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J-BODY BASH Enthusiasts to take town by storm



Published: Wed, August 8, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



This marks the third year for the event at Lordstown.

By DENISE DICK

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

LORDSTOWN -- A convoy of about 200 Chevrolet Cavaliers and Pontiac Sunfires from across the country will zip through the Mahoning Valley this weekend.

Friday through Sunday marks the fourth annual J-Body Bash, beginning with a police-escorted caravan at 7:30 a.m. Friday from Cinema South Movie Theater to the Lordstown Assembly Plant.

"It's J-cars from all over the country," said Jeff Rollison, UAW event coordinator. "We're expecting some from California and Canada."

Enthusiasts: J-Body Organization is an organization of 3,400 enthusiasts for General Motors J-platform vehicles. The J-car dates to 1983 and besides the Cavalier and Sunfire has also included J2000, Oldsmobile Firenza, Buick Skyhawk and Cadillac Cimarron. The members keep in touch with one another via the Internet.

This marks the third year the event's been in Lordstown.

"The first year we had 60 to 70 cars," Rollison said. "Last year, we had about 100 and this year we're expecting 180 to 200 cars."

"These are strong brand loyalists for the J-car," he said.

Friday's activities, including tours of the assembly plant and displays of concept cars, will be limited to J-Body Organization members. But Rollison said most of the cars will return to the plant Saturday for a car show to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Drag racing at Quaker City Raceway, Salem, also is on the list of activities for convention attendees.

Sights: Displays at the car show will include the new Cavalier Z24 model as well as Cavaliers and Sunfires with ground effects and after-purchase parts including spoilers.

"The display vehicles will show before and after with after purchase parts," Rollison said.

The GM Ecotec, an interactive promotional trailer, also will be displayed.

"What our focus is to have people who buy the vehicles, bring them back home and for employees to see them and talk to the purchasers," Rollison said.

The workers learn what buyers of their products would like to see in the future, he said, as well as some of the additions owners have added to their Cavaliers and Sunfires.

One owner from Chicago who has $45,000 in additions on his J-car is expected to transport his vehicle to the event by trailer. Last year, one participant's water-cooled car included a Sony PlayStation.




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