A Short History of WVCA
THE EARLY YEARS : 1968-1974
The first Club logo
WVCA's first club jacket was a Pacific Trail brown jacket with a yellow patch containing the Corvette cross flag emblem of the day in the middle. It was a simple design and the jacket color was distinctive and easily recognizable at events anywhere in the Northwest. It was worn with great pride by the early members. Even today, people who were members of WVCA during the "brown jacket era" all seem to have that jacket still hanging in their closet somewhere.
How did WVCA get started?
The Willamette Valley Corvette Association was formed in Albany Oregon in July of 1968 by a group of Corvette enthusiasts interested in enjoying their Corvettes together. You can click here to see a copy of the original Incorporation papers. WVCA's original home was Stodard Chevrolet in Albany but most of the members were from Salem. After only a few short months Les Green, owner of Capitol Chevrolet in Salem, contacted the officers of WVCA and asked if the Club would be interested in moving it's meetings to Salem and having Capitol Chevrolet as its sponsor. The offer of meeting space closer to home and parts discounts was too good to refuse, and in early 1969 WVCA moved its base of operations to Salem where it remains to this day.
WVCA helps found NWACC
In 1972 several Corvette clubs in the Pacific Northwest, tired of driving to California for Corvette related events and autocross competition, broke their affiliation with the Chevrolet-approved Western States Corvette Assoc. and formed the Northwest Association of Corvette Clubs (NWACC). Willamette Valley was a founding member of NWACC. To learn more about NWACC click here and visit their Web site.
THE MID-YEARS : 1974-1993
The second Club logo
In 1973 the members of WVCA faced a dilemma. Pacific Trail, the maker of the official WVCA jacket, discontinued the brown jacket the club members had been wearing. New members were forced to try to find any brown jacket to put the club emblem on. There were many different browns, and nothing matched anymore. After a long drawn-out process a suggestion to adopt a white jacket was made. White was picked as the new color because everyone thought that white would always be available. Of course the yellow patch just didn't go with the white background. One of the charter members suggested a design that would not go out of date. One that contained a mountain scene, the club name, and nothing that could get dated like the Corvette logo that Chevrolet was always changing every year or so.
Another member came up with a pencil design, it was approved by the members and adopted in 1974. This Club emblem would ultimately survive for almost 20 years.
Glass Sass gets started
The Club Secretary had always mailed out the minutes of the meeting to the membership every month. But until Sherri Swan was Secretary in 1980 WVCA had never had an official newsletter. Sherri changed all of that. The very first issue of the Glass Sass was mailed to the members and other Northwest Corvette Clubs in October of 1980. There were never very many of these published because the Club was quite small at that time. Your Webmaster just happens to have a copy of that first Glass Sass. It has been scanned and can be viewed here on this Web site. You may note that it says "Volume II" on the first page. It appears that this is actually the very first issue of the Glass Sass however, in spite of that volume designation. The "volume II" designation denotes that this is the second secretary report of the fiscal year. You see in those days our officers took office on September 1st of each year. The first secretary mailing of the 1980/81 fiscal year was only the minutes of the prior months’ meetings. If you choose to take a look at this first issue pay particular attention to the asking price for the 63 split-window on page 3. These may have the the "good old days" that everyone talks about.
The third Club logo
Once again the jacket patch was redesigned to make it look more up-to-date and in touch with the times. After much discussion, the jacket color remained white, but the back patch was changed from a sewn-on patch to a design directly embroidered onto a jacket with a computerized embroidery machine. The mountain background remained, but three Corvettes of varying years and colors were added and the design was updated to look more modern and refined. The words "Salem Oregon" were added to the logo to answer the question we often heard when wearing our jackets outside the Northwest, "Where the heck is the Willamette Valley?".
With the introduction of the C-4 Corvette in 1984 things began to change in the Corvette world. Gone were the days of the "reasonably priced" Corvette that any young person could go out and buy for a few thousand dollars. The Corvette was born with the baby boom generation and it continued to grow with it. The prices of new Corvettes reflected the increasing affluence of its generation. WVCA changed with the Corvette. The membership grew in numbers and in age. The interests of the members moved from racing and hot rodding to touring and restoration. WVCA grew from a club of a couple of dozen members to well over a hundred members at one point.
The Jacket Changes yet Again
This time the logo was spruced up a bit, but the jacket color changed for the third time in our history. As the Club approached its 40th anniversary, the club voted to return to a brown jacket. Not the same rusty brown of the first 1968 jacket, but a buff tan jacket. The back patch was left the same as the 1994 design. It was also decided that because these jacket changes were expensive and often emotionally charged, that all previous jacket colors and back patch designs would be allowed.