The Truth About Cars » BODACIOUS BEATERS http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:00:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » BODACIOUS BEATERS http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Bodacious Beaters and Roadgoing Derelicts – Abu Dhabi Edition – 1975 El Camino http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/bodacious-beaters-and-roadgoing-derelicts-abu-dhabi-edition-1975-el-camino/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/bodacious-beaters-and-roadgoing-derelicts-abu-dhabi-edition-1975-el-camino/#comments Tue, 06 Aug 2013 11:00:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=497298 There is another redneck in Abu Dhabi. I have been unsuccessful unable in meeting him, but how else would you explain the presence of this “My Name is Earl” 1975 El Camino beauty? There is a collector car club in Abu Dhabi, but old classics are rare in this part of the world; the only […]

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El Camino 1

There is another redneck in Abu Dhabi. I have been unsuccessful unable in meeting him, but how else would you explain the presence of this “My Name is Earl” 1975 El Camino beauty?

There is a collector car club in Abu Dhabi, but old classics are rare in this part of the world; the only others cars I have sited have been a 1966 Buick Rivera near the Burj Kalifa in Dubai;

Rivera

And this 1974 Ferrari Daytona Spyder;

Ferrari

This is in part due to regulations; only actual residents of the UAE are allowed to import cars more than 5 years old. The vast majority of the actual residents prefer Nissan Patrols and Land Cruisers. The big Mercs and Bimmers are for weekend.

It is also in part to the mentality of the younger generation. Everything here is new and shiny. One of the oldest buildings here is the Inter-Continental Hotel and it was built in the 1970’s. New is to be expected in a nation only 41 years old. Classics haven’t caught on here yet, but in the meantime, I no longer notice the Maseratis, 458 Italias and Lambos, as they are so plentiful.

A malaise era Elky is a horse of another color. It stands out here. The fellow that owns this needs a proper hybrid of a truck and a car. He needs “الطريق.” The primered bed with the diamond plate tells me he ain’t afraid to use the mullet end of this otherwise well preserved example, but the interior wrapped in plastic (very common here) tells me he still loves the old gal.

That hood triangle? Yeah, I got nothing.

El Camino 2

El Camino 3

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BODACIOUS BEATERS (and road-going derelicts): CHEVY II FADED http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-chevy-ii-faded/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-chevy-ii-faded/#comments Sun, 09 Jun 2013 14:29:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=491361 Considering the recent entries in my “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner”, it’s looking like I’m going to have to “go with the flow” and dig up another memory of my early automotive history for this entry in “Bodacious Beaters”. This time the subject is the very first car I ever owned—and it was […]

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Considering the recent entries in my “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner”, it’s looking like I’m going to have to “go with the flow” and dig up another memory of my early automotive history for this entry in “Bodacious Beaters”.

This time the subject is the very first car I ever owned—and it was one of these: a 1966 Chevy II Super Sport with 283 cubic inches of Bowtie Smallblock under the hood, and the venerable two-speed aluminum Powerglide under the SS console shifter!

Aged 1966 Chevy II SS (3)

At the time, it was about the coolest automobile I could afford. A bit stodgy looking, in comparison to the popular “Pony Cars” of the day (read that: Mustang and Camaro); but an SS coupe nonetheless, sporting bucket seats, console shifter, and a real-live V-8 engine! Yeah, those features are fairly commonplace in today’s market, but back then they were something special. And taking into account the two cars I had trained in, and had previously had to come up with a decent excuse to borrow (I’m still amazed my Parents actually let THAT happen)—a late-50’s Ford Sedan with inline six and “three-on-the-tree” shifter, and a mid-sixties Ford Country Sedan S/W with a small V-8, column-shift automatic, and manual steering(!)—the SS was fairly a quantum leap in “special”!

Aged 1966 Chevy II SS (5)

Yes, it wasn’t particularly quick or fast—that Powerglide definitely not helping the cause in either department—and it didn’t handle anything like a sporting-type of car—although the lame “mono leaf” rear springs did provide a rather “jouncy” and otherwise unbalanced ride—but I just contented myself to crank up the in-dash stereo and cruise it. When I moved back East to NYC, my Parents—and subsequently my Sister—inherited it. She enjoyed it for sometime, cruising around the family’s new North Carolina digs, selling it when it needed more repairs than she cared to have performed. Got some good dough for it, even for back then in the ‘80’s.

Aged 1966 Chevy II SS (6)

So much for the memories—now to consider the example featured here in the photos: what appears to be also a 1966 Chevy II SS.

As you’ve probably noticed, I’m especially attracted to exterior finishes that exude “character’. This one’s got that stuff “in spades”! Given the fact that the metal—under what’s left of what has to be at least a few paint jobs—is really not rusty beyond what is seen on the surface, this one has had to have spent a great deal of time in a very dry, very sunny area—such as the high Mojave desert or a similar place. I have a feeling the beautiful resulting patina will not continue for long in its new Los Angeles Beach City residence. Glad I caught it when I did—difficult lighting and all.

Aged 1966 Chevy II SS

I don’t know if it’s still got the original 283 (the front quarter flag badging indicating V-8 power, but not the 327, which sported additional displacement clarification), but it has most of the other identifying SS trim and equipment, as far as I can tell. Yeah, the seats have been upholstered in non-original vinyl, but that left rear quarter paint fade around the recently gone-missing badging makes up for that, nicely!

Aged 1966 Chevy II SS (1)

On this one, I might be tempted to do an interior, driveline, and chassis resto—but I’d leave the exterior finish alone. It took a lot of time and previous effort to get a Bodacious look like that, for sure!

Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this ttac site). He can be contacted through this very site, or http://www.linkedin.com/

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BODACIOUS BEATERS (and road-going derelicts): MO’ VALIANT! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-mo-valiant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-mo-valiant/#comments Sun, 02 Jun 2013 07:00:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=490427   Looks like we’re going for a double-shot of Valiance, here at the home of the B/B! This time it appears to be a ’63 Convertible model, done up in early ‘80’s Sunset Strip Heavy-Metal Hair Band red and grey primer, no less! As in it looks as if it was really done in the […]

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Looks like we’re going for a double-shot of Valiance, here at the home of the B/B! This time it appears to be a ’63 Convertible model, done up in early ‘80’s Sunset Strip Heavy-Metal Hair Band red and grey primer, no less!

As in it looks as if it was really done in the early ‘80’s and just left to its own devices! WAAYYY BODACIOUS!


1963 Valiant Convertible (3)

Check out the “For Sale” sign. So sunbleached as to be illegible, it is.

If I’m interpreting the owner’s “statement of intent” correctly, this Valiant is more “on display” than “for sale”—which is just as well. Who’d want to let such a unique vehicle like this one suffer such a mundane fate as to be sold and then given a legitimate restoration?!

1963 Valiant Convertible (5)

Not I, for one.

Also noteworthy in the owner’s trim preferences are the stub of “whip” antenna on top of the right front quarter panel, and the mismatched and undersized lower-than-stock profile tires. Nice touches, for sure!

1963 Valiant Convertible (4)

I was always impressed that Plymouth designers executed such a styling about-face with this model, in the space of a couple of years. But for the emblem design, the earlier iteration (one model year previous—featured in the last Bodacious Beaters entry) and this one seem to have very little in common, in terms of exterior styling. In my opinion, they both have merit; but it certainly is a comparison of “apples and oranges”.

1963 Valiant Convertible (2)

Speaking of “apples”, when I lived in the “Big Apple” back in the early ‘80’s, I frequently got out to Fire Island to enjoy the E. Coast beach scene during the summer. I had a ’67 Dodge Dart at my disposal for these excursions; but I would have much preferred cruising this sibling convertible predecessor, instead. It would have definitely made the scene for one of those infamous Oak Beach Inn (R.I.P.) hard rocking weekend concert/party nights.

1963 Valiant Convertible (1)

Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this ttac site). He can be contacted through this very site, or http://www.linkedin.com/

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BODACIOUS BEATERS (and road-going derelicts): REALLY VALIANT! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-really-valiant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-really-valiant/#comments Sun, 19 May 2013 14:07:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=488953 Typically, when you’re talking in antique vehicle terms, one might consider spotting something like this early ‘60’s Plymouth Valiant; a rare sighting in ANY circumstance. To find one largely intact, still operational, and out on the street—well, that puts it on another level! As with other U.S. vehicles from this period, these Valiant models certainly […]

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Typically, when you’re talking in antique vehicle terms, one might consider spotting something like this early ‘60’s Plymouth Valiant; a rare sighting in ANY circumstance. To find one largely intact, still operational, and out on the street—well, that puts it on another level!

1962 Plymouth Valiant (3)

As with other U.S. vehicles from this period, these Valiant models certainly weren’t suffering from any shortage of “Styling Funkitude”. This, of course led to their early demise in the field of potential collectability; and subsequently, some premature one-way trips to wrecking yards across the Continent—especially for four-door models, like the case-in-point.

1962 Plymouth Valiant (1)

These days, on the other hand, such styling shenanigans are antitheses to the modern, mass-produced autoconveyance; allowing one the opportunity to afford welcome to such a neighborhood discovery.

1962 Plymouth Valiant (4)

I really appreciate the well-integrated state of maintained original decay this particular unit is experiencing. It definitely is quite the whole package, isn’t it?
1962 Plymouth Valiant (8)

Although this Val’ would have most certainly “made the scene” when it was in San Francisco (note bumper-mounted permit—on what is one of the few suitable mounting spaces available there), it looks pretty much “in context”—BODACIOUSLY so—on an overcast day near Pt. Fermin, CA.
1962 Plymouth Valiant (9)

Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this ttac site). He can be contacted through this very site, or http://www.linkedin.com/

 

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BODACIOUS BEATERS – and road-going derelicts): VINTAGE CHEVY in DRAG http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-vintage-chevy-in-drag/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-vintage-chevy-in-drag/#comments Wed, 08 May 2013 13:27:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=487797 Since I’ve gotten myself started on a racing theme (see a recent entry in my “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” column), I figured I’d keep it going with this BB entry. Harkening back to the day when a wide variety of motor racing was solidly positioned in the Greater Los Angeles Public Consciousness, […]

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Since I’ve gotten myself started on a racing theme (see a recent entry in my “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” column), I figured I’d keep it going with this BB entry.

Harkening back to the day when a wide variety of motor racing was solidly positioned in the Greater Los Angeles Public Consciousness, we have this fine example for your perusal.

As if straight out of a ‘60’s time capsule—when what were essentially racing cars were allowed to legally roam the streets, being frequently driven to their owner’s track preference—this 1940 Chevy Coupe certainly has the appearance of a proper DIY, “grassroots” Street/Strip Drag Racer.
1940 Chevy Vintage Drag Racer--Photo by Phil Coconis Use by Permission Only (7)
From the modified Chevy “Small Block” not-under-the-hood, to the flat black paint, appropriate stickers and decals (o.k., there are some that post-date the ‘60’s by at least a couple of decades), Grant steering wheel (missing horn button mandatory), shrunken head hanging from the inside rear view mirror, and other bits of memorabilia—not to mention the overall “work-in-progress” theme—we are pretty much all set for a cruise/race weekend, circa 1968!

While it is becoming popular to perform high-end restorations on vintage drag cars from the era evoked by our case in point, it is also kind of cool to see an unrestored “working example” of one—even if it might not be a bona fide, pedigreed vintage racer (although it certainly could be).

One advantage to running such a car on the modern streets of SoCal, is, since it is a 1940 model, it (ironically) is now exempt from all current forms of emissions testing—the dreaded bogey to performance enthusiasts who choose to motor in later-model chariots.

1940 Chevy Vintage Drag Racer--Photo by Phil Coconis Use by Permission Only (6)Drag-On, you BODACIOUSLY VINTAGE CHEVY!

Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this ttac site). He can be contacted through this very site, or http://www.linkedin.com/

1940 Chevy Vintage Drag Racer--Photo by Phil Coconis Use by Permission Only (10) 1940 Chevy Vintage Drag Racer--Photo by Phil Coconis Use by Permission Only (9) 1940 Chevy Vintage Drag Racer--Photo by Phil Coconis Use by Permission Only (8) 1940 Chevy Vintage Drag Racer--Photo by Phil Coconis Use by Permission Only (7) 1940 Chevy Vintage Drag Racer--Photo by Phil Coconis Use by Permission Only (6) 1940 Chevy Vintage Drag Racer--Photo by Phil Coconis Use by Permission Only (5) copy 1940 Chevy Vintage Drag Racer--Photo by Phil Coconis Use by Permission Only (4) 1940 Chevy Vintage Drag Racer--Photo by Phil Coconis Use by Permission Only (3) 1940 Chevy Vintage Drag Racer--Photo by Phil Coconis Use by Permission Only (2) 1940 Chevy Vintage Drag Racer--Photo by Phil Coconis Use by Permission Only (1) 1940 Chevy Vintage Drag Racer--Photo by Phil Coconis Use by Permission Only

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BODACIOUS BEATERS—and road-going derelicts: RAMBLE ON! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-ramble-on/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-ramble-on/#comments Thu, 04 Apr 2013 19:50:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=483637 Even though I was just a mere boy growing up during the ‘60’s in SoCal, I have no problem recalling the variety of impressions motor vehicles of all stripes made on me back then. Of course, I was especially into the noisier and flashier examples, be they airplanes, auto, boats, motorcycles, or trucks. I distinctly […]

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Even though I was just a mere boy growing up during the ‘60’s in SoCal, I have no problem recalling the variety of impressions motor vehicles of all stripes made on me back then. Of course, I was especially into the noisier and flashier examples, be they airplanes, auto, boats, motorcycles, or trucks.

I distinctly recall the “Rambler” nameplate, but not because they were noisy or flashy—nor, did it seem, were their drivers. (There were a few exceptions to this—the most noteworthy being the SC/Rambler, AMX, and first production Javelin.)

n their stodgy quirkiness, they were memorable, nevertheless; and I have come to appreciate such qualities as actual attributes. I mean, they did indeed have a distinctive character—personality, if you will—that, while not exactly one I wanted to emulate, certainly gave me “cause for pause”.

Looking at the featured example—what appears to be a 1965 Classic Cross-Country Station Wagon, in mid-level “660” trim—tends to emphasize my point. Granted, the ’65 model received a redesign that helped update and integrate the styling a bit over the previous generation; but still, I find that the visual impact is less than the sum of its parts. By this, I mean that if you view a separate section of the vehicle, that section might indeed appear artsy (as the photos bear out). But when connected together, well, something gets lost in the translation.

Stodgy? Maybe. Quirky? For DEFINITES. Cool? Well, that’s still a subjective matter—but I say, at this point, YES!

That roof rack! The tailgate wind deflectors (Did those things actually WORK?)! The BADGING! Whoa, baby!

Added to all of that designed and manufactured funkiness, there’s always the “antiquing process” that each individual vehicle has been subject to.

The damage to the leading edge of the driver’s door speaks of inattention that would have, no doubt, resulted in much more extensive damage on any modern production car. On this unit, it resulted in something more akin to a “character line”.

I’m really digging the broken-out left side rear view mirror, though: “…becoss whass behind ees no importaunt!”. 

RAMBLE ON, MOST BODACIOUSLY, I say!

 Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this ttac site). He can be contacted through this very site, or http://www.linkedin.com/

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts: CRUMPLED COROLLA http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-crumpled-corolla/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-crumpled-corolla/#comments Fri, 22 Mar 2013 14:47:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=481999   That I do agree with other’s criticism of the fact that the Toyota Corolla has become too appliance-like over the past decade, has me looking back on earlier iterations of the model with increasing fondness. While there were indeed some memorably fun-to-drive FWD versions—the FX-16 for one (and some may include the NUMMI Nova […]

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That I do agree with other’s criticism of the fact that the Toyota Corolla has become too appliance-like over the past decade, has me looking back on earlier iterations of the model with increasing fondness.

While there were indeed some memorably fun-to-drive FWD versions—the FX-16 for one (and some may include the NUMMI Nova Twin-Cam, although it wore a “Bowtie”)—there was, and is just no comparison to the “FTD Factor” intrinsic in the earlier RWD models. That “factor” was very present even in the little 1972 1200 Coupe I owned (and “boy-racered” to the degree that my budget and skill set allowed) back in the late ‘70’s.

(In my “Dealer Days” during the same time period, a very large Japanese-Hawaiian coworker had a wagon version of the same car. He had done some fairly extensive performance work on the little one-point-two, but visually it was bone-stock—right down to the wheel covers—and was wearing machine-gray paint that worthily complemented its “sleeper” image. It was quite a sight seeing him jammed into the confines of that tiny interior, racing towards or away from the employee parking lot, exhaust cackling a “mini-me” performance tune, as he heeled-and-toed or speed-shifted the little drivetrain into submission!)

The first experience I had with driving one of these earlier RWD Corollas was when I first started working at that Toyota dealership. We had a small rental fleet of 1977 Coupes, equipped with the legendary 2-TC 1600 engines, three-speed automatic transmissions, and precious little else in the way of upgrade options (I remember they were equipped with vinyl flooring—no carpet!) They were really the all-time perfect rental cars: stripped of any unnecessary equipment, and virtually indestructible! I know this because our crew of lot attendants and trainees—with our potentially hazardous combination of youthful exuberance AND inexperience—certainly couldn’t destroy them!

That bit of ancient history leads us into our present subject: what appears to be the 1981 construct of the same vehicle. The condition of this one illustrates my point on the Corollas of this time period—in a truly exaggerated fashion! Physically beaten—and rusted where not beaten—but still on the road.

The owner has probably been considering sending it to the wrecker for some time—no doubt just waiting for the catastrophic mechanical failure that will finally lead to its being euthanized. My experience with the mechanical integrity of these units says these types of failures can be a long time in coming. While their simplicity and rugged design are the main contributing factors to this, the FTD feature tends to be endearing enough so as to influence the owner in ways otherwise contradicting objective reasoning. “Yeah, she’s a little tired looking, but what a RUNNER!”

About the only thing in the mechanical realm that gets to be a consistent problem with these ‘rollas, at this point, is the A.I.R. injection componentry within the emissions control system. I mean, the stuff was all built to last; but we’re looking at a thirty-year-old vehicle here, and these components can’t be expected to last forever. Functional replacement parts—whether new or used—can be scarce, and expensive. I have found that a little “Yankee Ingenuity” can go a long way when replacement parts can’t readily be had, though.

Hopefully, the owner of this example continues to be “unreasonable”, letting his or her road-going derelict “freak flag fly”.

 

Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this ttac site). He can be contacted through this very site, or http://www.linkedin.com/

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BODACIOUS BEATERS—and road-going derelicts: PARK AVENUE CONDO http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-park-avenue-condo/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-park-avenue-condo/#comments Sun, 10 Mar 2013 09:46:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=480666  Even though these full-size, front-wheel-drive GM offerings seemed to carry a stigma of being cars that the grandparents preferred, they undeniably had some virtues that just about any passenger car-type motorist would appreciate. While certainly making no pretensions toward being any kind of “performance” vehicle, they did indeed perform well for their intended purpose: that […]

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 Even though these full-size, front-wheel-drive GM offerings seemed to carry a stigma of being cars that the grandparents preferred, they undeniably had some virtues that just about any passenger car-type motorist would appreciate.

While certainly making no pretensions toward being any kind of “performance” vehicle, they did indeed perform well for their intended purpose: that being—at minimum—an efficient, four-passenger (with seatbelts for six), open-road cruiser.

The example featured is a normally aspirated 3.8L-powered (they offered a supercharged version of this engine in the “Ultra” variant) 1991 Buick Park Avenue. The 3.8 V-6 from this approximate generation was my favorite version of this engine. From about 1988 on they were offered with balance shaft (a huge improvement over the earlier non-shafted units) and roller camshaft. Later versions of this engine were de-contented through the use of plastics (the intake plenum being the biggest offense, in my opinion), a more difficult to service serpentine belt arrangement, and somewhat less serviceable componentry, in general.

Coupled with the 4T60-E transmission—a goodly improvement over the non-electronic 440 assemblage—and a rather “tall” final drive ratio, coupled with good body aerodynamics, the Park Avenue was a fairly ideal tool for gobbling up large portions of Interstate at speed, in comfort, and in company. I had an ’88 Pontiac Bonneville (a “stripper” model with some performance mod’s) and I can vouch for the fact that it did just that—even with the wimpier 440 trans.

Now being in excess of twenty years old, most of these capable steeds have been used up and sent to the “glue factory”. I got a chance to check the mileage on this particular P/A, and that pretty much explained why this one is still not just rolling, but looking mighty good in the process.

The original paint is still in good shape, with just a few scuffs here and there; and the leather seats and the rest of the interior still very serviceable.

This “Bodacious” P/A is just hitting its stride, and should provide its owner with a lot of smiles to go with the miles!

Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this ttac site). He can be contacted through this very site, or http://www.linkedin.com/

Buick Park Avenue (1) Buick Park Avenue (2) Buick Park Avenue (6) Buick Park Avenue (8) Buick Park Avenue - Picture courtesy Phil Coconis Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts: SPECIAL ARROW http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-special-arrow/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-special-arrow/#comments Sun, 24 Feb 2013 17:18:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=478842 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 […]

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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. It was a 1980 model, with the balance-shafted 2.6L engine, 5-speed trans, and a slight body lift kit installed. It was one of the sweetest mini-trucks I’ve ever owned—all the Toyota Hi-Lux units I’ve had before or since notwithstanding! I really liked the styling, the chassis was pretty rugged, the engine was smooth (if not just a bit underpowered), and it was easy to work on (even the needed functionality mod’s made on carburetor, distributor, and exhaust system were fairly intuitive).

To see one of these models in convertible guise is like the getting icing on the proverbial cake!

Granted, the truck-utility factor is compromised somewhat, but really, who could argue with the cool-factor?!

I’m not sure when the convertible conversion was done on this particular example (likely from model year 1981), but the quality is well beyond anything resembling a hack job, for sure! I did a little research (as you know, that’s not the main focus of this column), but couldn’t find any reference to any convertible-ized D50 / Arrow Pickups—either as production or one-off units.

The paint appears to be original, and overall, the little mini is in as good a shape as is the paint. It’s not in “show” condition, mind you; and when I shot these photos, it had a light coating of sawdust on the exterior. The Rolling Stones icon may or may not be appropriate, depending on personal tastes—but kudo’s to the owner for letting his “Freak Flag Fly”!

Of course, all of these ingredients combine to make it truly a special “BODACIOUS BEATER”!

Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this ttac site). He can be contacted through this very site, or http://www.linkedin.com/

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts: VOLARE – OH-OH http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-volare-oh-oh/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-volare-oh-oh/#comments Wed, 20 Feb 2013 11:39:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=478295 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 […]

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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!

Having been well familiar with the Dodge Dart / Plymouth Valiant models (in addition to all of the units I serviced, I totally enjoyed a ’67 Dart during my tenure of ownership), it wasn’t until its successor—the Dodge Aspen / Plymouth Volare—made the scene in the late 70’s that I came to understand how Chrysler could possibly ruin the concept!

What had been a simple, reliable, comfortable and serviceable product—fun to drive and full of utility—was reduced to a sorry excuse of a car, with little redeeming value (save for the scrap metal dealer). A “road-going derelict” in short order!

Back then, I worked as a used-car tech for a Toyota dealership; and I was initially surprised at seeing some of these units pass through our department as trade-ins. In some cases, they were still under the 12/12 factory warranty!

My questions were answered quickly when inspection got underway. The worst offense was in the area of emission control—and I don’t know which was worse: what they did to the venerable Slant-Six, or what they committed against the good ol’ 318 c.i. V-8.

The problems centered on the fact that the manufacturer was trying to reduce tailpipe emissions with technologies incompatible with the old-school engines being used. Lowering compression ratios, retarding cam and ignition timing, leaning out overall fuel mixture, installing pre-catalytic converters right at the exhaust manifold, and increasing coolant operating temperatures created an environment no exhaust system existent at the time could survive—even when functioning as designed!

Add a misfire caused by greatly increased underhood engine temperature from the aforementioned “technology”, which rendered many of the electronic ignition components unreliable, and the whole process was sent into hyper-drive!

Apparently, just to seal the fate of the Slant-Six, they cast the exhaust manifold as part of the cylinder head!! Even TODAY, it’s rare to see any manufacturer attempting such a thing!

Which is why this find is so incredible!

More than likely, this example is V-8 powered, which allowed it to circumvent the fate of any Slant-Six propelled units; but still, in the land of the biennial Smog Check, one has to wonder how this one managed to continue wearing current registration tags.

It either sat for many years, while some concessions were actually made for dealing with the short fused pre-cat exhaust system, much money was spent keeping it functional in O.E. configuration, or “bootleg” smog certificates were issued. (Actual paper certificates went the way of the Dodo Bird back in the mid-90’s; but there were still relatively easy ways to “bootleg” a smog check for some years after that.)

Not being familiar with the exhaust emissions configuration of non-California units, there may be an outside chance that this one was originally sold outside of the “Golden State”, and brought across the border before any rust issues developed. I do remember that for some time, pre-cat exhaust systems were pretty much unique to California emissions-equipped automobiles.

I consider it rather supreme irony that the “Model Emissions Sticker”, which was required to be posted conspicuously on the lower portion of a left side rear window, is STILL INTACT!

I also find it humorous that the “Volare” badging on the front quarter panels was conspicuous by its absence; as just about all of the other original badging is still in place.

So, for the record, with all things considered, never will I consider one of these out-of-the-box “road-going derelicts” as a “BODACIOUS BEATER”. Still, a rare find, no matter how it’s categorized!

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts: BUG ME http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-bug-me/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-bug-me/#comments Sun, 10 Feb 2013 11:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=477064 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 […]

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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.

Initially, many kept them around purely for utility, then the customizing craze got traction, then the restoration angle became popular.

With the sighting of this one, I started to appreciate that maybe things have come around full-circle. That is, people are using them as beaters again—although the emphasis these days has to be on vintage funkiness, and a little less on utility. The passing of years, combined with the previously noted customization era, has no doubt contributed to the attrition of original, fairly stock units; making this mid-sixties example a worthy sighting after all.

I didn’t get to go over it with a fine-toothed comb, but it did appear to be an older restoration; the owner is now over over-paying homage to the Perfection Gods, and getting down to enjoying the car for what it did—and does—best: knocking about town in a low-key and economical fashion.

The license plate mod is typical of what owners were doing to their Bugs back when such informally cavalier freedom of expression was the order of the day. You’d rarely get hassled for such expression by the local authorities, either.

We’ve come a long way, baby—but it’s all right now to re-live that period by such Bodaciously Beaten “touchstones”.

Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this ttac site). He can be contacted through this very site, or http://www.linkedin.com/

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts: SE – SI! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-se-si/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-se-si/#comments Tue, 15 Jan 2013 11:28:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=473858 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 […]

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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.

But since it didn’t quite have the pedigree possessed by it’s kindred “C” and “SL” models—and no doubt owing to the tastes of it’s owner—it became recipient of some interesting “upgrades”. A purist probably couldn’t argue with the Euro headlamps; which I wouldn’t argue with, either. Certified Cool. The sunroof “deflector” was a very common addition to virtually ANY vehicle with a sunroof extant at that time. It was a phenomenon similar to vehicle “nose bras”—an accessory that seemed to be equally popular then. The thing about the “bra” was that, it was a bra after all, it could be fairly easily removed.

What is rather amazing, in this case, is the fact that the deflector is still there and intact! A lot of water has passed under the proverbial bridge, in the form of mileage, weather, car washes, and visits by the automotive taste police and other potential vandals, yet there it is.

I once had a mid-‘70’s 280 S with one of these ubiquitous attachments. I remember it being very difficult to remove, as all of the mounting bracketing and hardware was firmly rusted in place. Remove it, I did, though, since the unit had the habit of holding rainwater over the leading edge of the sunroof seal—which by that point, didn’t—when parked heading downhill. Yeah, the seal on the deflector worked just fine, thank you.

The real coup de grace unquestionably has to be the knock-off wire wheel installation, though. As in real knock-offs—not the ones with chrome lug bolts showing between the spokes, which were fairly common.

I don’t remember seeing many of these examples installed on any M-Benz models back then. I do remember them being expensive, and I’d heard that the threaded adaptor tended to come loose from the hub.

And what about those TIRES?!!

That seriously rusted left-front bumper trim is a fitting compliment to the mega-oxidized paint on otherwise still straight body panels. It’s sort of like one dark brown eyebrow on an otherwise normal head of blonde, if not slightly graying hair.

Long live the Aging Anti-Resto Classic Euro-Wagen!

Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this ttac site). He can be contacted through this very site, or http://www.linkedin.com/

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts: UNANIMOUS ACCORD http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-unanimous-accord/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-unanimous-accord/#comments Tue, 25 Dec 2012 17:31:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=471701 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 […]

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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.

he first time I was granted the privilege of laying a wrench on this 1989 Honda Accord Lxi Coupe, I had to do a double take of the odometer reading, as I was writing the repair order up. It just didn’t seem to jive with the general condition of the vehicle. While showing signs of definite use, upon closer inspection, it was the kind of use I’d normally have associated with an example displaying one-third the mileage.

Yes, the paint was somewhat “swirly” and dull—if not even in appearance and devoid of impact damage (even on the bumpers, which possessed a notoriously wimpy painted “shell”)—and the interior controls (steering wheel, gearshift and HVAC interface) were worn a little smooth in places. But overall, the unit neither looked nor drove like a motor vehicle that had made the equivalent of a round trip to the moon and change! The customer told me pretty much EVERYTHING was original and undisturbed—including engine and transmission—save for the usual and customary maintenance. I was a bit skeptical about that, but I wasn’t going to dismiss it out of hand, either. People in the know were (and are) aware of the high level of materials and build quality, and fit and finish of Honda products from this period.

It’s doubtful we’ll ever see such examples of this combination again.

To add emphasis to this statement, I’ll relate why this car was in my shop in the first place. It wouldn’t start at the beginning of the day. The engine would spin all right, but it would no fire. Typically on these models, the problem would be something like a failed fuel pump or relay, worn distributor, or ignition switch. It turned out to be none of these.

We had been having some damp weather, but it was sunny and dry the next morning when I went to test it. It fired right up.

I would then typically have a look at the secondary ignition system (especially the spark plug wires—a design concept long since supplanted by coil-on-plug spark delivery systems). I figured that somewhere along the way, someone performing maintenance would have found it necessary to change those spark plug wires.

On most Japanese vehicles, the production date would be printed on the wire itself. I would generally recommend replacement at the ten-year mark, regardless of mileage. I found their performance to be somewhat suspect beyond that point.

These particular leads read 1988, however. Somehow, this set of wires had slipped between the proverbial cracks! They were the original units—well over twenty years old! The customer hadn’t been exaggerating—the car really WAS that original!

With a new set of wires installed, the ol’ Accord ran as good as new.

No joke. And the pop-up headlights (a design exercise whose passing I’ve lamented ever since) still worked, too!

Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this ttac site). He can be contacted through this very site, or http://www.linkedin.com/

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts: BONA VENTURA http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-bona-ventura/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-bona-ventura/#comments Wed, 19 Dec 2012 13:30:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=470550 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 […]

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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!


Even though “I was there”, back in the day when these dinosaurs roamed the earth in some quantity, I can’t recall any cognitive awareness of the Ventura model until the next generation—the one that shared the same platform as the Chevrolet Nova (and Olds Omega).

Maybe that was because the Ventura was actually an upscale trim variant of the Catalina, not really a separate model unto itself (although it originally debuted in 1960 as such). Why Pontiac didn’t BADGE it as a Catalina Ventura is a mystery to me. Marketing, back then, wasn’t the exact science it has come to be, for sure.

At any rate, the original purchaser—evidence suggesting that to be the current owner—definitely knew what they wanted; and that was to go the whole hog. So—with rear fender skirts (!) and all the rest, if you please—the ‘tura was the obvious option for c. 1968.

And still appears to be.

The photos unequivocally support this statement, and additionally describe why this particular example qualifies as not just a Cool Classic—so well-preserved as it is—but a truly Bona fide Beater:


The trailer hitch accompanied by sagging rear suspension is incontrovertible evidence that this unit is regularly impressed into transporting a travel trailer of significant size.


The retrofitted “High Mount” brake light (which debuted as original equipment on passenger cars here in the U.S. for the 1986 model year) and aftermarket “Driving” lights appear to be very well considered additions. They undoubtedly are (still) functional!

Molto Bene!

Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this TTAC site). He can be contacted through this very site, or http://www.linkedin.com/

BODACIOUS BEATERS - Picture courtesy Phil Coconis BODACIOUS BEATERS - Picture courtesy Phil Coconis BODACIOUS BEATERS - Picture courtesy Phil Coconis BODACIOUS BEATERS - Picture courtesy Phil Coconis BODACIOUS BEATERS - Picture courtesy Phil Coconis BODACIOUS BEATERS - Picture courtesy Phil Coconis BODACIOUS BEATERS - Picture courtesy Phil Coconis Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts: LONE RAIDER http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-lone-raider/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-lone-raider/#comments Mon, 10 Dec 2012 12:30:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=469576 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, […]

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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.

Trimmed out in the color scheme of the famous NFL team—and definitely not the high-line optioned-out modelthis example looks to be straight, functional and original. Looks like it gets pressed into tow duty once in a while, even! Not sure why the owner has left the remaining lower body side molding adhesive behind—all the original pieces having gone the way of all similar cladding on vehicles from this period. That the metallic silver paint is still in decent shape is practically a miracle, as the Oxidation Gods are typically hard on such finishes.

Couldn’t get a read on the odometer, but overall, I’d say the mileage was probably on the low side. More than likely, it gets used only for around town driving (its popular around here to have a vehicle just for this purpose).

I doubt these short wheelbase boonie-bashers make for very comfortable long-distance transportation; but haven’t personally experienced touring in one. Comments?

All things considered, if the maintenance is kept up with, and barring any other catastrophic event, this Raider should be ridin’ for some time to come. HI-HO SILVER! AWAAYYY!

Expertly collected and commented by Phil Coconis, this is one of many BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts, an assemblage of the still driveable near-dead.

 

Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this TTAC site). He can be contacted through this very site, or http://www.linkedin.com/

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts: Po’ Lara http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-po-lara/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-po-lara/#comments Mon, 03 Dec 2012 09:31:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=468924 It’s been a long, long time since I can remember seeing one of these on the road…and a WAGON no less! These Polaras were considered mid-sized in an era when truly excessive full-sized land yachts were the desired mode of transport for the financially solvent and nuclear family-oriented, here in the good ol’ U. S. […]

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It’s been a long, long time since I can remember seeing one of these on the road…and a WAGON no less!

These Polaras were considered mid-sized in an era when truly excessive full-sized land yachts were the desired mode of transport for the financially solvent and nuclear family-oriented, here in the good ol’ U. S. of A. Still, the automotive purchasing public didn’t exactly pan the model; and, in fact, some racers embraced it, considering its combination of outside and underhood dimensions—read that as the possibility of stuffing a big powerful engine in a relatively small car— ideal for quarter-mile shredding. I seem to remember seeing them in law enforcement and fire department livery—likely for the same virtues appreciated by racers.

Far removed from derelict, various visual cues suggest that this particular early-Sixties (I’m guessing probably 1963 or 1964) second-generation Dodge has been owned by the current title-holder for many years. It’s got some rust, yes, but otherwise the body is straight (and coated with the now extra-powderey original Powder Blue paint), most of the exterior trim is intact, and the interior oozes originality wrapped in a state of Arrested Decay!

I didn’t have time to fully analyze the evidence on driver’s and front passenger doors, but it appears that there were some kind of matching decal or appliqué previously occupying the position (the paint getting somewhat damaged upon their removal). Doubtful that these were racing identification numbers, the suggestion is that, in it’s first deployment, it was used as a field vehicle for some company, or government / corporate institution. Might be interesting to know who it was…

That multi-colored array of affixed license plate tag sticker background remnants—posing as some sort of an impromptu drivers door edge guard—would seem to indicate that the present owner has enjoyed the care, feeding and operation of this example for in excess of a few decades!

Whether this person ever considered undertaking a restoration of the vehicle is speculation; but if I were the owner, I’d do as he or she is doing, and just leave it as it is. The kind of funky patina this ‘lara is exhibiting is unique, and worth preserving in its present guise. Why mess with such Bocacious Funkitude?!!

Expertly collected and commented by Phil Coconis, this is the second of many BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts, an assemblage of the still driveable near-dead.

Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this TTAC site). He can be contacted through this very site, or http://www.linkedin.com/

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts: The LO-LUX http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-the-lo-lux/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-the-lo-lux/#comments Mon, 26 Nov 2012 13:11:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=467849 Since we we’re on the subject of the Downtrodden Mini-Truck, I figured it’s so nice…we’ll have to do it twice.   This 1986 Toyota Hi-Lux (yes, that was the model designation for these units, although the title was dropped from the badging many moons ago) actually visited my old shop for some exhaust repairs. My […]

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Since we we’re on the subject of the Downtrodden Mini-Truck, I figured it’s so nice…we’ll have to do it twice.

 

This 1986 Toyota Hi-Lux (yes, that was the model designation for these units, although the title was dropped from the badging many moons ago) actually visited my old shop for some exhaust repairs. My customer base ran the gamut from multi-millionaires to independent artists to the homeless. I’ll let you figure out the demographics for this one.

From the terminally overloaded utility bed (my lift protested under the weight as if it were a Diesel-powered quad-cab “dually”) to the interior, decorated in Early American Squalor, this put-upon little workhorse really appears to be the automotive equivalent of a construction site functional alcoholic.

Typically, many of these little guys got called upon to do full-sized duty, and due to their outstanding construction, they actually hung in there at a level well past any other mini on the market.

Less molested versions still command a pretty fair price on the used market, as they can be repaired and rendered roadworthy time and again.

Examples like this cat, however, have just about used up all of their nine-odd lives—with maybe one left…

…at which point we’d call it “NO-LUX”.

Expertly collected and commented by Phil Coconis, this is the second of many BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts, an assemblage of the still driveable near-dead.

Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this ttac site). He can be contacted through this very site, or http://www.linkedin.com/

 

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts: LUV Hangover http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-luv-hangover/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/bodacious-beaters-and-road-going-derelicts-luv-hangover/#comments Sat, 17 Nov 2012 13:25:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=467224 Expertly collected and commented by Phil Coconis, this is the first of many BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts, an assemblage of the still driveable near-dead. Straight out of the late-Disco era, this exhaustively coastal-aged example of GM’s early efforts in “badge engineering”—taking vehicles virtually completely manufactured by another entity (in this case ISUZU) and fitting […]

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Expertly collected and commented by Phil Coconis, this is the first of many BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts, an assemblage of the still driveable near-dead.

Straight out of the late-Disco era, this exhaustively coastal-aged example of GM’s early efforts in “badge engineering”—taking vehicles virtually completely manufactured by another entity (in this case ISUZU) and fitting them with their own (in this case Chevrolet) emblems—is truly a miracle survivor, on so many levels.

Firstly, there’s the obvious: extensive and serious visible rust; which at some point is going to play havoc with basic and necessary functions, such as electrical system operation (can you say “bad ground”?).

Secondly, that this is a California vehicle residing in an “enhanced emissions area” (read : subject to biennial dyno-style emissions testing), compounded by the fact that critical emissions system parts—let alone those needed for routine maintenance—are no doubt virtually non-existent in any form at this point in time.

The decay also impairs important structural functions (like body components remaining intact).

 

This unit is still sporting “Winston” brand tires (the late Sam Winston has been gone from the tire sales scene for a decade now), a plethora of stickers presumably holding the back window in position, and Hula Girl on the dash (driver no doubt acknowledging with ingenious cavalier resignation that efforts to employ St. Cristopher have been respectfully declined).

Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on TTAC). Contact him through www.linkedin.comWritten and photographed by Phil Coconis / All Rights Reserved / Use by Permission Only.

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