The 1965 Chevelle 300 Wagon- Less Doors, More Cool

DSCN4526 We tend to love station wagons – or if you prefer, Estates, although it’s hard to put a finger on just why that is. When it comes to two-door wagons, or, as some of them are known amongst the monied set, Shooting Brakes, that love often turns to lust. For a long time Chevy fed that lust with a series of two-door longroofs for upper crust consumers, starting with the Tri-Five Nomad. Based on the more upright 150 and 210 Handyman wagons, the Nomad is today one of the most highly prized editions of the shoebox Chevy. Did you know however, that the Bow Tie Boys brought the two-door wagon back in the mid-sixties? This Chevelle is not only one of those extremely rare models, it’s also kitted out in pretty lust-worthy fashion. DSCN4524 Offered only in the ’64 and ’65 model years, the 300 two-door wagon was positioned by Chevy not as a stylish suburban hauler, but as a tradesman’s vehicle, serving as a lighter-duty offering to the heavier duty pickup and panel truck. As it was aimed at the commercial sector it came only in base 300 trim level, the 300 Deluxe and Malibu editions adding fancifications and two more doors. That parsimonious presentation doesn’t mean that the Chevelle two-door wagon is also saddled with equally penurious styling. It shared its basic lines – and wheelbase – with the four door wagon, but the doors and B-pillar angle come from the El Camino, and give the car an obvious family resemblance to the Nomads of a decade earlier. DSCN4529 Production numbers of the 300 wagon were minuscule, especially in comparison to those of other Chevelle models. Over the course of its two-year run, only about 620 were built, and of those only 200 came with either the 283 or hotter 327 V8s, the remainder arriving on dealer lots with a six-pot under hood. Total Chevelle production for ’65 alone was over 300,000 vehicles. This one happens to have been one of the lucky 200, and features a clean as a bean 283 under the hood. Backing that up is a Muncie 4-speed. With the manual, the 283 clocked in at 220 horsepower, more than the Powerglide-equipped car’s 195. At 3,275-lbs, the V8-engined 2-door wagon was the heaviest of the 300 models so that extra oomph is handy to have around. DSCN4528 The 300 may have been the least fancy of Chevelles offered in’65, but the seat upholstery is pretty upscale for living on this side of the tracks. A skinny wheel, horn ring, and AM radio that plays through the dash-top speaker are evidence of the car’s era, as are the IP-mounted ignition switch and wicked-cool dog-leg trigger shifter for the Muncie. Utilitarian or not, this looks like a hip place to hang out. DSCN4527 It’s not just awesome to see so rare an edition of a common car, but also one that hasn’t been mucked up with crazy modernities like chrome alloy wheels and a massive engine, and I applaud the owner for keeping the car so righteous. Considering its rarity and coolness, I think this is a car that you all ought to know. Images ©2014 Hooniverse/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved  

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