CAL-RODS FEATURED CAR FOR MARCH 2015
by RAY MAHONEY
OWNERS: JOHN & LINDA GLASS
YEAR: 1955 MODEL: CHEVROLET 210 HANDYMAN STATION WAGON
PAINT: GUN METAL/CHARCOAL GRAY & SILVER.
ENGINE: 350 CI TRANSMISSION: TURBO 350
MATTSON RADIATOR & HORSE COLLAR
VINTAGE AIR REAR END RATIO: 3.00 : 1
1 ½ “ HEIDT DROP SPINDLES
1955 was not the first year for Chevrolet to have a true OHV V-8; but it was the first successful V-8. It was also the first year for Chevrolet to introduce the ‘shoe box’ body, which Ford had since 1949. Out were the three hump hoods & in with a more sleek design with a wrap around windshield. While the ’55 Bel Air models grabbed all the attention, the wagons were relegated to big families & later the surfer crowd.
Station wagons bring back a nostalgic time of family outings to the beach, picnics or drive-in movies. This head turning classic ‘Long Roof’ belonging to John & Linda Glass however says cruising in style, comfort, & of course hot rodding. John’s been a hot rod guy since age 15, inspired by his father, a mechanic in WWII, & a hot rodder too. John’s first car, a 1935 Chevy Coupe, was a project he bought from a neighbor for $25. Soon it was on to a ’41 Studebaker Champion, & a ’55 Ford Ranch Wagon, but was interrupted when John joined the Navy. He flew into Vietnam in 1968 during the Tet Offensive as the air strip was being mortared & a year later left with the field being mortared again. John was stationed on the Mekong Delta in Nha Be Naval Support Activity Base as a support team for the Navy seals. Once out of the Navy it wasn't long before he was back into hot rods, dirt bikes & motorcycles. John rode a Harley Davidson for 25 years but decided that with a family it was time to sell his Harley & found a person at the Pomona Swap Meet who would trade him the ’55 wagon for his motorcycle. His friends thought he was crazy but John saw the possibilities in a Salmon/Peach colored station wagon with fender skirts.
Originally painted Shoreline Beige & Glacier Blue with a 265ci engine from the G.M .factory in Van Nuys it’s all Californian just like John & Linda, both born & raised in California. With a total production of 29,419 model 210 wagons built in 1955 one would expect to see more of them today; even so it wouldn't be as cool as this one. Sporting a 350 small block, a turbo 350 trans, CPP steering, ceramic coated Hedman Hedder exhaust & the biggest A/C ‘Vintage Air’ manufactures to cool the large cavernous interior for those Hot August Nights in Reno that John & Linda love to attend.
John and Linda take their wagon to Cal-Rods cruises, In-N-Out, Hot August Nights in Reno, Dr. George car show & plenty of local Veteran car shows.