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Stored 22 Years! 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air Wagon

After a period of styling excesses, Chevrolet toned down the appearance of their full-size automobiles in 1961 (no more “batwings”). The 1962s were even crisper in appearance and may be the best that Chevy had to offer that decade (IMO). This ’62 six-passenger station wagon is the mid-level Bel Air in terms of trim. With just two prior owners, it’s nicely preserved after being off the road since 2002. Located in Syracuse, New York, this vintage people mover is available here on eBay where the current bid is $6,600 (the reserve is still in play).

Chevrolet’s station wagons had a bit of an identity crisis in the late 1950s/early 1960s. In 1958, they were named after the full-size cars they were based on. Then in 1959-61, they had their own identities (the Bel Air wagon, for example, was the Parkwood). In 1962, things went back to what they were before. Chevy built 187,500 full-size 4-door wagons in ’62, labeled as Biscaynes, Bel Airs, and Impalas. This one looks like a great survivor which still sports much of its original paint.

As the story goes, the seller bought the wagon from its second owner, who had it since 1964. For reasons unknown, it was taken off the road in ’02 and stored for many years. Other than a bit of rust in a couple of places which appear minor, the wagon presents quite well (a little primer grey on the passenger side doors). The seller has not washed it, so it looks grand for its captivity.

The wagon runs, but its 283 cubic inch V8 is tired at 70,000 miles and there is a lifter tick. The motor is paired with a 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission which we assume is okay. No mention is made of any mechanical work done to get the vehicle back on the road, so you should assume more is needed to make that happen. The interior is nice thanks to the plastic covers over the seats that have been removed (except for one). If you’re into vintage wagons, this Chevy might be a nice original to tool around in if you can sort out the 283.

Comments

  1. Avatar photo 8banger Member

    I LOVE the dashes on 62s. I nearly grafted one into my Galaxie…

    Like 6
  2. Avatar photo Harrison Reed

    Very much like the ’61 my parents had, just crisper and nicer-looking: same dashboard and controls. Good car. Syacuse isn’t far away. But why is the 283 “tired” after only 70,000 miles? Are we sure it’s not 170,000?

    Like 19
    • Avatar photo Big C

      It’s a Chevy?

      Like 3
      • Avatar photo Diane

        Yep. It’s a Chevy. We had one the same color when I was growing up. A lot of camping trips and drive-in movies in it.

        Like 6
      • Avatar photo Bob C.

        Dad had a couple of Chevys, a 64 with a 283 and a 68 with a 307. I have the upmost respect for Chevy small blocks, but both needed valve jobs at slightly under 100,000 miles. Then again, he wasn’t exactly a stickler about frequent oil changes.

        Like 3
    • Avatar photo al

      think you may be right more like 170k had a few 283 s and at 70k were still going strong

      Like 6
    • Avatar photo Duaney

      My first thought, no 283 should be “tired” at 70K.

      Like 2
      • Avatar photo Fred

        Yea but cheap gas poor maintenance, and driving it hard dose cause a toll on longevity!

        Like 1
  3. Avatar photo RICKIRICK

    Mom bought a 66 Belair wagon brand new with 5 youngin’s by then, me being the oldest. Dad was on his 2nd tour in Vietnam. We were in Maine then, Michigan after that. They traded it in 6 years later on a 72 Impala sedan. The 66 was ziebarted so it still looked good. Had a 283 also. Had 66,000 on it. Ironically, I got my license in 72. Wagon or not, I should have bought it from my folks. What a car!

    Like 17
    • Avatar photo Gary L Buffkin

      In my early 20’s, one of my best friends had one of these that his grandmother gave him (light brown) that he did diesel truck service work on the week ends out of. The car’s name was “Clarabell” and she was dependable and smooth! I just sent him several screen shots. I’m 62 now and still remember her fondly. Thanks for a great memory.

      Like 3
  4. Avatar photo Chris Cornetto

    I like this. I had a two tone light green one with white roof, a 64. I used that car for commuting, hauling and so on. It took a hit in the left quarter and I replaced it. The big issue was the chassis was rusty and going into work one morning, the section where the shock mounted broke off. Boing, boing, boing. I went and found a frame and there it sat. I recently got rid of it as I would never have gotten to it. Mine had power windows, gate, and tilt. This car looks nice. The 283 moves these fine. That’s what mine had and it rolled along nice.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo Kenneth Campbell

      I like this one too. I bought a 1961 Chevy Parkwood wagon while still in High school. It had a 283 with a power glide but also had the rare 9 passenger option with a seat in the cargo compartment facing back. And a power rear window. Paid 200.00 for it off a lot on 82nd in Portland OR in 1974. Had no idea how rare the Parkwood wagons were. A fun car it handled really well. Wish I had that one back.

      Like 0
  5. Avatar photo timothy r herrod

    My dad bought one of these in the early 70’s 6 cylinder three on the tree, needed one with 6 of us kids not that he took us anywhere except to grandmas house. My oldest brother ended up with it and I remember having to get out and help push it up hills, it ran really crappy for awhile. Later on I found out why, he was hitting up some farmers fuel tank and the farmer got wise to it so he filled it up with water. Apparently a few others were doing the same thing

    Like 7
  6. Avatar photo Tom Verdrramo

    Remember back in the day when these hit the used car lots almost all the odometers were turned back, this was almost a universal practice in the 60’s and 70’s so I would say definately past 100k miles, those 283 engines would easily run 150k mi without many major repairs. Still a nice piece of nostalgia family Americana deserves some rehab or restoration, remember it will only be original once. What is it worth? Interesting to see what the bidding brings!

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo Joe Haska

    Bid near 10 K now and wouldn’t be a surprise if it goes higher. Not a fan of 4 doors but this would temp me to make an exception.

    Like 7
  8. Avatar photo FBD

    Really nice car. My first car was a ’65 Malibu wagon with a 283, would love to have that one back. As for the 283 in this one, lifter tick is nothing. More important is whether or not it’s burning oil. I could pull the manifold and replace the lifters in an hour.

    Like 4
  9. Avatar photo RichardinMaine

    Family friend had one with a 327/ 4 bbl.
    Factory sleeper.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Art Engel

      It’s at over 11k now and reserve not met! Where’s this car from? Certainly not the northeast, it would be dust by now, one of the harshest environments in the country as far as rust.

      Like 3
    • Avatar photo Terry Bowman

      My friends parents had a 409/4bbl in the same color wagon.

      Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Bill Toel

    Gents,
    I’m looking for a project and I think this girl is beautiful. She’s the same age as me. I have medium skills regarding vehicle mechanics. My question is: Would you take this on?

    Like 5
  11. Avatar photo Norman K Wrensch

    Back in the time that this was on the road all of the cars were lucky if they made it to 100,000 miles with out needing a rebuild. With all of the oil dilution from the carburetor’s and lower quality oils everything just wore out faster. I was in the auto repair business at that time and there was a huge amount of engine rebuilding being done then. A car like this at 170,000 miles would of rebuilt at least once if not twice, unless it was an all highway then it may have made it to 170,000 buit would of been shot by then.
    The parts that were in them was about the same, just the carbs and the stuff that was run through them, that killed them.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo al

      in the 50s you where lucky to get 80k without a rebuild remember the old Ford flathead some had sleeves to make rebuild easier the cly walls had a removable sleeve for doing a ring job which it needed offen

      Like 3
  12. Avatar photo Al

    Bought a used ’59 Chev wagon one fall to run while my TR-4 rested out the snow season in Corning, NY. A 6cyl powerslide wagon, good tires, served very well, Sold it the following spring for more than I paid for it. One of those cars I wish I had back. Comfortable, drove decent, did exactly what was expected. Good, honest wagon.

    Like 4
  13. Avatar photo Harvey Hampton

    My experience with Chevy V8 engines with lifter noise is a bad cam. Last lobe gets worn down so it’s more than replacing a rocker arm and or lifter.

    Like 0
  14. Avatar photo Arthur Taylor

    Very nice car.I owned a 61 Chevy Impala. I sold the car in 74 for 450.00, still kicking my self for that.

    Like 2
  15. Avatar photo Headturner

    The bottom of the driver side rear door is toasty to say the least. When you can see rust, there is more you cannot see. Price is getting to the point that it needs a good inspection.

    Like 2
  16. Avatar photo John Ralph Swartz

    Wouldn’t it be neat if you could fit that on top of a Suburban 4×4 frame and drivetrain ???

    Like 0

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