Posts By: Phil Coconis

By on March 3, 2013


 

As long as it’s still the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere—more wintry for some than others, here in the U.S.—it seems appropriate to stay on that topic for a while longer, here on the “Memoirs” page.

Having spent much of my career as an auto tech and shop owner in the Southern California area, I really didn’t get much of an opportunity to solve cold-weather problems on customer vehicles—mainly because there just wasn’t (and still isn’t) much of that stuff going around, down there.

Moving to New York—and then Louisiana—in the ‘80’s quickly changed all of that.
(Read More…)

By on February 24, 2013

To open this entry, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of you for your interest and comments! One of the reasons for my less-than-tight-on-the-bottle approach with this column is to encourage participation and expression.

It seems to be working!

While I did notice that some of the comments seemed to suggest a combination of low visitor traffic and lack of good new material (on the writer’s own sites), as well as evidence of some fairly tightly focused OCD, I don’t seem to be personally experiencing those issues while proceeding with the compilation of my “BODACIOUS BEATERS: and road-going derelicts” column. This week’s entry is no exception to that, and certainly is a “special” one, indeed!

Some years ago, I owned a Plymouth Arrow Pickup. (Read More…)

By on February 20, 2013

With all of the attention yours truly “Bodacious Beaters” have been receiving in this column—and rightly so due to the proliferation of such vehicles here in the vast car-biased expanse known as Southern California—the “road-going derelicts” have mostly been relegated to the back burner.

Well, this entry fits the latter half of this column’s title like garbage in the proverbial dumpster! (Read More…)

By on February 10, 2013

So venerably ubiquitous was the VW Beetle, I wondered for a while whether the sighting of this particular example constituted as something special enough to qualify for another “fifteen minutes of fame”, here on the Bodacious Beaters page.

Here in the SoCal area, for many years after the end of the sales line, the Beetle just kept finding a way to stay in the spotlight. (Read More…)

By on February 5, 2013

We rejoin our tale of high adventure—en route to Golden, CO, for the purpose of taking delivery of a slightly used superbike—aboard a newly acquired and undertested first-gen Toyota Van. Having passed it’s first serious test—the midnight-to-dawn segment through southwestern Utah in a driving snowstorm (including a near-miss involving a concrete center divider) on the I-70—we set our sights on Grand Junction, CO and the Vail Pass.

Having made our descent to the high plains east of Moab, The Mint and I now had time to reflect on both my performance behind the wheel, and that of our rapidly appreciating and Bodaciously Beaten Van. We had to conclude that the proof was in the proverbial pudding in both cases: aside from the occasional stop to clear snow and ice accumulation from the wheel wells—checking on the integrity of the cable chains on the rear—our progress was confident and rapid, considering conditions. (Read More…)

By on January 27, 2013

Keeping with the Deutsche theme, this one seemed like a reasonable segue from the M-B 250 SE featured last week. (Read More…)

By on January 25, 2013

We rejoin our tale of high adventure—en route to Golden, CO, for the purpose of taking delivery of a slightly used superbike—aboard a newly acquired and undertested first-gen Toyota Van; in the process of plowing headlong into the high country in southwestern Utah in a driving snowstorm, through the zero-dark hour leg of our non-stop round trip run.

From my point of view behind the wheel, it seems like a fair fight, all things considered. (Read More…)

By on January 20, 2013


Since we out here on the Left Coast have been getting hit with nigh-on record setting low temperatures—especially where I’m situated, in the Central Eastern Sierra—it seems only fitting that I should launch another new subtopic here, on hallowed “Memoirs” ground: “Tall Winter Tales”.

These will be stories involving automobiles, cold weather, and wrenching—not necessarily in that order, or to the same degree (pardon the pun). (Read More…)

By on January 15, 2013

What better way to start of the Bodacious New Year than featuring a classic European sedan that, well, isn’t exactly trimmed out in the classic “Ab Werk” fashion.

Nevertheless, a weathered old-resto with a few period-contemporary bits, does, in itself, define a unique fashion niche—in a SoLA kind of way. As near as I can figure, this mid-late ‘60’s Mercedes-Benz 108-bodied 250 SE underwent a pretty thorough restoration sometime back in the ‘80’s—at which point it was considered a classic in it’s own right, and worthy of such attention. (Read More…)

By on December 26, 2012

At some point on my chosen career path, it occurred to me that I had a number of customers who had to experience “giving up the keys” on my watch. That is to say, I was the last mechanic they employed to keep their vehicle or vehicles maintained.

For those that made it all of the way to seriously old age, this would have involved an elective process of ceasing as a driver sometime before the final curtain; for others, whose life was terminated more abruptly, they were motoring right up to the end. A few even died IN the act of driving their cars (fortunately, not due to any mechanical failure that I’m aware of).

All things considered, I viewed it a real privilege to be their ultimate mechanic in “The Here and Now”. (Read More…)

By on December 25, 2012

Periodically, I’ll be featuring some outstanding vehicular examples from the bodacious photo archives, as I have done already in the past (see “LO-LUX”). I wanted to get this one out before the end of the year, so here you go!

Hearing about the outrageously high-mileage original vehicles is one thing—and continues to be the stuff of urban legend—seeing physical proof of one is another matter, entirely. Of all of the well-worn autos I’ve had pass through my shop, I’ve never seen one displaying this kind of mileage, and in this kind of bodaciously original condition. (Read More…)

By on December 19, 2012

My peripheral vision is especially tuned in to anything vintage—and especially vintage Pontiacs!

My initial reaction to this sighting was, “Hey, that’s a pretty proper mid/late-sixties Catalina parked over there!” That alone would have qualified it for its fifteen minutes of fame on the Bodacious Beaters page. When inspection revealed the “Ventura” badging on the front quarter panels—well, that put this find on another level, entirely! (Read More…)

By on December 18, 2012

The last five years certainly have not been kind to Institutions throughout the world, especially in these United States. Whether they be people, places, commodities, companies, lifestyles or leisure activities, nothing seems to be immune to the force that is presently driving things along.

The automobile, and the whole infrastructure supporting it is experiencing a paradigm shift that has wrought some serious casualty: (Read More…)

By on December 11, 2012

Since we were on the subject of electronic and computerized vehicle protection systems, it seemed like a logical move to begin a discussion of another long-standing and not universally beloved vehicle subsystem—this one ostensibly purposed to save us from ourselves, or at least our vehicles from “the nut behind the wheel”. (Read More…)

By on December 10, 2012

Cue up Rossini’s William Tell Overture, folks, ‘cause the Lone Raider RIDES AGAIN!!

I enjoyed Murilee’s Junkyard Find’s feature last week, on this very example of Mitsubishi/Chrysler joint venture off-roadness. One of the things it motivated me to do was to check out the model that’s been seen tooling around my Eastern Sierra hangout.

Initially, I assumed it was a Montero, due to the well-documented scarcity of the Dodge version. Finding it parked close to my coffee stop allowed for a closer inspection, which revealed what you see right here in this entry of Bodacious Beaters. (Read More…)

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