Bodacious Beaters

BODACIOUS BEATERS (and Road-going Derelicts): "S" IS FOR SURFER!

After the combined inspiration of what I’ll refer to as “Murilee’s Barrage o’ Volvo”—recently featured in his “Junkyard Finds” columnand my most recent “BODACIOUS BEATERS” entry— featuring a purple Chevy II Wagon—I have no choice but to segue to today’s entry!

Available from something like most of the ‘60’s decade here in the U.S., the Volvo 122S—sold as the “Amazon” in its home market—certainly holds a fond place among my youthful automotive memories. A neighbor across the street used to shuttle a group of us teenagers to High School in a sedan version. I recall the gear shift lever of exaggerated length, the rather organic engine thrash and gearbox whine demonstrated during acceleration, and the leisurely progress of this activity charted by a horizontal left-to-right “red tape” speed indicator. (I was surprised when I later did learn of the “Amazon” designation, as these vehicles never impressed me with anything I could properly call “ferocity”—all genders notwithstanding!)

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BODACIOUS BEATERS (and Road-going Derelicts): BETTER IN II's-WAGON ATTACK!

After viewing Murilee’s succession of Volvo features, I was tempted to throw my hat in the ring with a very cool continuation on that theme…and I will…but maybe for the entry after this one. In the meantime, I’ve got a bit of a Bodacious kind of theme going myself, and consequently an appointment with destiny that must be addressed immediately…

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BODACIOUS BEATERS (and Road-going Derelicts): CHEVY II FADED

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!

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BODACIOUS BEATERS (and Road-going Derelicts): MO' VALIANT!

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!

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BODACIOUS BEATERS (and Road-going Derelicts): REALLY VALIANT!

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!

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BODACIOUS BEATERS – and Road-going Derelicts): VINTAGE CHEVY in DRAG

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.

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BODACIOUS BEATERS-and Road-going Derelicts: RAMBLE ON!

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.)

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and Road-going Derelicts: CRUMPLED COROLLA

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.
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BODACIOUS BEATERS-and Road-going Derelicts: PARK AVENUE CONDO

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.

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and Road-going Derelicts: SPECIAL ARROW
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.

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and Road-going Derelicts: VOLARE - OH-OH

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!

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and Road-going Derelicts: BUG ME

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.

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and Road-going Derelicts: DELIVERY 911

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

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and Road-going Derelicts: SE - SI!

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.

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and Road-going Derelicts: UNANIMOUS ACCORD

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.

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and Road-going Derelicts: BONA VENTURA

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!

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and Road-going Derelicts: LONE RAIDER

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.

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and Road-going Derelicts: Po' Lara

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.

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and Road-going Derelicts: The LO-LUX

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.

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BODACIOUS BEATERS and Road-going Derelicts: 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.

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  • Moris Nice cars .my nissan 1988 beautiful I own one
  • CKNSLS Sierra SLT I am thankful for those who have served/and serve this country to protect our freedoms.The "usual suspects" are quiet.......
  • KevinB Hemmings ran an article on the 1960 Cadillac Series 62 grille and its complexity. It took a lot of work.https://www.hemmings.com/stories/article/1960-cadillac-series-62
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Now going for $7000.
  • SCE to AUX Working on a deck project. Also replaced the A/C compressor in a Subaru.