable bequest.

A charitable bequest is a written statement in a will that directs that a gift be made to charity upon the death of the person who made the will (the testator).

By including a bequest to the Corvair Preservation Foundation in your will or living trust, you are ensuring that we can continue to celebrate Corvair cars and trucks for years to come. Corvair – the most innovative production vehicles ever produced in America.

Next Steps

  1. Contact our Executive Secretary, Paul Bergstrom at (630) 403-5010 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for additional information on bequests or to chat more about the different options for including the Corvair Preservation Foundation in your will or estate plan.
  2. Seek the advice of your financial or legal advisor.
  3. If you include the Corvair Preservation Foundation in your plans, please use our legal name and Federal Tax ID.

Legal Name: Corvair Preservation Foundation
Business Address: PO Box 68, Maple Plain, MN 55359
Federal Tax ID Number: 36-3638163

There are other ways to provide financial support to the Corvair Preservation Foundation.  Please click on any of the "sliders" that appear when you click on "Supporting the CPF".

 

2019 CORSA Communique Schedule

Here is our 2019 schedule for submitting articles and classified ads for publication in the CORSA Communique.  "Soft" dates - articles and classified ads should be submitted by this date to be considered for inclusion in the next issue.  Editorial revisions after submission are possible.  "Commttment" dates - date by which space of a specific size for a contracted advertisement will be established.  "Drop Dead" dates - items to run in the next issue must be submitted by this date in their final form.

Issue

Editorial &
Classified
Soft

Editorial &
Classified
Drop Dead

Ad Space
Commitment

Ad Copy
Drop Dead
Jan/Feb, 2019 11/15/2018 12/1/2018 12/1/2018 12/5/2018
March, 2019 1/15/2019 2/1/2019 2/1/2019 2/5/2019
April, 2019 2/15/2019 3/1/2019 3/1/2019 3/5/2019
May, 2019 3/15/2019 4/1/2019 4/1/2019 4/5/2019
June, 2019 4/15/2019 5/1/2019 5/1/2019 5/5/2019
July/Aug, 2019 5/15/2019 6/1/2019 6/1/2019 6/5/2019
September, 2019 7/15/2019 8/1/2019 8/1/2019 8/5/2019
October, 2019 8/15/2019 9/1/2019 9/1/2019 9/5/2019
Nov/Dec, 2019 9/15/2019 10/1/2019 10/1/2019 10/5/2019
January, 2020 11/15/2019 12/1/2019 12/1/2019 12/5/2019

Do you have a story to tell?  Tech tips to share?  Historical information about Corvairs?  If so, write an article and send it to Don Keefe, our Executive Editor.  And be sure to include any photos or graphics you may have about your topic.

You may be wondering how to go about this.  Here is some advice from Don:

As for the text of your article, please prepare it using MS Word or Open Office text processing software, attach the resulting DOC or ODT file to an email, and send it to me.  My email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  As an alternative, you can paste the text of your article into the body of the email, but if you do so, you will likely lose things like italics and other font-type modifications.
 
As for photos or other graphics, I prefer camera files in their highest resolution uploaded to a Google Drive or Dropbox folder.  It is best if the size is 3,000 pixels wide or better, preferably in jpg or tiff formats.  The objective is to have high-resolution images that show up crisp and clear when the Communique comes off the printing press. 

As for any editing or "resizing" your image files, don't do it.  I have an editing regimen that needs to be followed and any modifications made before I get the photos generally means that they will not be usable.

If you don't have either a Google Drive or Dropbox folder, they are free to open one and usually can hold 15 GB before any charges are incurred.  I cannot imagine that you will use even half of that for the entire year. 

If you have any questions, please free to call me at 585-489-9826.


DJK

Executive Editor
CORSA Communique

We can't guarantee that we'll publish each and every article that we receive, especially if the topic has already been addressed in previous issues of the Communique.  Naturally, the content of the article must be suitable.  But give it a shot and see!

 

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