CC Capsule: 1959 Chevrolet Parkwood – In Flagrante Derelicto

Even lowered to within an inch of its life, partially stripped and rusting slowly outside a small Tokyo garage, stuck next to a pile of tyres and a ravaged Nissan 200SX, there’s something otherworldly about a ’59 Chevrolet – especially in wagon form.

This thing has been modified a lot, so I’m kind of guesstimating the Parkwood denomination here. But the big chrome side-spear computes, and it looks like there’s no third seat in the cargo area. I say “Looks like” because it’s not easy to tell…

That cargo area was quite full of various things, so perhaps a set could exist in there somewhere. But it looks like this is a six-seater. I love the shape of that third window, with that reverse pre-Hofmeister kink up there. That particular design feature immediately reminded of the Lancia wagon I wrote up a couple years back. It had a similar thing, only they put a little Lancia shield up there. Chevy could have fit a bowtie there. Pity nobody thought of that. Too busy adding trowels of chrome to the rest of the car, I suppose.

Everyone (myself included) has ranted and raved about the beady-eyed bat-winged horror show that is the ’59 Chevy’s rear end. But let’s not forget how odd the front end is too. This example, whose hood was cleaned of many chrome trinkets, shows this in an even starker way than a fully stock car would.

Those eyebrows set atop the quad headlamps give that car a sort of “permanently stunned” face; that reminds me of those botched facelifts that leave people without the ability to frown. Of course, it also echoes the rear end in a way, with this sort of horizontal fin theme, but it looks worried or surprised, not batwing crazy.

Mind you, when these were on the production line, I guess the front end looked straight into the nefarious cat’s eyes of the rear end of the car that preceded it. That’ll permanently stun you.

Not a single door card in the whole wagon. Mind you, that instructs us as to the car’s original colour, which is interesting. That lamentable floor shifter has one merit: the handle is shaped like a Christian icon. Cue the old classic: “I don’t care whether it rains or freezes / As long as I got my Plastic Jesus…” I wonder if the present owner of this car knows this quintessential page of the American songbook.

I had no idea Chevrolet referred to their 1959 styling as their “new Slimline design” until I found this advert, but I suppose if you compare these to the ’58s, they do look somewhat trimmer. Everything is relative though, and these ‘59s are beer-bellied mastodons under their relatively dainty and airy greenhouse.

I really hope someone is going to give this sad-looking Chevy the TLC it desperately needs to get going again. Nothing sadder than a nearly complete and relatively rare (in these climes anyway) classic going to seed. This one looks like it’s been sitting here a couple seasons at least, so it’s about time to relocate it indoors.

Here’s hoping the coming year brings this wagon a tasteful restoration. One can always hope for the best, no matter how unlikely it may be. And I might use this opportunity to wish all of the CCommunity my best wishes, however bleak present circumstances may be, for this holiday season. See you in the New Year!


Related posts:


Museum Classic: 1959 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe – The Chevy Horror Picture Show, by T87

Curbside Classic: 1959 Chevrolet Biscayne – The Original Art Car, by PN

Cohort Outtake: 1959 Chevrolet Biscayne – Bat Wings for Cheapskates, by PN

Curbside Classic: 1959 Chevrolet Impala- Holy Batwing Die Cast Dreams, by Laurence Jones

Cohort Outtake; 1959 Chevrolet Parkwood Wagon – Lots of Woods, But No Woodie, by PN

CC Capsule: 1959 Chev El Camino – Been Here A While, by JohnH875

Curbside Classic: 1959 Chevy El Camino- Unrestrained Exuberance, by David Skinner

Curbside Classic: 1959 Chevrolet El Camino – I Have Seen Many Strange And Amazing Things In America, by PN