CAL-RODS FEATURED CAR FOR SEPTEMBER 2015
By Ray Mahoney
OWNER: MARK BOWER
1959 CHEVROLET BROOKWOOD 2 DOOR 6 PASSENGER STATION WAGON
WORK IN PROGRESS
ENGINE: 350 CID SMALL BLOCK CHEVY TRANSMISSION: 700R4
FRONT DISC BRAKES
Ah 1959; seems like yesterday. The new Lincoln penny, Buddy Holly dies, Barbie doll makes her debut, Fidel Castro takes control of Cuba, Hawaii and Alaska admitted to United States, and the Dodgers win the World Series. In the Auto world: Ford cancelled the Edsel on November 19th and Chevy introduced the El Camino (1959-1960 and 1964-1987). Also in ’59; Chevrolet retooled again with an all-new line of cars, sporting ‘bat-wings’ and cat eye taillights and a new line of wagons starting with the Brookwood model as an entry-level wagon, the Parkwood and new Kingswood were mid range and the Nomad at the top.
The 1959 2 door station wagon was the platform for the El Camino in ‘59 and ‘60 and rumor has it that some dealerships would convert their non-selling inventory of wagons into El Caminos. The buyer could always tell by the rear seats folded down in the truck bed. Rumor or fact? Not sure, but one thing is true, the 2 door is a favorite of hot rodders and collectors; and a hard find.
Mark Bower, a soft spoken unassuming man, with a wealth of auto information, spent 20 years working for the City of Pasadena and has plans to finish his ’59 with a surf look. The plan is to top it with a roof rack, surfboard and appropriate window stickers. Even turning the spare tire well into an ice chest; kind of a party wagon if you will. A California build, originally with a 6 cylinder, spent its early years in Northern California; will now have a SoCal look.
Shown here fresh out of the paint shop, its next step is upholstery and then let the cruise’n begin.