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Hot Rod Wagon! 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air


Nothing’s more true to Hot Rodding than taking a car and making it your own. Though completely optional in rodding, this car’s deviations from stock would offend few. The engine and transmission swap on this 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air Station Wagon in Westfield, Indiana keeps it in the family with a warmed-up Chevy 350 and four-speed floor-shifted manual transmission. This regularly-driven classic comes to market here on eBay (Update! Item has been relisted here) where at least four bidders have driven the market value above $5000 in the waning hours of the auction. Even the Buy It Now price of $6800 seems reasonable compared to many we’ve seen.

Upgrades on the small-block include aluminum heads, roller rockers, and a Lunati camshaft. Unless someone made a big mistake during the build, this combo should yield a reliable 320 HP or more from the 5.7L V8. With fresh power under the right foot, few potential owners will lament ejecting the original 283 cid (4.6L)V8 and two-speed Powerglide automatic.

Fat tires and stance combine to suggest this suburban people-mover rolls faster than stock. Trick exhaust cutouts bypass the mufflers on demand for when Mommy or Daddy are feeling especially naughty. Undercarriage pictures show mostly stock components in decent shape and solid metal… all in all a good foundation for the money. The “RCA Victor” door script is not explained in the listing. While “Rood’s Music and Appliance” may seem a farcical combination, I patronized a shop in Christiansburg, Virginia called “Kittinger’s” that sold sheet music on the left side and appliances on the right, so maybe there’s an inherent symbiosis there that defies explanation.

I learned to drive on a Plymouth wagon my folks ordered with a V8 and a floor-mounted three-speed, and there’s something delightfully Old School about the bench seat and the bent-shaft shifter on this Chevy. The Western Blanket no doubt covers tattered original upholstery, but who cares? With regular maintenance this Bel Air will run like a Toyota with 80 times the style. Just keep throwing gas down that tube and smile. Name three items you’d haul in this hopped-up wagon!


  1. Mitchell Gildea Member

    All you need to do is drive it. And do burnouts

    Like 18
  2. Steve R

    It has good potential, but could use some tweaking. Ditch the fake lettering on the doors, swap the new performance parts for some vintage ones and install either Torque Thrusts or Cragar SS’s.

    Steve R

    Like 5
    • Ike Onick

      I disagree 100%. I would not touch a hair on its chinny-chin-chin.

      Like 19
    • Phlathead Phil

      ANY ‘65 or ‘66 Chevy Impala looks ‘Hot’ with a better set of aftermarket wheels and wider tires.

      Ask me how I know!

      Like 5
      • BigBlocksRock

        I’ll bite. How do you know?

      • Phlathead Phil

        Big Blocks Rock:

        My first car was a ‘66 S.S. 396. One of only 4,000 made.

        Friends had ‘65’s

        Like 2
    • Gray Wolf

      Have to disagree! Why would you spend the money on rebuilding a stock motor? You get a performance motor, with a guarantee! I run chrome rally wheels with flat caps and I get many compliments! People were tired of see Cragers or Torque Thrusts on early cars! I do like those wheels, but I will stick with the chrome rally’s!

      Like 2
  3. Steve McQueen

    What part of this thing does not need to be replaced, from the floor pans to all corners of the body, and all areas between. You are buying a motor and tranny, if they are sound. A true money pit.

    Like 1
  4. 8banger dave Member

    My music gear, women, and beer.

    Like 9
  5. Jeffro

    Three items I’d haul in this wagon……I’m sure I’d be hauling a$$!

    Like 4
  6. Stephen Miklos

    Wow.. this is a cool wagon. I like it the way it is. The tires and rims are great looking. Maybe shoot clear over the body to stop any more rust from popping up. Surprise no headers on this. The engine would benefit with headers. I would work on the seats to make them better. And put wipers on it. And have fun driving around. 😄

    Like 6
    • Phlathead Phil

      Clear coating does NOT stop rust. It only directs it to the other side, which, is worse.

      There is only one thing that stops rust cold.


      Like 3
  7. local_sheriff

    Unless there’s something I’m missing here, at that BIN I’m almost shocked no one pulled the trigger. Apart from the ’64-’65 Chevelle 300 2door longroofs the ’65 fullsize is probably regarded as THE most coveted 60s Chev wagon.

    This one offers so many possibilities, should one either decide to enjoy it as-is or use it as a basis for a less ratty-looking muscle wagon. Don’t think anyone could go wrong buying this – great find at decent price! 👍

    Like 6
    • bone

      The floors are fairly rusty , maybe thats turning some people off ?

  8. Uncle Leo

    Will never forget my ’66 Belair wagoon. Three on the tree used to jam between first and second under hard acceleration then you would need a screwdriver to pry the linkages apart. Converted to a floor shift and that solved the problem. Still have that full sycro trans and shifter. Like many, I would leave it in gear while parked,until One night I got a little too busy with a young lady in the front seat and her knee knocked the shifter into neutral..did I mention I was parked on an incline? Talk about going for a roll. The memories live on!

    Like 10
    • Phlathead Phil

      Uncle Leo,

      Now, that’s what I’m talkin’ about!

      Same thing Hap’d to my buddy back in the day when he was in college in Buffalo, New York. This scenario involved a VW BUG w/ his gal pal.

      They had released the E/brake to prevent any confusion in the dark!!!

      Like 2
    • Camaro guy

      Happens to the best of us 😁😁

      Like 2
  9. djjerme

    And still a stick! I like it.

    Like 2
  10. mainlymuscle

    For those that call EVERYthing ” badass ” (BMWeenies,etc ) ,
    presenting Exhibit A as to why you are so dreafully wrong !

    Like 1
  11. Shirley B

    TV repair since 1918? There was no TV back then.

    Like 1
    • Phlathead Phil


      Back in 1918, “T.V.” was an abbreviation for: “Teleportation Vehicle.”

      Seems this ride is outta da past!

      Oops, I couldn’t resist!!!

      Like 1
  12. impalaken68

    In Toledo, Ohio there was a shop called Seligman Bros. that sold records on one side (with a listening booth!) and fishing gear on the other.

    Like 1
  13. Jim Z Member

    Are you sure that’s a ’65? We had a ’62 Chev Impala wagon, looks the same.
    Unless I’m just getting old and senile…..

    Like 1
    • Camaro guy

      👴👴 yeah you must be doesn’t look anything like a 62 they were more boxy than 65/66 cars

      Like 3
    • Phlathead Phil

      Dead sure. ‘65 had round tail lights. A ‘62 don’t look nuthin like a ‘65. Google it!

  14. DON

    TV repair since 1918 ??? This guy was way ahead of his time !

    Like 5
    • Jeremiah

      That’s why it is Music and Appliance. This is my car and my Grandfather was born in 1918, with 9 kids in the family he repaired televisions as a supplement to his full time paycheck in a old Chevy station wagon. I still own the car and I am starting a full restore on it, the patina has been fun but it’s time to preserve it and make it solid once again. Thanks for all the stories, keep them coming!

  15. bikefixr

    Aluminum heads….and iron manifolds.

    Like 1
    • Camaro guy

      Yeah i agree should have a nice set of headers but for what it’s worth those rams horn manifolds flow pretty well especially when ported probably one of the best factory manifolds Chevy made

      Like 2
    • Jeremiah

      Cause headers suck and we put a ton of miles on the car. They are port matched and flow almost as good, if they restrict the car it‘a only by a couple HO or a couple foot pounds of torque.. no big deal. Much more reliable and maintenance friendly but hey that’s my opinion. Car still sounds amazing a has a fair amount of power!

  16. deak E Stevens Member

    What is it with people wanting to shoot clear over a rust bucket.if it were mine it would have a beautiful tangerine orange base coat with clear with gold pearl on top.nice set of ol school cragar’s.picture that for a Saturday night cruise.

    Like 3
  17. David kirschnick Member

    Why is this still here? We look at stuff that passes this site and this isn’t worth it??! Come on..
    Wagon Frenzy sure to die out but not gone . I have a wagon ( albeit, a poncho) finding parts is a challenge. Not with this baby !’
    If I had the room and wasn’t afraid of divorce I’d have already .
    Everything doesn’t have to be restored , run it , fix a few things and drive some more just like we all did when we were young

  18. TimM

    Paint it!!

    Like 1
  19. Bud Abbott

    Love the ’65 & ’66 Chev wagons but I would have to pass on this rusty thing!

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