Update on 1970 Cotington 48

Nicholas Studer

PCS Elected Director 2022-2025
Well - I've learned a lot about professional cars (cars in general too) since we purchased our 1970 C/B Cotington 48 ambulance. http://www.professionalcarsociety.org/forums/showthread.php?t=15660 Still glad we did - it's plain old cool. Too bad it was so mistreated sitting out in the last 8 years of Florida sun/rain. Front floor's very rusted out, plus the hood was totally shot. Our shop we left it with was just able to start, engine and transmission already pulled now. They're thinking that right now that the hood, right fender, radiator core support, front floor pans are all needed for starters. New rear bumper as well. See photos below. One way or another - we'll get it done. Too nice a car to not be saved, and we knew it would be a big job going into it. Any leads on parts certainly appreciated.

Unfortunately, despite months of attempts - no word from anyone who remembers the car in either Junction City or Miltondale, KS. No photos either of it in service - very surprised for something that spent 20 years in service in a town of 500 people. I'm going to not feel bad if we put a Q2B on the roof then - factory option and who knows - it probably had one versus a single electronic speaker. Maybe put the electronic speaker under the hood so we can have both...

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John ED Renstrom

PCS Member - Elected Director 2019-2022
Super Site Supporter
I have owned worse. you get to stripping the roof and you can tell what they had in it for a noise maker. just the electric was not that unusual.
 

Nicholas Studer

PCS Elected Director 2022-2025
Here's a photo of the engine compartment sans engine. The message I'm trying to run with is that it could always be worse... We're very glad they were able to start moving on this project - it's always that first hesitancy to start.

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Steve Loftin

PCS Member - Elected Director 2020-2023
Unfortunately, despite months of attempts - no word from anyone who remembers the car in either Junction City or Miltondale, KS. No photos either of it in service - very surprised for something that spent 20 years in service in a town of 500 people. I'm going to not feel bad if we put a Q2B on the roof then - factory option and who knows - it probably had one versus a single electronic speaker. Maybe put the electronic speaker under the hood so we can have both...
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The single siren speaker is original and was driven by a PA-15. It had a single 184 beacon on the roof.

I have several interior shots of this car, and will send you a note when I find them.
 

Cary Livingston

Southeastern Chapter President
Mentioning that this car came out of Florida..I think I have a shot of it somewhere......It was offered to me in 1997 and I was just getting ready to move to NC.
 

Nicholas Studer

PCS Elected Director 2022-2025
Steve: Good to know! There is indeed a Federal PA-15A Director in the front. As pictured, just the Model 184 beacon on the roof. Add the 4 front-facing tunnel lights and the red-faced spotlights. Sure a lot of lights from the front - me personally I'd want more than just the two reds to the rear if I were buying it new.

Steve/Cary - I'd love to see some photos from prior to all of the rain and sun! Very much appreciated!
 

Nicholas Studer

PCS Elected Director 2022-2025
Engine's being completely rebuilt this week and all that glorious corrosion removed. Repainting it original Oldsmobile blue of course. Transmission is being sent off to be looked at this week too.

Anyone got any leads on 1970 Olds hood, right fender, radiator core support, front floor pans, and rear quarter panels? Having some trouble finding them.
 

Kurt Arends

PCS Elected Director 2021-2024
Would you be interested in buying a complete '70 Olds 98 with a good body? There is a complete running car that is really loaded up with equipment(including the factory 8-track player!) at a salvage yard in So. Sioux City, NE. They are pretty reasonable on their complete cars, if interested.
 

Nicholas Studer

PCS Elected Director 2022-2025
James - Thanks for the link, lots of good stuff.

Kurt - E-mail sent. Most of the used 98's of that year that I have found recently have been rather expensive.
 

Nicholas Studer

PCS Elected Director 2022-2025
Cary: That is just plain awesome. Yes - that is indeed it. Ours has the 5 on the roof still - nothing left of the imprint where the "AMBULANCE" text was. I'm guessing that was a later addition and was the standard blue mail-order text. While it has a bit of rust in this photo, 20 years of Florida exposure certainly did a number on that car sadly.

Open question - Quarters panels are pretty rotted on this car. I'm going back and forth looking at photos, and I am unsure if C/B started with 2-DR or 4-DR panels to start with. Luckily the top part connecting to C/B proprietary roof is intact, it's primarily the bottom part I need so we can cut/graft a new piece. The more I look at it, the more it appears they are the 2-door version cut down at the front to fit the rear door. In which case, I need to be chasing a 2-door rather than the sedan. What is the group consensus?
 

John Burchfield

PCS Life Member
Maybe put the electronic speaker under the hood so we can have both..

Nicholas, ...or you could get another CP25 speaker to have a pair flanking the Q2B! You've got more important things to do with her first though. Your car looks good-definitely a diamond in the rough. I've always thought 1970 was a good year for 98s: nice styling, high compression 455, etc. I'm no expert, but I've heard several times over the years that a 98 coupe was the starting point for Cotner/Bevington Oldmobiles. Please keep us apprised of your progress.
 
Mike, I know you got this answer already on Facebook, but I'll throw it out here for anyone who may not have seen that. Two of the founders of the company were Waldo Cotner and Robert Bevington. They originally named their company "Comet Coach" (you know, a comet looks a little like a meteor). After Ford bought the Comet name from them, they renamed it. (The third founder, Jack Pinner, went his own way in coachbuilding and we know his company, Pinner Coach).

Here's their history on Coachbuilt.com.
 

Nicholas Studer

PCS Elected Director 2022-2025
I'm concerned that dual CP25 speakers flanking the Q2B will look a bit too busy on that roof when there's already four tunnel lights. After all the work that'll have to go into it - I'm going to have a mechanical one way or the other. I like the look and sound of the Q2B - so I'll probably put it on the roof and the electronic speaker in the grille. You're right - a lot of work until then.

I was able to find a 1970 Oldsmobile Coupe for a low price in great condition. I'm getting it shipped now - just sad to me that a very pretty car is going to have to die to save this ambulance. But hey, no other way around it. It'll provide all the body panels and miscellaneous parts we will need.
 

Daniel Scully

PCS Member
Site Supporter
So where did the name Cotner/Bevington come from anyway?

Mike, I know you got this answer already on Facebook, but I'll throw it out here for anyone who may not have seen that. Two of the founders of the company were Waldo Cotner and Robert Bevington. They originally named their company "Comet Coach" (you know, a comet looks a little like a meteor). After Ford bought the Comet name from them, they renamed it. (The third founder, Jack Pinner, went his own way in coachbuilding and we know his company, Pinner Coach).

Some C/B Info .
 

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Nicholas Studer

PCS Elected Director 2022-2025
Tunnel lights, beacon, spotlights, and siren speaker are off the car. Going to get them disassembled and rechromed. The orginal engine just came back from a complete rebuild - going to be repainted original Olds blue.

Parts car has arrived - it runs and drives and generally looks pretty good. I'm rather sad to tear it up - but it'll be for a good cause.
 

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I'm enjoying the updates on your car so keep them coming because as I'm very fond of the 1970 model Olds.

Have you ever seen this particular 1970 98 LS sedan?

16,000 original miles... Original Heritage green exterior, green brocade interior... Pristine original condition...

Delivered in Plymouth, Maine 1970, this beautiful car has lived here its entire life with its original owner. This car just came available as an estate car.

The LS the highest trim level option on the Olds Ninety Eight for 1970. The perfect brocade interior is in absolutely stunning, showroom conditio​
n.

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http://www.mjcclassiccars.com/1970-Oldsmobile-98-LS-Sedan.shtml
 

Nicholas Studer

PCS Elected Director 2022-2025
Thanks for the post - but not only is that car sold - I needed a two door. The car sitting next to it is the donor car I mentioned. It's fairly high mileage, which I appreciated when buying for tearing it apart and price-wise.

Believe it or not - the cost of the right fender, rear bumper, 2 quarter panels, and a hood far exceeded the cost of a whole car than drove just fine as is. Now I have a source for all the other parts needed - many I probably don't even know I need yet.

I'm glad I found the posts on the roof vent. Ordered a new one and it's on the way. New vinyl that is very similar to what C/B offered as an option just came in (Armstrong silver gray - the big piece as pictured below). And - I'm getting a Federal Q2B to put on the roof. Old CP25 speaker will hopefully fit in the grille. We'll see...

Thanks again to Mike Mykulak for the right weatherstripping. It's lying in wait for when this starts to get closer to finishing. I'm just glad we started...
 
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