Tim Finn has found another gem from his hometown of Portlandia, whose motto is “Keep It Weird”. This time, it’s Rev. Bill’s Vacation Bible Camp-mobile, and based on a 1972 Chevy “clamshell” wagon. How perfect.
If you couldn’t see that the 71-76 Chevy sedan was gargantuan, a look at the same year’s wagon should have told you this car was ridiculously huge.
Aside from their size, I never really cared for the styling of these Chevys. If I absolutely had to have a big GM wagon of this period I would have bought a Pontiac…the best looking car of all these wagons.
In my experience of this era, F/S wagons were bought by suburban dads for their wives to haul the kids around in during the week. And there were 2 kinds of these dads:
Dad #1 was interested in status, and perhaps his wife’s comfort. He’d buy her a Buick Estate wagon, or an Olds Custom Cruiser. (Or a Mercury Colony Park, if he was so inclined.)
Dad #2 was more pragmatic, and knew the kids were going to trash the car anyhow, and bought a fairly basic Chevy or Ford wagon.
I don’t recall seeing more than a handful of Pontiac Safari or Grand Safari wagons. (Or anything at all from MoPar, aside from the occasional Dodge Royal Monaco wagon.)
I think it says a lot that dad, after leaving the Chevrolet dealership, always had a Caprice wagon in the driveway, but his choices were interesting: A 1966 bought as part of his severance from the dealership, a 1970 (we kept the ’66 for awhile as a relatively dirty load hauler) and . . . . . a 1977.
While he never said anything openly about the cars, under no condition did he ever consider buying a 1971-76. In fact, keeping a car seven years was at least double his previous record.
After the ’77, Buick LeSabre wagons took the Caprice’s place, starting with a 1981. And a diesel, no less
All of the clamshells use C body rear doors for the extra walkthrough space to the forward facing wayback seat.
In my opinion, the Chevy has the best-looking rear end of the 71-76 B body wagons, because it’s the only one without finlets. Also, its clean lines and side profile make it the best looking model when the fake woodgrain paneling was deleted.
As for the Pontiac the early years are good particularly with the woodgrain’s top molding following the Coke-bottle sculpturing, but that clashes with the final square-headlight front in a way that screams “old facelifted car, front and back are from two different eras” even from 45 years’ distance.
In the interest of saying something nice, the ‘72 Chevy grille is my favorite of the ‘71 to ‘76 series… and that’s certainly a swell collection of bumper stickers.
Great shots. Even the paint and graphics have an early 70s vintage look and feel. I could see this being driven by former childhood Pentecostal preacher and evangelist Marjoe Gortner in one of his stranger 70s acting roles.
Marjoe got up close and personal with eternally yummy Lynda Carter before she got the Wonder Woman role. Pics are on the ‘Net but aren’t safe for work.
This is why you don’t wrap plastic dry cleaning bags around your head when you are a kid.
“Thou shall not Tailgate, lest you render thy clamshell tailgate non-functional”.
It may be hot in hell, but not as hot as sitting on the vinyl seats in that Chevy wagon while wearing shorts.
Looks like this wagon is ready to join the Houston Art Car Parade for next year. This year’s was cancelled due to CCP19.
I’m sorry but one look at that and I’d be certain to not send my kids to Rev Bill’s camp.
Look at the roof sign (“Thou shall not tailgate!”), this must be the reverend’s favorite beer:
I think this is the coolest car I’ve ever seen.
I don’t care if it rains or freezes
Long as I got my plastic Jesus
Glued to the dashboard of my car
You can buy him phosphorescent
Glows in the dark, he’s pink and pleasant
Take him with you when you’re traveling far.
I don’t care if it’s dark and scary
Long as I’ve got Magnetic Mary
Sitting on the dashboard of my Jeep.
I never cared for the front end of the ’72 Impalas……The ’71 had the nicest grille of the ’71-’76 generation in my opinion.
One story that I have heard is that the front ends of the ’71’s were said to have looked too similar to a Cadillac so Chevy went out of its way to tone down the front end of the ’72’s.
I’m not quite sure what to think of that car. Not being religious, I’d wonder what was going on in the mind of whoever decided to make a holy roller out of an otherwise perfectly serviceable ‘72 Chevy station wagon. Oh well. To each his own.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
About Arras WordPress Theme
Copyright 2011 - 2021 Curbside Classics. All Rights Reserved.