BODACIOUS BEATERS and Road-going Derelicts: LUV Hangover

Phil Coconis
by Phil Coconis
bodacious beaters em and road going derelicts em luv hangover
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 Written and photographed by Phil Coconis / All Rights Reserved / Use by Permission Only.

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  • I remember a Guam summer in 1979 when my good friends father brought one of these Chevy LUV's home. It was a baby blue and he sprayed the bed with UNDERCOATING, the original "rhino-liner" except I recall it coming off on my shorts and my shoe soles... Awesome little truck to an eleven year old.

    • Porschespeed Porschespeed on Nov 18, 2012

      Troy D, are you J. Goldberg? Last time I heard that who that nasty old rode hard and put away wet skank was married to...

  • Acuraandy Acuraandy on Nov 18, 2012


  • SPPPP Aggression is pretty much the reason that racing exists, so I am going to call this an unsolvable problem. It's a contrived scenario in which you take risks to get rewards. You may be able to improve it ... but never eliminate it.
  • MaintenanceCosts This is now our fourth 20th Anniversary GTI, and the third of those four that had major structural modifications for purely aesthetic reasons. I didn't picture Tim as the type to want to join the STANCE YO crowd, but here we are?
  • JMII This is why I don't watch NASCAR, it just a crash fest. Normally due the nature of open-wheel cars you don't see such risky behavior during Indy car events. You can't trade paint and bump draft with an Indy car. I thought it was a sad ending for a 500. While everyone wants a green flag finish at some point (3 laps? 5 laps?) red flagging it is just tempting people too much like a reset button in a game.The overall problem is the 500 is not a "normal" race. Many one-off competitors enter it and for almost every driver they are willing to throw away the entire season championship just to win the "500". It sure pays way more then winning the championship. This would be like making a regular season NFL game worth more then the Super Bowl. This encourages risky behavior.I am not sure what the fix is, but Indy's restart procedures have been a mess for years. If I was in charge the rule would be pit speed limiter until the green flag drops at a certain place on the track - like NASCARs restart "zone". Currently the leader can pace the field however they wish and accelerate whenever they choose. This leads to multiple false and jumped starts with no penalty for the behavior. Officals rarely wave off such restarts, but that did happened once on Sunday so they tried to make driver behave. The situation almost didn't happen as there were two strategies in the end with some conserving fuel and running old tires, driving slower with others racing ahead. However the last caution put everyone on even terms so nobody had advantage. It always gets crazy in the last few laps but bunching up the field with a yellow or red flag is just asking for trouble.
  • Tim Healey Lol it's simply that VWVortex is fertile ground for interesting used cars!
  • Jalop1991 I say, install gun racks.Let the games begin!