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The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the Corvair Society of America (SFBA CORSA) was founded by Dave Newell of Hayward and Tony Richards of San Francisco in 1972. SFBA is a CORSA charter chapter and was instrumental in laying the groundwork for what CORSA is today, the largest and most active single marquee car club in the world! 


SFBA CORSA History and Fun Facts

  • SFBA was born on April 3, 1972 and co-founded by Tony Richards and Dave Newell

  • The first meeting was held at Tony Richards house in San Francisco

  • In the beginning, members would drive their Corvairs out from as far as Sacramento and Modesto to attend meetings and meet like minded "Corvair people"

  • SFBA sponsored the Santa Maria min-convention in November 1972. The FIRST Western CORSA event and done only a few months after its inception!

  • The first SFBA sponsored All Corvair show was held at Eastridge Mall in 1973

  • Our members in Modesto had some of the best autocross racers and cars in the country and their team was lead by Doug Hargrove, Steve Lovejoy and Tom Simms. If you know autocrossing, you may recognize some of these names.

  • Speaking of autocross and name recognition, Seth Emerson joined SFBA in Sept of 1973 and continues to be a member to this day

  • When SFBA was born, there was only one other club in California and that was SCC in Los Angeles which was actually three clubs at the time

  • SFBA members went on to spawn their own CORSA chapters throughout Northern California including Classic Corvairs of River City (Sacramento) 1973, Central Valley CORSA (Modesto) 1974 and Valley CORSA (Silicon Valley) in 1975.

  • SFBA helped Richard Finch (you may have heard of him, too) start Central Coast Corsa.

  • SFBA even helped CORSA Oregon get up and running in 1974.

  • All of these chapters are still active today!

  • Notable members include in no particular order: Co-founder and renowned Corvair historian Dave Newell, co-founder Tony Richards, Author, race car driver and parts manufacturer Seth Emerson, racer Steve Lovejoy, racer Buck Jones, racer Doug Hargrove, racer Tom Simms, Ultra Van historian and expert Christy Barden, Art Lebermann, Lou Goni, Kevin Thompson, Chris Rogers, Clark Calkins, Pat Smith, Bill Lancaster, Jim Gilkey, Don Sharpe, Bob Attwood, Ron Blanchard, Bill Schaffer and many many others.

  • At its peak in the late 70's, monthly meetings would top 100 members at the GM proving grounds in San Leandro

  • Did you know that SFBA invented the Fan Belt Toss?! Per Dave Newell, "SFBA invented the Fan Belt Throwing game at our June '73 Economy run and held the first championship in Santa Maria that November. It was accepted automotive slang to say you'd just "thrown a fan belt". Vair folks said it A LOT, hence the name of the game. When the San Diego folks formed the SDCC in Dec '73, they asked to borrow the game from us but soon dubbed it a weakling "toss". Anyone who has ever lost a belt knows that Vairs do NOT just "toss" them... they rather violently throw them. The happy result, though, was that the first Fan Belt Toss regional meet sponsored by the San Diego chapter started. An annual event that still takes in Palm Springs every October.

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