Project Wagon: 1956 Chevrolet B210 Townsman

Every car guy knows the story of the Tri Five Chevies from 1955-57. Over three years, Chevrolet sold five million 150s, 210s, and Bel Airs, setting the stage for them to dominate U.S. auto production for years to come. This 1956 210-model station wagon is the mid-level entry in the line-up and provides a mostly solid foundation to initiate restoration. It’s missing the original V8 engine, but otherwise, may all be there. Located in Millsap, Texas, this project car is available here on eBay where the opening bid of $3,500 has yet to be cast.

Chevy production for 1956 would almost equal the number built the year before, including this Townsman station wagon that was one of more than 114,000 assembled that year. The seller has owned this 210 for a year or so and believes that it’s all there, with most of the chrome trim being in the back. The wagon is loaded with patina (aka surface rust) but any corrosion worse than that seems to be confined to the rocker panels and tailgate and the floors have been previously patched.

The car looks straight from the photos, which may equate to less time in the body shop whipping it back into shape. The front bench is missing but the back seat is there, and someone appears to have started customizing it given the door panels and steering wheel. It left the factory with a 265 cubic inch V8 (new to Chevy in ’55) and a Powerglide automatic transmission. The motor is long gone but the transmission is sitting inside the passenger compartment. Whether it requires anything other than an installation is unknown.

Buyers who require a title should keep looking as a Bill of Sale is all that will come with the car. The odometer reading is said to be around 65,000, but whether that’s accurate is anyone’s guess. A wagon like this will bring less than a comparable Bel Air, but a fraction of what a Nomad would fetch. Since there is no trail of bidding activity so far, this project may be obtainable for the opening bid or a little more. Good buy or good-bye?


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  1. Terrry

    Of the tri-5s, the ’56 is my personal favorite. And this one has good bones to work with. Hopefully the price stays reasonable.

    Like 7
  2. Chris Webster

    Anyone care to photoshop one with a raked forward B & C pillar? A four door Nomad.


    It amazes me to see this with the oem wheels and hubcaps but just a ruse. The 1980’s steering wheel and missing radio means it has been monkeyed with.

    Why would the bench seat be missing? Because not all that long ago many passed on four doors and the bench seats were going for $500. The V8 went the same way I bet. Wonder what else went South?

    Nice builder but just throwing in a motor isn’t all one will need. Add about $12,000 to the tally which might include paint if you do it yourself and happen to work for free, Nice to see but wouldn’t want the headache of yet another project sitting.

    Like 1
  4. HC

    Man this one sure makes that 1966 Plymouth Sports Fury111 wagon you had posted last week, look so much better. Although it seems like a pretty solid rolling 4 door chassis, she’s too much of a project for me.

    Like 1
  5. gaspumpchas

    Nice 56, lots of patches. Might be cool to leave the paint as is, paint the hood and throw a reliable mill in with dualies. Looks like good bones as Terry said. I’m surprised that it hasnt been overly hacked up. Good luck and happy motoring!

    Like 2
  6. John Jacobs

    In the mid-60s I was a mechanic at a Chevy dealer – bought a clean ’55 210 2-door wagon for my new family for $125, dropped in a 327 Fuelie (I was the Fuelie guy and you couldn’t give FI units away at that time), 4-spd, Mustang buckets and a Wonderbar radio(!) My wife loved street racing in her “fastest grocery-getter in town” 😎.

    Like 1

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