By on June 13, 2013

Early Chevy II Wagon


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…

Early Chevy II Wagon (4)The eagle-eyed sleuther types might have noticed what was in the background of one of the photos for my last entry “CHEVY II FADED”.

It didn’t, however, appear that any such viewers/readers were “in the house” during the comment-posting period for that entry—as they most assuredly would have commented.

Early Chevy II Wagon (3)So here it is, in all its oxidized purple glory: an earlier, non-Super Sport Wagon version of last week’s model!

Early Chevy II Wagon (2)

I can’t remember the last time I’d seen a real-life II Wagon in serviceable shape and on the road “in the flesh”—and just across the street from an equally rare SS coupe, no less! There’s a good chance that this was not a complete coincidence; as this more “beach-appropriate” Nova predecessor stands a good chance of having the same owner. In the rather apartment and condo-biased section of Redondo Beach—where these photos were taken, and where garage-type parking is at a premium—it’s not uncommon to see storage-challenged car collector folks getting creative when it comes to parking their vehicles.

If that hunch is true, I’d guess the SS was probably the most recent addition, as it is fairly devoid of the kind of “decalage” seen on the Wagon—which the present owner has likely owned for some time, based on their genres and apparent aging.

Early Chevy II Wagon (7)Which is really the next logical thing to discuss. Just LOOK at ‘em! I’m reasonably sure I could pick the owner out of a lineup, based on the nature of those “stickies”! I’m thinking old-school male surfer dude, trying to keep the bushy hair—and the dream—alive. I’ll leave speculation on the exact description specifics up to you viewers/ readers, though; as I find this to be a lot more entertaining, from my point of view!

Early Chevy II Wagon (6)There are a couple of other identifying features worth commenting on, for sure. The rust on the front wheels gives away the fact that this II has had a front disc brake conversion (and he’s running semi-metallic pads). Even on the lighter six-cylinder versions—which I believe this one is equipped with—the original four-wheel drum systems never did cut it; unless high drama during deceleration is what the driver is in to.

Early Chevy II Wagon (5)

Speaking of rust, about the only really noticeable rust on this particular unit seemed to be that of the oxidized brake dust on the front wheels. Very little body rust could be found, otherwise. Pretty amazing for a beach vehicle!

Another unique feature is the missing tailgate glass manual crank. My guess as to the reason for its absence is more about availability than cost; although having not checked the market on such specifics, I may be mistaken in making this statement.

At any rate, these “Two II’s” certainly qualify as a “Certifiably Bodacious Set”, in my book.

Hopefully, in yours, II.

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


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10 Comments on “BODACIOUS BEATERS (and road-going derelicts): BETTER IN II’s—WAGON ATTACK!...”

  • avatar

    Awesome series and I love to see other people rely on vintage vehicles for daily transportation.

  • avatar

    Nice old Shoebox Chevy II .


  • avatar

    i have an exact duplicate to that nasa sticker on the back window of my wagon. hopefully that doesn’t make me a “old-school male surfer dude, trying to keep the bushy hair—and the dream—alive.” although i do hit at least 2 of the 5 criteria.

  • avatar

    The exposed hinges on the tailgate really makes this car.

  • avatar

    BODACIOUS BEATERS (and road-going derelicts): BETTER IN II’s—WAGON ATTACK!
    Why the ALLCAPS?

  • avatar

    VEry cool ’63. I shot a ’64 tempest and a ’68 Chevy wagon yesterday. In Massachusetts where cars that old are much rarer than in California. The Tempest in superb shape, the Chevy wagon in very good shape.

  • avatar


    My nephew, in Hollywood, has the cleanest of the classic Bricks, a ’95 940 wagon. If you’re doing Volvos, email me offlist at [email protected], and I’ll get you his info.

    Best, –David

  • avatar

    I need to get me one of those sweet WD-40 sponsorship deals.

  • avatar

    My parents bought one of these when I was 10 years old, it was a spanking new 62. Six-cylinder, a miserable two speed powerglide, surprisingly effective in snow positraction rear end and clammy vinyl bench seats.. It was the car
    I cut my driving teeth in six years later.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    An uncle of mine had one of these in red also with the 6-banger and power slush. It was later passed down to my cousins who got a fair amount of use out of it. Their dog, a beagle used to ride in the back with the tailgate window open and throughly enjoy himself. Don’t know if the fumes affected him much. I guess the only vehicle still manufactured with a roll down back window in the tailgate is the Toyota 4-Runner. IIRC the last wagon to have that is the last early 90’s Crown Vic’s and Grand Marquis since the redesigned GM B-bodies Caprice, Roadmaster had the flip up rear window. Now that autos are far more emissions friendly its time to bring back the roll down rear window and tailgate.

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