Big Block Grocery-Getter: 1970 Chevelle Wagon

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In the 1990s, before the days of on-demand and YouTube, the primary automotive information resource was magazines. Then came TNN, The Nashville Network. Based in Tennesee, they hosted several automotive-related shows on Saturday mornings. Horsepower TV, Popular Hot Rodding, Trucks, My Classic Car, and Shadetree Mechanic were just some of their offerings. One of the original hosts on TNN was Chuck Hanson. Whenever I see a Chevelle wagon, like this 1970 model, I think of Chuck. It seemed like they were always working on his Chevelle Wagon. They would say something like “It’s a grocery-getter with a 502!” This one can be found here on Craigslist with an asking price of $16,000. Located in southern Alabama, the car is sold on a bill of sale. There has been quite a bit of work done to this one already, take a look, and thanks to Pat L. for the tip on this one.

According to the ad, the engine is a 402 cubic inch big block backed by a 400 transmission. The seller says it runs and drives well. The rear end is a 12-bold that is controlled by a sway bar and disc brakes. Other new items include shocks, rotors, pads, shoes, wheel cylinders, bearings, calipers, and hoses. The coil springs have been done at all four corners along with upper and lower ball joints.

Unfortunately, there is only one photo of the interior in the ad. The seller says the bucket seats are factory equipment, but the upholstery looks bizarre.

Overall, if you are looking for a bit of an unusual muscle car project, a Chevelle wagon is a good choice. They share many of the same components as their sportier cousins and just like the 1970 sedan and El Camino, they were one-year-only body styles. What do you think about wagons? Would you like a large one like this Chevelle or something smaller like a Rambler? Let us know.

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  1. Johnny Cuda

    I had a 70 Chevelle Concours wagon from 1976 to 1986. 307 2 barrel. dark green. I Painted the grill black, put an SS emblem on it, had Chevy SS wheels on it. I loved it.

    Like 7
    • Mr Meowingtons

      Nice! I had a 67 Pontiac Executive Wagon. 4 bbl carb with a 4 speed. Bought it for $1500 in 89…wish I had that car today…

      Like 3
      • Mr Meowingtons

        That big wagon had the 428 H.O. and I would get about 6mpg around town. I remember that car being very fast with dangerously loose steering.

        Like 3
  2. ChevelleSS

    Show me the build sheet!
    A wagon with buckets and a console would be a rare bird for sure especially with the 402 – but color me skeptical. Even so, a fun combo.
    Too bad that original SS hood has become nothing but a stripe template – which a few ‘restorations’ I’ve seen could have certainly used. Ugg, facepalm…
    Good luck with the sale!

    Like 6
  3. Joe

    Those seats are absolutely not from the factory for that model.

    Like 7
  4. Robert Levins

    That interior looks like it was made from old “Bar Stool “ upholstery. Makes you want to order a beer and play some pool. Anyway I’m liking the car for what it is and I think it has a lot of potential, for sure. The real question is – how much money do I spend? $11,000.00 for the car and $5,000.00 for a mild, decent, livable, cars and coffee restoration. What do you know – there’s your $16,000.00. That’s what it’s worth in nice condition. Nice article and good luck to the new owner!

    Like 4
  5. Sam

    Looks like LOTS OF RUST, Might want to clear coat it before it gets any worse.

    Like 0
  6. Pugsy

    Love the rust. Looks good to drive as is.

    Like 1
  7. John D

    I like it and would drive it as much as I could, the seats I would reupholster with stock seat covers, and yes I would strip it and paint it just looks to ratty in its current state. This will make someone a very fun car.

    Like 2
  8. CenturyTurboCoupe

    Are the “shoes and wheel cylinders” on the rear with discs or does this mean front drums??

    Like 0
    • Claudio

      Yes, i also want to know !

      Like 0
  9. Davey Boy

    You can’t leave this car rust and gold. It screams finish me. I can’t believe the interior is any where near factory so turn it into a fake super sport wagon. Redo the interior, paint it whatever color you want. Build the motor to the 450 hp range. Enjoy the cruise. Only if I wasn’t in the position I’m in. Always wanted a hot rod wagon and this would be perfect. Hope the new owner finish’s it.

    Like 3
  10. Brian

    Not a bad project if you could start at a price the middle man hadn’t marked up 5k just for dragging it home. 10k is generous for this car. You would have another 10k in it after having the motor and transmission rebuild and putting a decent interior in it.

    Like 2
  11. Eric Kam

    Price is way too much. Interior needs replacing entirely. The rear tailgate needs lots of love. Lots of rust that a bead blast will show judging by all the bubbles.

    Like 2
  12. Shawn

    I have a 70 station wagon that I have converted to a two-door I’m in the process of back having the car I have taken 19 in out of the car. I will be installing a 565 in³ motor with the turbo 400 backed by a gear vendor also I have taken a steel cowl induction hood and made it into a 4-in cowl induction hood because you can’t find one with that stupid spline down the middle. It will have bucket seats console and a super sport 6500 RPM tack

    Like 1
    • Claudio

      Hard to follow but if i understand right ;you have removed 19 inches from it ?

      Like 1
  13. Bert Kanne

    Its worth making this Chevelle wagon a really nice restomod. There were no factory Chevelle SS wagons ever made. Wouldn’t it be great with a modern injected GM crate motor and built up auto od electronic transmission on an Art Morrison chassis, rack n pinion steering, big Wilwood disc brakes, single belt engine, big aluminum radiator, great body n paint tastefully redone interior with good support bucket seats n console led lighting, modern electronics, …..maybe 150k or more to build

    Like 0
    • Pugsy

      It would be nice. It could fetch 70 K when sold later.

      Like 0

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