1969 Chevrolet Kingswood Estate 396 Project

For a time, Chevy would distinguish its line of station wagons by using names different from those of its sedan, hardtop, and convertible counterparts. In 1969, the Kingswood Estate would be the top-line wagon and was trimmed as the equivalent of the high-end Caprice. This edition has one of the largest Chevy engines available, the 396 cubic inch V8, said to be original to the wagon but not currently running. It will also need some bodywork to repair current and former damage. Located in Mount Vernon, Washington, this Kingswood is available here on craigslist for $7,500. Another great tip was brought to us by Matt H.!

At the time the seller’s car was built, there were four models available for the ‘69 full-size Chevrolet wagons. These started with the Brookwood, which was the equivalent of the entry-level Biscayne, while next up was the Townsman, the same as a Bel Air. Then came the Kingswood, which would mirror the Impala, and finally the Kingswood Estate as the Caprice version of a wagon.

To differentiate, the Kingswood Estate wore unique side-chrome treatment and usually had simulated wood grain paneling. We don’t see any of that on the seller’s wagon, but it has had a repaint at some point and there are a lot of unused trim pieces inside the vehicle, so it could have been so. The Kingswood Estate also used the six-taillight treatment of the Impala and Caprice but had the Caprice’s clear white turn signal lenses instead of orange ones. From the photos provided by the seller, we can’t quite make those out. Hideaway headlights were optional on the Kingswood Estate, just like on the Caprice, and this wagon has them.

The seller’s transport is going to need a lot more cosmetic attention than may meet the eye. At one time, someone had an aftermarket sunroof added and it was later filled back in. Apparently, that work was not done well and evidence of the old filler is quite present. There is also rust in the floorboards and – while the rest of the body is said to be solid overall – once it gets started, you always seem to find more. Photos of the interior are specific to certain areas, but the carpeting is out, one or more door panels are missing, and the headliner is hanging down.

Even for a heavy wagon, this vehicle should have had plenty of giddyap in its day. The 396 big block is not in running condition, but the seller says it does turn over and all the numbers match. The reported mileage is 89,000 and that could be accurate if it’s been off the road a while as we suspect. It’s a well-optioned wagon, including a Turbo-Hydramatic, factory A/C, the third rear-facing seat, and all sorts of electric conveniences plus an air leveling suspension system. Don’t get your heart set on the Rally wheels, though, as they and the tires mounted to them don’t come with the sale.


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  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    Judging from the first picture, I would guess that this wagon is not potty trained, and would definitely need a few pee pads if you plan on parking it in your garage. Also, other than maybe a tree falling on it, what the heck happened to that roof?

    Like 7
  2. JoeNYWF64

    Never seen a steel roof with cracks! Or is it not steel?!
    Amazin i saw many of these big ’69s with hidden headlites, but only ONE big ’68 with em. Talk about throwing money away on hidden headlight tooling! – maybe the ’68 front end should have been carried over to ’69 & even ’70! Astounding the differences each year ’68-71. Imagine that happening today.

    Like 6
    • grant

      As clearly stated in the article, a sunroof was cut in and then poorly “repaired.”

      Like 13
  3. Steve R

    It’s a rust bomb waiting to blow up on the next owner. Good luck to the next owner. Too bad about the old sunroof, without that and the shoddy repairs it would have the potential to be a great project.

    Steve R

    Like 17
  4. jimmyx

    Heed the seller’s advise; “keep shopping”.

  5. Terrry

    With that much rust and body damage, the seller ought to throw in the Rally wheels since he photographed the car with them.

    Like 20
    • Dusty Rider

      We used to call that “bait and switch”.

      Like 9
  6. Dave

    Yikes , get ready to throw money in the air. So many better ones out there .

    Like 2
  7. douglas hunt

    yea, it is a cool wagon but i would be in at $3500, not $7500

    Like 2
  8. Abi

    A lot of Impala owners would love that bumper/grille clip

  9. Utes

    If there’s an unmessed-with factory L66 under the bonnet, it’s no big deal to right home about…..as the sole 396 for BIG Chevy’s in ’69 was a low compression, single exhaust 2bl. motor, developing just 265hp.

    • jerry z

      That’s the only downfall is that 2bbl 396. Beatiful car otherwise.

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