Shorty Station Wagon: 1956 Chevrolet

Brian BirknerBy Brian Birkner

While some of us like two-door station wagons, this ’56 Chevrolet brings a whole new meaning. Shortened at some point in its life, this “wagon” has undergone a major transformation. In ready to drive condition this custom shorty would certainly be a neat one to see at the local cruise in, as there aren’t many like this to be seen. This unique cruiser is offered for $9,500. Check it out here on craigslist out of Northeast, Iowa. Thanks to Rocco B. for yet another unique submission!

Looking past its shortened appearance, the engine bay is clean as a whistle. The V8 heart appears in like new condition, as do many of the engine bay components.  With a fair amount of weight removed, this wagon is likely a peppy driver.

With a few modern items like the steering wheel, tape player, and the cool Chevrolet mats, this wagon has a very clean interior. It would appear that a S10 steering column has been put to use, and a few modern gauges have been thrown into the mix to keep vitals on the clean and beautiful V8 heart. So far the only disheartening thing is the paint in the door jambs. With paint chipping, and over spray on chipping paint, it makes me wonder about the condition and quality of the paint job on this classic shorty.

A seat cover has been used on the bench seat, but there is no word if there is damage, or if the cover was used to protect the seat. Also the interior is very clean with no specks or foreign items on the carpeting. The cargo space is surprisingly spacious even after the chop. Capable of hauling some fairly large items, this wagon is still useful even in its shorty version.

With no real information on the chop job, and no pictures detailing the chop work, it is hard to say how sturdy this wagon may be. There is no rust in sight, other than the passenger rocker, and the body lines align reasonably. The only line that is slightly off is the chrome trim down either side of the car where the door trim meets the front fender. Not a big concern, but noticeable to those with a keen appreciation to detail. Blue over spray can be seen in all of the door jamb hardware as well.  Beyond that, there is no other evidence of over spray, and the paint appears reasonable, other than having a slightly dull finish that could certainly be buffed. With a nice street appeal, this Chevy does need a little work but could be polished up to a nice driver. Are you a fan of this shorty Chevy wagon?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Not sure what compels people to do “shorty’s”, I’d have to think handling would be compromised. Being as scarce as a 2 door ’56 Chevy wagon is ( at least it wasn’t a Nomad) I think it was worth more before the chop. Could be a tough sell as is.

    13+

    • whippeteer

      It’s a 2 door now, but did it start that way or as a 4 door.

      6+

      • al8apex

        Yes, this WAS a four door wagon

        This was a very popular thing to do in the 70’s

        2+

    • Mark

      I’m with @HowardA on this one. I see no point to doing this. But what a man does with his blowtorch and sawzall is his business… I guess.
      In these proportions it now looks like a child’s animated movie character like in Cars.

      3+

      • Newtown Jack

        almost need to shorten the front fenders and hood to balance the proportions (bring the grill, headlights, etc closer to the firewall)

        0

    • Keith

      Agreed Howard, I’ve never understood this. In my opinion these look like silly clown cars and I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be drive something like this around.

      1+

    • Dan Koch

      We had one of those out here in North Platte, Nebraska but l don’t know what ever happened to it? I do know a Guy that has two Quonset Huts chock full of old Hot Rods & Collector Cars n Trucks l’ll have to ask him IF he’s got it when I see him & what they’re made from is a regular 4 door wagon with the back doors removed & re-welded IF it was once a Handyman the front doors wud be longer like a 2dr sedan lve had two & one Sedan Delivery too

      0

  2. Andre

    What a waste

    13+

  3. grant

    Ewwwww…..

    5+

  4. healeydays

    Since it’s already cut, I could do something with that.

    4+

  5. Dave

    Not a fan, but at least it has a Rochester…

    0

  6. John

    Need a parts list for this. Not for me

    0

  7. Jay E.

    I think its great. I have no idea why I like it.

    2+

  8. Dallas

    Probably a 1970’s project using a 4 door wagon that no one wanted or was headed to the scrapper. I too well remember a time when these were unwanted orphans and used only for parts.

    5+

    • Fred W.

      Yep, 70’s junkyards (at least mine) were full of tri five 4 door sedans and wagons that nobody wanted. I was looking for trim for my ’57 4 door HT. There was only one of those, but had I needed trim for a sedan, bet I could have picked from 10 cars. A piece of side stainless was 75 cents.

      Never driven one of these, but I would imagine handling is scary.

      2+

  9. jw454

    I don’t have a problem with it. It looks like the builder finished his project. I give them credit for that. It’s up and running and on the road. So many projects end up sold or scrapped so, good for the builder. If this is what he wanted to do… so be it.

    14+

    • Paul

      Good point. I agree that finishing a project is a real achievement. Now, the question is: is it worth anything to anyone else?

      0

  10. al8apex

    Author … why do you think the stock 56 Chevy steering column is an S-10 part?

    It is clearly an OEM 1956 piece …

    SMH over these weird, made up observations

    5+

  11. Scot Douglas

    I love how the comments section is moderated based on things outside of profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

    7+

  12. T Mel

    These chop jobs make no sense to me

    3+

  13. AMXSTEVE

    Love it! it reminds me of those models that looked like cartoons from the 70’s. Surf board is a nice touch and the interior is sweet.

    3+

  14. Dave Wright

    Of all the cars available in the world………Barn finds is developing a penchant for clown cars.

    9+

  15. Ron

    An abomination.

    6+

  16. Steve R

    In the 80’s when it wasn’t uncommon to see shortened cars like this at cruises they almost always looked thrown together. Even where I live and rust wasn’t an issue, these cars tended to be built on beat down worn out junk. I can only imagine what these shortened cars in rust belt states started with. This car shouldn’t be considered unless it can be thoroughly inspected on a lift by a body shop with a frame rack prior to purchase.

    Steve R

    2+

  17. Harry

    I remember seeing and admiring a VW bus shorty on my commute in 1970 or so, and at that time found it pretty darn cool. This however, only belongs in somebody’s Hot Wheels collection. I would expect the steering to be squirrely as anything.

    0

  18. Madmatt

    I like it, as I remember these “shortys” were a
    great use for a 4 door wagon that no one wanted
    back in the 70’s.I hope that the construction was done well,
    paint/body is easier to re-do,than chopping/shortening to me?
    The surfboard is a nice touch,but I would prefer a smooth roof.
    Now that is a tri five,that iam not “sick”of seeing everywhere!

    3+

  19. Rock On

    I guess that the owner should have paid more attention to the tag that said “wash in cold water only “.

    12+

  20. Derek

    Nomad becomes no-mid.

    I gave a mate of mine a Mini, which he shortened.

    1+

  21. Chebby

    If you were a ‘little person’, aka midget or dwarf, with a strong sense of humor and confidence, I could see owning this car. Otherwise I just don’t get shorties. A whole lot of work to create an undriveable car that’s just a punchline. Oh, it’s really short, ha ha. Next….

    0

  22. Danny

    What were they smoking in the 70s. As I always told my kids,” don’t do drugs”. This could be the result.

    1+

  23. John K

    A clown car, if the clown from “IT” has a car.

    1+

  24. Allen Wrench

    Hope the “Shortor” was a good welder or the “Shortee” will be very surprised at a most inopportune time.

    0

  25. Chris vrabel

    The front seat of the “The all new interior”
    Looks like a cover.

    0

  26. PAPERBKWRITER

    First one I’ve ever seen. First glance I thought it was a Crosly…Later model sb with dual master cylinder and alternator. If it has a turbo trans it’ll probably run good too. So many people here rave about “grandpa” cars and knock this ride. This car will turn a lot of heads.

    0

  27. Rod444

    Deep down inside, in the quietness of a dark night, we stare up at the stars, sip our beer and finally admit to ourselves that part of the reason we drive what we do is because it gets us attention. And we love attention.

    This builders obviously didn’t get a lot of that as a child. So be it.

    0

  28. KevinW

    Seems unusual to see a shorty actually finished to a nice degree. Every one I’ve ever seen were spliced and left for dead. Still, a goofy idea though, IMO.

    1+

  29. Bruce Fischer

    I am a station wagon guy.Why do that to a wagon????Bruce.

    0

  30. John b

    Say what u want- a run of the mill 4 door wagon isnt turning heads. Here’s a guy that took a plan that probably needed more work then what is was worth…and made his own masterpiece. Kudos.

    1+

  31. Tom S.

    What’s done is done and you cannot easily undo it. It looks like a project that someone cared about. Show it some love.

    0

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