Rare Third Row: 1959 Chevrolet Kingswood Wagon

There’s no doubt that classic wagon project builds are continuing to gather pace, and potential buyers love to get their hands on more unusual vehicles. This 1959 Chevrolet Kingswood probably fits that mold and one of its aces is that it features the versatility of third-row seating. It is a rock-solid classic that would make a satisfying project build, and the healthy V8 under the hood serves to increase its desirability. The owner feels that it is time for it to head to a home where someone is willing to recapture its lost youth. It is located in Grand Junction, Colorado, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. The bidding has rocketed past the reserve and sits at $36,059. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Larry D for spotting this classic for us.

The owner believes that most of the paint that graces this wagon’s panels is its original Cameo Coral. It looks tired today, and a cosmetic refresh would do wonders for its appearance. As you will see as we delve deeper, there is evidence that a previous owner may have been planning a color change, but if the buyer strives for originality, it hasn’t reached the point of no return. The panels show little evidence of significant dings or dents, but the big news for any vehicle of this age and type will always revolve around the presence of rust. Potential buyers need not fear because there’s plenty of good news to consider. From the day it rolled off the line until around a year ago, the Kingswood called sunny California home. It moved to its current location and has been stored under cover ever since. A previous owner served in the Navy, and it seems that he was intent on this classic remaining rock solid. As a consequence, the floors and frame have been under-coated, with this protection extending to the inner floors and the insides of the doors. That owner lifted the body from the frame and replaced the pads to ensure that everything was perfect during the process. This is a classic that will require no grinding or welding to whip it into shape. One area where the buyer will need to spend some time and effort is on the paint inside the door closes and the engine bay. The previous owner repainted these areas in blue, and the quality of the workmanship is pretty substandard. Actually, that’s probably being kind because it looks like that owner applied this new paint with a brush. The seller is unsure why they did this but suggests that a color change may have been on the cards. Either way, the buyer will need to strip these areas if they aim for a high-end restoration. The trim and chrome seem to be in a restorable state, although it is worth noting that the roof rack is not included in the sale. It, and a few other NOS parts, can be included, but that would need to be negotiated with the seller. Apart from the driver’s door, the glass is original, and the rear is power operated. The original owner chose some desirable and practical dealer-fit options, including a rear step and the ultra-cool rear exhaust side ports.

The mysteries with this Kingswood continue when we lift the hood. The original owner ordered the car with a 348ci V8 under the hood, but that motor is long gone. In its place is a 327ci powerplant that started life nestled between the fenders of a 1965 Corvette. It isn’t clear which version of the 327 we’re talking about, so the actual power output is an unknown factor. However, since the original 348 punched out 250hp in base form and this was considered an upgrade, I think there should be at least 300hp available under the driver’s right foot. Rounding out this package is a two-speed Powerglide transmission and power steering. The owner admits that this Chevy has been sitting for a while and that it isn’t roadworthy. However, he gives the impression that getting it to that point will require more tinkering and tweaking than the spending of hard-earned cash. The fuel tank is out and cleaned, but the buyer will need to reinstall this. The 327 fires into life on an external fuel source and is said to sound strong. The lack of rust and the generally positive vibes on the mechanical front suggest that getting this Kingswood back on the road in a mechanically sound and safe form should not represent a significant challenge for its new owner. This photo also reveals the blue paint I mentioned earlier and allows you to see how rough it is.

The listing for this Kingswood is frustrating because while the owner supplies a vast selection of photos, many of these won’t load. Sadly, these include almost all of the interior shots. I’ve tried a couple of computers and several browsers, but I still come up short. However, I have been able to ascertain that until recently, the seats wore the clear covers that would’ve been a dealer-installed option. These have protected the upholstery, so the seats are in as-new condition. The previous owner removed the headliner, but the bows are intact. Beyond that, we’re flying blind. I don’t think there is any carpet, but the state of the remaining upholstered surfaces and the dash has a question mark hanging over them. However, the wagon features a rear power window and a six-way power front seat for those seeking a touch of comfort.

Opening the tailgate reveals more blue paint and the third-row seat that adds to this classic’s versatility. Chevrolet claimed that this feature made the Kingswood a genuine nine-seater. However, this rear row is narrower than the others, so fitting three would mean that it is a space for small children only. Beyond that, the seat itself appears to be in excellent order. There is no evidence of wear or physical damage, and if this has ever been used, I suspect it wasn’t often.

This 1959 Chevrolet Kingswood seems to have a lot to offer its next owner, which would help explain the solid bidding. It is a shame that it isn’t a numbers-matching classic because that will impact its potential value. It seems that it might not take much work to return it to a roadworthy state, and that would leave its new owner the option of restoring it as time and circumstances allow. It is a vehicle that makes a bold statement, and it would be eye-catching once the buyer has completed their work. Given how straightforward this appears, do you find yourself tempted to make a play for this classic?

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Comments

  1. Cadmanls Member

    What is with that blue paint, it’s everywhere. Nice car and every 327 is a vette motor.

    Like 6
    • Monica Smith

      Beat me to the claim about every 327 being a vette motor. Same with every swapped 283

  2. Howard A Member

    See,,,,The,,,USA in your Chevrolet,,,this, my friends in case you missed it, was the car Dinah Shore sang about( among others until 1963) The ’59 Chevy was the height of her campaign, and for good reason. America, in the late 50’s, was on the move. These were the cars we all piled in without a seatbelt in the bunch( oh, how did we ever survive?) and off to grandmas in the country we’d go. They did it all, family transport, hauler, and tow vehicle. Everybody here has a station wagon story, and can be relived right here. Somehow, however, barreling down an interstate in this, loses a lot of the zing from those days when the ride down those awful 2 lanes, was part of the trip.

    Like 15
  3. Vance

    36 large for a non-numbers matching engine, hand painted door jams, parts removed, and faded tired paint ? Am I missing something or am I just ignorant, Myself, like many others have come to appreciate the stationwagon, it’s part of Americana, and many of them present well.This could be a very nice car with a lot of money and time. But for that kind of money, it had better be perfect..Somebody must have a very powerful
    memory tied to this car.

    Like 37
  4. JCA

    There are 2 scroll bars, pull the inner one down to see all the pics…

    Like 2
  5. Ras

    We had a Black one which we, of course, called the Batmobile.
    We lived down a half mile dirt and gravel road with two gates we had to open as we crossed a sheep ranch to get to our place. We kids had to “get the gates” rain or shine, and we often rode(sat or stood!) on those horizontal fins between gates and had a blast even with the giant potholes and clouds of dust surrounding us.
    I also recall this was the first car I ever drove out on pavement, sitting in my dad’s lap, and later, aged 10 or so, I soloed many times while driving him home from the bar.
    I think the unspoken deal was “don’t tell mom and you get to drive”
    Keep the wagon, the memories are enough for me ;)

    Like 3
    • Beel

      Ras, be Daddy’s eyes.

  6. George Louis

    For $36 Large it would seem to me the seller could let go of the roof rack to the new owner. I would like to know what the current owner’s plan is instore for the roof rack. The “PROFESSIONAL PAINT APPLICATION” reminds me of the time I was walking to elementary school in Northwest Detroit in the early 60s and an old man who lived in the next block , one block away from school had a 1950 Shoe Box Black Ford four door sedan. He took a 1 inch paint brush and proceeded to paint the Ford as it sat in the street parked at the curb in front of his house. He painted the old girl from side to side starting at the bottom of the front passenger fender going up and over the hood to the driver side fender. It took him a couple of days to complete the job. To this day I do not know why he did not spend the $29.95 to have Earl Scheib paint the car.

    Like 1
    • Johnny

      Maybe that was something to spend his time on and he didn,t have anything else to do.

      Like 1
  7. cyclemikey

    Yeah. I’ll believe that bidding when the sale goes through and the money actually changes hands.

    This looks like a Havana special. It would cost you another 20K just to get rid of all that horrible blue paint and disassemble/refinish the car correctly. Plus finding the correct engine to reinstall and getting rid of all the cheap JC Whitney type garbage screwed into the car.

    These aren’t so rare that you couldn’t find a better example for what you’d have in this.

    Like 8
  8. local_sheriff

    Looks like this seller possesses a unique ability to sniff up vintage longroofs – I knew I’d seen that garage before
    https://barnfinds.com/fire-chiefs-wagon-1961-buick-lesabre-estate/

    Like 2
  9. joenywf64

    Must be a fan of ’68 front side marker lights – do they work?
    Would a driver get a summons today putting his or her kids in the rear facing 3rd seat, even if they waved to the driver of the squad car?

    Like 1
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      That might depend whether they’re using all 5 fingers to wave with…

      Like 7
  10. Rosseaux

    As a fan of originality, I get a little misty-eyed to see cloth upholstery surviving in this condition. Especially in wagons, which often got heavy use. Yes, those hateful plastic seat covers would blister your bare flesh in the summer and freeze you through the heaviest winter coats (our poor dog would frantically slide around on them whenever we turned a corner)
    but they did their job for the upholstery.

    Like 2
  11. chuck dickinson

    California car? I didn’t realize there was a South Tacoma, California (license frame). It’s been in Washington during MY lifetime. Those rear bumper steps were not an accessory, they were part of the 9-pass wagon standard fare.

    Like 1
  12. Robert White

    $36k lol.

    I want what the seller is smoking. That’s bad weed, man.

    Bob

    Like 5
    • Steve R

      Why? This is a no reserve auction with a substantially lower opening bid, the seller isn’t responsible for the actions of the bidders.

      Steve R

    • Howard A Member

      Um, bad meaning good? My little town has three(3) weed dispensaries and a huge grow facility just outside town. It’s like buying donuts, easier, in fact since the virus.The age old question remains, does smoking strong weed produce outrageous dollar amounts in classic vehicles? I don’t think so. Unlike legal weed, this is nothing more than good old fashioned American greed, which has been around for generations. FAR OUT, MAN!!!

      Like 2
      • Robert White

        Bad weed is good weed, you’re right, Howard.

        Yes, the era of Gordon Gecko greed is a bit overdone, methinks.

        I’m in CANADA where the weed is plentiful too. Government weed is too expensive for moi. I usually grow my own, but mine is the mild stuff. Strong weed is too strong for me in old age. I’m over the hill at 61 + now.

        I’m a two beer guy now which translates into a joint a day too.

        I’m too cheap to buy from the gubbermint store though.

        I have still yet to buy the old Cheech & Chong car.

        Bob

        Like 2
  13. Johnny C.

    Cool wagon for sure. It would be awesome to see it cleaned up and put to use. The comments about the blue “paint” are proof they didn’t read the description, as it is described in the text. Also this B.S. about “non numbers matching” on a station wagon is a show of ignorance. The 327 is a superior engine to the 348, so consider it an up-grade. If it were a Corvette it would make a difference. To say the 327 is not a ‘Vette engine is speculation from someone who hasn’t proven that fact via running the engine’s numbers. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Oh well, some “know it alls” never learned to keep their yap shut and like to show everyone how much they don’t know. This wagon is rare no doubt. I agree that it’s hard to believe the bidding price but in reality, everything is worth what someone is willing to pay. At least to the buyer. More power to the seller and the buyer for keeping this car alive!

    Like 1
    • 454RAT Member

      Not being smart, but what makes this car rare? Thanks.

      Like 2
  14. 454RAT Member

    Rare? Yes it is!!!!!! They only made 188,623 four door wagons in 1959. That sure isn’t many. $36,000.00 bid so far. I guess if you can’t afford $150,000.00 for a 348 Impala convertible, get the next best thing. (boy, am I out of touch)

    Like 4
  15. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Lots of lipstick on this one and I say run…….from a guy that owns a 1959 also……

    Like 1
  16. George Louis

    With a production volume of 186,623 that is a lot of station wagons no matter how you look at it and especially for a recession year as well. If you allow for 44 weeks of production that means you build 4,286 units a week. If you run your plant 6 days a week you run 39.66 jobs per hour. I am sure they ran other models as well to make up a line rate of 55 jobs per hour, and I would also hazard a guess that at least two Assembly plants built station wagons as well.

    Like 1
  17. ruxvette

    My dad bought 2 1959 Chevrolets; a Cameo Coral with Classic Cream Impala and a Crown Sapphire with Snowcrest White Kingswood wagon. Both cars had the rear upper two tone paint dividers. Assumedly not rare because they had them on both sides, not just one.
    And the wagon was bought at South Tacoma Chevrolet with a license plate frame matching the one on the seller’s car.
    I would love to see the craftsmanship on the “gauges oil and water inset in original dash holes”. I’m sure it’s lovely.

  18. CaCarDude

    Sure would like to see a picture of the dashboard and steering wheel etc. I wonder what happened to the original horns that should be present under the hood front and center.? I just happen to have an original set I removed from a 59 Bel Air with brackets and all I would be willing to part with for the new owner. If this was originally a CA car it would have come with the Black plates, but now shows the one rear Blue plate that came out in 1970.?
    I do give the seller credit for the nice chrome one piece CA rear bumper. The Kingswood was next to the top line station wagon for ’59 Chevy, but I believe the Nomad was the one to have with all the bells and whistles.

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