A little while back, I was driving along a main road getting on with things. As has become a habit, I was taking the occasional glance into the side streets to see if any CC might present themselves to me. I’m usually looking for the glint of a chrome bumper, it’s the quickest way to spot an oldie.
This one time, I thought I had just seen a colonnade wagon.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. The 73 Chevelle wagons only had four lights set in the rear bumper. But give me a break, over the last year I’ve managed to capture four different colonnades – more than any other US classic for some bizarre reason. So it seemed entirely possible that what I had barely glimpsed, clean one-piece tailgate and bumper-set rear lights, was yet another.
I took the next side street and made my way around to the car I’d just seen. Wait on…
A 1968 Chevrolet Impala wagon! One of my favourite US shapes. I was both thrilled and confused.
As any self-respecting lover of the 1968 B-body Chevrolet would know, the rear lights weren’t set into the bumper on the wagon. They took their place on the tailgate and rear edge of the fenders.
It was the four-doors and two-doors that had the bumper-set lights; four for the Biscayne and Bel Air, and six for the Impala and Caprice. So what was I looking at?
Someone had gone to a lot of effort to fabricate a wagon rear on a pillared sedan body.
This 68 had clearly been modified to accommodate hearse duties. Which is a bit weird. The 68 B-bodies were brought into Australia in small numbers including (I believe) some wagons. I think what we’re looking at here is a car that might have already been owned by funeral house for widow duties, that was subsequently morphed into a casket carrier. Just guessing, feel free to contribute your own theories.
As you can see, these variants differed from the b-pillar back. The wagon had fuller rear quarter panels aft of the rear wheel, and the c-pillar was cornered where the sedan’s was curved.
Engine callout is 327. Minor trim additions in the spooky theme. Massive fan of both longroofs and 68 CheBs here, but I really don’t know how I feel about this one.