Golden Sleeper: 1971 Chevelle Concours Estate

1971 Chevrolet Chevelle Wagon In Storage Front Corner

While finding a station wagon parked in a barn night not seem like the most exciting of finds, it definitely gets more interesting when you find out it’s possibly the only one ever built. Jim B found this 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle Concours Estate parked in a barn and it may be the only one to have left the factory with the 402 cui V8 and 4-speed manual.

1971 Chevrolet Chevelle Wagon Front Corner

Jim’s Chevelle wagon was parked in a barn along the Potomac River south of Washington, D.C., where it had been parked for 23 years. He had to do some work to get the car running again, but the rest of the car just needed a good cleaning.

1971 Chevrolet Chevelle Wagon Engine

Here’s the big 402 V8 that makes this wagon so special. The 402 was an optional engine for the Chevelle in ’71, but there are no records of any other Chevelle wagons leaving the factory with the 402 cui. This engine was rated from the factory with a modest 300 hp and can easily hurtle this car down the road.

1971 Chevrolet Chevelle Wagon Window Sticker

We questioned the validity of this car at first, but after seeing the original build sheet, window sticker, and some of our own research we are sure this car left Chevy’s Baltimore assembly line with this engine and transmission.

1971 Chevrolet Chevelle Wagon Cleaned Up Front Corner

After a tune-up and a thorough cleaning Jim has his Chevelle not only back on the road, but at car shows and on the drag strip. We aren’t usually fans of big ’70s station wagons, but with its big V8 and patina, we are really starting to like this Golden Sleeper (the original owner’s nickname for the car). We would enjoy seeing the looks on peoples’ faces when this wagon beats them off the line.

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Comments

  1. Daniel Schulz

    Not a station wagon or suv fan @ all whatsoever, but that is COOL as HELL!

  2. Stumack

    The 4-speed is no doubt very unusual (maybe unique), but I would think plenty of Chevelle wagons would have been built with the 402 (marketed as the Turbo-Jet 400). Also, this is a Concours, not a Concours Estate. The “Estate” suffix denoted the woody version.

    • STEVE

      That 1971 CONCOURS WAGON BUILD SHEET SHOWS 400 V8 NOT 402 V8 I SHOWED IT TO A FRIEND

      • Chris

        GM did some funky stuff with their engines. My 72 Monte Carlo had a 400 listed on its build sheet too but it is a 402, not a 400. Trucks were badged with 400, Monte Carlos were badged 400 on their build sheets, and Chevelles and Camaros were badged 396, but they were all 402’s after 1969. I learned this on an episode of Muscle Car or whatever it called now.

  3. Charles Hixon

    Apaprently the setup was for towing a travel trailer in the mountains for the family man who didn’t trust an automatic transmission. I would imagine there were more of these built.

  4. tom corbett

    I like wagons actually, would like to know more, like how many miles, what the inside looks like and if it is for sale.

  5. Tom Andersen

    Id take it anyday!Can we get some interior pictures Please.Because of the year this 402 is the 396 of the 70’s…..Cool that its badged this way. There’s a guy in Santa Cruz,Ca with a dark green 70 396 4 spd factory…Im curious about the 402/396 aircleaner lid.Possibly 70 was labeled a 396 and 71 was labeled the true 402???

    • Chris

      The 400-396-402 conundrum was GM’s way of messing with their lineups to make it seem they were using different engines when they weren’t. The Camaro and Chevelle were badged 396, while trucks and Monte Carlos were badged or listed on the build sheets as 400’s. I was always confused by my window sticker on my 72 Monte Carlo saying 400 and the cleaner saying 402’s. After 1969, all the vehicles listed above had 402’s in them. I was watching one of those Powerblock shows when they were building a 70 Camaro Z-28 clone with a big block 396 that was actually a 402 and they explained that.

  6. Sparky

    I think this will be as cool as a Nomad…and I also think the 76 Caprice coupe will be our generations version of the 57 Chevy

  7. don

    I almost bought a 68 wagon a few years ago. It had the factory 396 and 4 speed with a full gauge package, also power windows and A/C.

  8. Tom

    I think that window sticker is awesome, very surprised you found it.Is that code LS3 for the 300 Hp Turbo-jet 400 V8 ? the price for themotor back then was nice as well.Hope to see it at a show someday.

  9. Chris

    Actually the guys at Muscle Car of the Powerblock on Spike TV cleared up the controversy about the 396, 400, and 402. All three from the 69 (it may only be 70 to 72, but I believe from what I recall hearing on the show that it was in 69 when the 402 was introduced) to 72 were all actually 402 cubic inch, they were just badged differently. There weren’t any actual 396 or 400’s, they were all 402 ci. The 402 in the Camaros and SS Chevelles were badged 396 while the Monte Carlo, pickups and some of the others were badged as 400’s on the build sheet and window stickers. I always wondered why the 72 Monte Carlo I had in high school had 400 on the window sticker, 400 on the radiator support, and 402 on the breather cover. I was glad those guys cleared that up. I hope that answers some of your questions too. I wish I had that old Monte Bomb as it was affectionately known as by my friends, back now! It would be worth some serious dough now!

  10. john shelton

    Looks very similar to a 1972 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser that I owned for 12 years. Sure wish I still owned it.

  11. Tom Andersen

    Thanks Cris. Sounds like what I remembered. Not sure about a 400 in 72 MonteCarlos though. 454 low compression engines were in 70,71 and 72. Im not sure what the 73 was able to get. But never seen a 400 in 70-72I had a 70 454 MC and a 72 I put a 400 Pontiac engine into ie;PonteCarlo.That was a nice car, I wonder if its still around? I sold to a guy in Concord, California in 1980. Had an original 4 bolt 350 4v 400 trans

  12. Mike Plewa

    HANG ON TO THIS ONE !!!! Good for you ! I still have my GTO I found in 1984 with 9000 mile on it ….in a barn in Ga. 27yrs later only has 26000 on it… it will only go up in value !

  13. ron coombs

    I knew Chevy made a 400CI small block. And what a piece of junk it was! The cylinder walls were too thin.

  14. Tom Andersen

    Ron- whole different block the 400 youre talking about. Actually the 400 small block is a great little motor for Street Rods and everyday drivers. Great options are readily available at reasonable prices. Its a standard ‘Small Block’ Chevy block thats been poked n stroked.

  15. Paul Martin

    Given the fact it was sold new in Warminster,PA could there have been a connection to Hurst Shifter Corp, They liked Gold cars.

  16. Marty

    Build sheet says 300 hp turbo jet 400. I have a 1969 ford galaxy country squire wagon. Grannys car. 390 C6. Many vacation memories in that car. Light blue. In family since new. Huge car!!!!!

  17. Chris

    Yes the window sticker that was in my 72 Monte Carlo stated that the engine was a 400, the radiator support stated it was a 400 and the breather cover had a 402 sticker on it. The 400 that someone mentioned above was considered a small block. The engine in my old Monte Bomb was definitely the big block as the heads were so wide, therefore confirming big block 402. And by the way, I have seen the rerun of the episode of Muscle Car on the Powerblock and the 402, 396, 400 controversy started in 70, not 69 like I put in my first post.

  18. Jim Phillips

    I bought a chevelle concours estate wagon in 1971 from Midtown Chevrolet with a 402 engine 4 on the floor with a 390 rear , I’m still trying to find it. It was mulsan blue with wood grain sides. It was a real sleeper.

  19. Mark

    Very nice! Would like to see a interior picture!

  20. FRED

    WHEN I WAS DATING MY WIFE HER PARENTS HAD A 65 MALIBU WAGON WITH A BIG/BLOCK AND 4SPEED .IF MY BRAIN IS WORKING A 427 I BELIEVE.WELL ANYWAY THEY GOT TIRED OF FEEDING ME DINNER AND DRIVING ME HOME THAT WHEN THEY BOUGHT A NEW CAR THEY GAVE,I REPEAT GAVE ME THE CAR.SAD PART WAS I HAD TO PAY $3,200 DOLLARS A YEAR FOR INSURANCE.USED TO BEAT A LOT OF MUSCLE CARS THAT HAD NO IDEA WHAT I HAD TIL I WAS AT THE NEXT LIGHT WAITING FOR THEM.

  21. Calvin

    Are you looking to sell it I’m interested I’m trying to restore one and I have one but need another give me a price and we’ll talk about it

  22. Jeff smith

    I have a 71 concours estate wagon, 402 with the (less cool lol) auto trans. All original except the wheels and a new intake carb n distributor, still got the original engine parts in case I restore it back. Sat in storage 28 years 67,313 miles. Interior looks like new besides needing cleaned up. Absolutely love it

  23. Jeff smith

    Heres mine

  24. Wayne sr.

    I’ve got a 71 concours with the 350-270 hp motor / threw a cam, headers , 3000 stall converter, and shift kit in it ; I run 3.73s in rear; the old girl runs 14.50s-14.60s all day long pulling 4000 lbs. I’ve had more fun with my wagon over the years ( had the old girl 37 years now) than i’ve had with any other cars , including my 69 big block that runs in the 12s. Love that old wagon!

  25. Melvin Burwell

    Mel B. I love this wagon. Had a 71 Chevelle in high school. Red,black vinyl top, 350. Air etc. Was a 2 barrel. But beat everyone. Too far away for me. Somebody needs to buy this.

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