1964 Chevelle Vista Cruiser

Discussion in 'General Station Wagon Discussions' started by jaunty75, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. jaunty75

    jaunty75 Middling Member

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    Yes, you read that right. Saw this at the Dr. George Charity car show in Palm Springs, California last weekend. Wonderful show. Over 1000 cars (including lots of wagons, which I'll post some photos of as soon as I get them all sorted).

    Included among all those wagons was this. If they didn't make what you wanted back in the day, you can make one yourself. Pontiac and Chevy never offered raised-roof wagons...until now. It's a woody, too. And a two-door.

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  2. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    The fact they used Elco rear quarters shows Chevrolet's short-sightedness on the wagon and Elco bodies, as they did not have parts commonality, as Ford did for their Rancheros and wagons.
     
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  3. wagoninsane

    wagoninsane Well-Known Member

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    I love Vistas and I really like Chevelle wagons but something just doesn't sit right with me on this particular build. I have been trying to figure out what that is since I saw it but can't put my finger on it???....Longroofs Rule!
     
  4. joe_padavano

    joe_padavano Well-Known Member

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    How are ElCo quarters any different from those on a Chevy 300 2dr wagon? The originals on the car below look just like the ones on the yellow car. I suspect that the builder used repro "ElCo" quarters to replace the rusty originals because no one markets them as "300 wagon" quarters. :rolleyes:

    And frankly, given the number of people looking for Vista glass for a real Vista, that's just a waste.


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  5. RMay

    RMay Well-Known Member

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    I like the build, but not too fond of the Woodie look. ElCamino's are built on Station Wagon platforms and the quarter panels are 3" longer than the regular car panels. They did make some 2door wagon in 64 and 65. I have been working on a similar 2door conversion on my 66 Malibu Wagon and once saw someone had put a Vista Cruiser roof on a 64 or 65 Wagon. Initially I considered it but found locating a decent roof with good glass is not easy and involves more fabrication design changes than what I was interested in doing. I am sticking with my original roof which will maintain more of a factory look that will probably confuse a lot of people like some of the other builds I have done. IMG_6131.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
  6. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Hillbilly Deluxe

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    Interesting...
    I like the concept, but not sure I like the final product. I'm kind of like wagoninsane, can't quite put my finger on it.
    Perhaps it's the fact that the woodgrain doesn't extend to the front fenders.
    I don't know. It's unique and it looks like the builder did a nice job.
     
  7. Krash Kadillak

    Krash Kadillak Well-Known Member

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    I'm a bit confused by this one, as to how it was put together.....
    As Joe showed in the pic he posted, Chevy did sell 2-door Chevelle wagons in '64 and '65...
    - In this builder's detail sign on display though, it states, "4 doors made into 2 doors". Is he saying this one USED to be a 4-door? I suppose that could be one possibility, since the factory 2-door wagons are quite expensive on the open market. If you have the fabrication skills, you could just 'make' your own, since pretty much all the parts needed are out there.

    Nicely done....
     
  8. joe_padavano

    joe_padavano Well-Known Member

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    Of course that's what it means. Real 2dr 300 wagons are extremely rare and valuable. No one would cut one up. This builder took a much more common 4dr wagon, used repro ElCo quarters, and welded in a Vista roof.

    And the reason why this thing looks "off" is because none of the feature lines coincide. On a Vista, the divider bar between the front roof window and the side roof windows is an extension of the C-pillar coming up from behind the back doors. On the 2dr Chevelle, that alignment is lost and you have a number of discordant lines that don't match up. This unfortunately is often overlooked by "garage stylists" like this. Yeah, the faux wood doesn't help either.

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  9. KevinVarnes

    KevinVarnes Well-Known Member

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    He seems to be going for the '50 Ford two door woody wagon look with the wood grain. I'm not sure if it works for me. I think either the wood grain or the Vista roof would work okay by themselves, but not together.
     
  10. Poison_Ivy

    Poison_Ivy Shovelhead

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    Maybe, he supposes that the new owner will have the option of peeling that vinyl back off. It would be much easier than to peel that roof off and donate it to a needy glassless Olds genuine Vista Cruiser owner
     
  11. wagoninsane

    wagoninsane Well-Known Member

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    Joe I think you hit the nail on the head! I couldn't have said it any better! I definitely don't like the wood grain it doesn't look like something that would have come from the factory. The craftsmanship does look good though....Longroofs Rule!
     
  12. joe_padavano

    joe_padavano Well-Known Member

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    That "woodgrain" is paint, not vinyl.
     
  13. Poison_Ivy

    Poison_Ivy Shovelhead

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    That renders the issue even more to complications, Joe. That must explain why he lost interest in doing the fenders. Had he first used a vinyl mock-up, he could then visually assess it to the point to where he could competently judge if fake woodgrain were to be a good idea or not. Since he went ahead and started painting it, he might have noticed that it looked awkward. But, then discovered that he was at a practical point of no return which would mean either carrying the kitschig paint on to the finish line or apply paint remover and then having to redo the yellow to match the rest of the car. At some point, he must have concluded that it would suffice to match both sides of the car and just leave it at that, instead of to go all the way and waste even more time defiling the fenders also
     
  14. joe_padavano

    joe_padavano Well-Known Member

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    Or....

    He was just going for this look.

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  15. Krash Kadillak

    Krash Kadillak Well-Known Member

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    I believe Joe is correct in what the builder was going for. Doesn't quite work, IMO, but the '50 Ford was the inspiration.

    Also, to add to what Joe is saying about the look of the roof, you are also dealing with a wheelbase that is 5 inches shorter on the Chevelle than the wheelbase of the sky-roofed Olds and Buick wagons for '64 and '65. The 'sky-wagons' wheelbase was stretched 5 inches to accommodate a forward-facing third seat.
     

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