Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Hidden Jewel: 1969 Kingswood Estate Wagon

 1969 Chevy Kingswood wagon parked in front of Dairy Freeze stand.

Long gone! Do you know what Granite Falls, Washington was known for? People there just leave their 1969 Kingswood Estate Wagons under carports to taunt unsuspecting travelers such as Chris Dear from Byram, Mississippi. They “were” known for antics such as that because Chris bought the last one!

This Kingswood wagon had to be the last one. Its option list is so long that it probably had two window stickers because all the goodies would not fit on just one! Junkyard Life Pal and wagon enthusiast Chris knew this was special…and he was right.

Top of the line, highest trim, top shelf, high priced, Grey Poupon, house in the Hamptons buyers with impeccable taste were the demographic for this wagon. If family man or soccer mom needed a station wagon, they could have had one much cheaper than this. This buyer knew what he or she was doing. 

Chris brings the Butternut Yellow wagon back to Mississippi and the fun began. Junkyard Life loves research and codes. Chris had them all for us. This wagon is full of things any wagon would love to have. Comfort and trim aplenty with power windows, power locks, cruise control, air conditioning, luggage rack, and to rock its easy trip down the highway, an AM/FM 8-track found its way into the comfortable cabin. Wagon-only goodies such as a rear air deflector and the awesome tailgate that had an identity crisis. Do we install a tailgate or a swinging door? Tailgate or swinging door? Tailgate or…Can’t decide? How about BOTH! A dual-action tailgate that lays down like a tailgate or swings open like a door! Which ever you need it to do. So cool.

This tailgate folds down or swings out. Multifunction tailgates are not a new thing. 

This vehicle was made to move on down to the next adventure. Traveling must have been on the mind of the buyer who ordered this Butternut Boogiemobile to be powered by a 300HP 350-V8. Plenty of power and torque to move this trip down the road. Want to go extra fast? Someone did, seeing as this wagon has a 2.59:1 geared 12-bolt rear end. Cross country at speed all day and not even trying hard.

Peepers closed
Now, we love love love rare options. Who doesn’t? Chris makes us green with envy. Chevrolet didn’t just give a buyer everything. They had to jump through some hoops to get this one….Hide Away Headlights! Super cool! In order to get this rare option, one had to opt for the higher trim level of the Kingswood Estate Wagon. The regular Kingswood and subsequent lower trim packages stood not a chance. The hidden lamps lended themselves a classy and powerful presence. 

So, now that Chris has this ultra cool piece of automotive history, what does he plan to do? He promises to use this new power for good instead of evil and make all the Power Tours and Cruising the Coast that he can. He is making us jealous and that is kind of evil, but what can we mere mortals do? I hope he lets us cruise with him!

Ron Kidd
— Junkyard Life

Butternut Yellow and hidden headlights make this 1969 Chevy Kingswood wagon stand out on the road. Notice the lack of woodgrain down the side?

Junkyard Life Full Size Wagon Fun Facts:

  • In 1969 “Bewitched” was sponsored by Chevrolet. In the episode where Samantha was having a baby, Darrin is rushing her to the hospital in a new 1969 Caprice with Hide Away headlights!
  • Chris’s wagon demands a sharp eye. Although it appears to be the original engine, he found the power plant to be a 72 era Small Block 400. Whomever the transplanter was did a great job. It fooled us!
  • The hidden headlamps were offered for the first time on the full size Chevy in 1968. It has been suggested that they only could be found on 427 Caprices and such equipped wagons. Not many people have seen or even know of the option on the 1969 models.
  • 1969 was the last year for the 327 engine. It could be had in wagons as the base V8, despite the 307 starting to make appearances on other vehicles in the line up.
  • Though often adorned in wood grain this example shows no signs of it. It has enjoyed a re-paint at some time in the past.
  • Chris’s wagon was born in Canada. It is pure Chevrolet seeing as Canadian Pontiac buyers often found a Chevrolet power plant under the hood.
  • New on the wagon and even at the time of Chris gaining ownership…this wagon had our favorite wheels! The finned hubcaps we speak of all the time. Chris went with a more modern rolling stock, which leaves two options. Junkyard Life suggest these should be either in the Smithsonian or in Ron’s garage.*
  • If you wonder where the build sheet (body broadcast sheet) is located in a 1969 Kingswood Estate Wagon, mystery solved…under the rear seat! (Or the middle seat in 3rd row equipped wagons such as Chris’s car.)

Editors Note:
We knew Ron could not survive this article without mentioning those cool finned caps. He is our resident hub cap nerd. 

Do you have a car story?
Send us details and we’re on the way!
Send emails to Jody Potter at
and Ron Kidd at

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Field of Dreams 1959 Corvette

1959 Corvette was dug out of a field where it was parked 34 years ago.

Where dreams are made. Dan Stachowiak of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina found his field of dreams Corvette in a field. A friend-of-a-friend told him there was an old Vette from the 1950s stashed in a field in North Carolina. 

“And it hasn’t moved since 1987?

It sounded like a wild goose chase but Stachowiak made the trip across the state line and found his dream car buried in dirt all the way up to the axles. He spent a few hours in the brutal heat digging out a piece of Corvette history. This C1 (first gen 1953-1962) has great patina and an even greater story, which makes Stachowiak's Corvette priceless. 

Rear of 1959 Corvette sitting on dirt road after it was dug out of a field.
The fiberglass body of the 1959 Corvette shows no signs of ever being wrecked.

What is it?

A 1959 Chevrolet Corvette. One-of-9,760 built. It wears the original Snowcrest White paint and Frost Blue dash. It was parked in a field by the long-time owner in 1987. That owner bought it when new or nearly new, according to the family that sold it to Stachowiak. He says he got a fair price for the as-found condition Corvette. 

Last registered in 1987. It has been sitting longer than it was actively driven. The odometer shows 15,510 miles. Stachowiak thinks it rolled over at least once. A few modifications were done during its almost 30 years on the road.

Steering wheel and gauges of 1959 Corvette field find.
The weathered Frost Blue dash reveals 15,510 on the odometer. 

Don't ask

Stachowiak has been offer stupid money as the car sits. The current condition is ripe for a full restoration to many would-be buyers but Stachowiak is ecstatic to have found his holy grail patina project. With the exterior of the car in this weathered condition, he will not be afraid to drive it anywhere once he gets it moving. 

"It will never be for sale,” says Stachowiak. “You don't see these cars driven down the road. This baby is gonna cruise the streets of Myrtle Beach just like you see it!”

Weeds as tall as roof next to 1959 Corvette.
Eagle-eyed Corvette fans are sure to spot some oddities. Such as the red hardtop. 


A complete drivetrain and chassis is waiting for pickup in Mississippi.
“I located a 1958 Vette chassis that was being replaced by a complete Art Morrison setup,” Stachowiak said. “They unbolted the body and rolled the running and driving ’58 chassis and drivetrain out from under it. I should have my ’59 on the road in a few weeks.”

He plans to store the original ’59’s solid but crusty chassis and drivetrain. If the restoration bug bites, Stachowiak will have all the numbers matching parts.

Emblems were put up and saved when the Corvette was put out to pasture.
Parts that were removed before the Corvette was put out to pasture.

Other goodies included

The previous owner drove the 1959 Corvette for many years. During which, a few appearance modifications were added along the way. A louvered hood from a 1958 model was installed and has caused a few double takes from Corvette enthusiasts. Specks of blue paint peek out from the white in places around the louvers. That is a clue that the hood came off of a blue ’58 Vette. Also, this Convertible was ordered without a hardtop but a removable hardtop from a red Corvette was added and likely saved the interior from decades of abuse from the elements. A set of vintage 1960s Torque Thrust wheels ramp up the hot rod look. 

When you stand back, it's easy to notice that this all-American Corvette is covered in shades of red, white, and blue.

Grill of 1959 Corvette has teeth all in place after 34 years of sitting in field.
A 1959 Corvette parked in a field for 34 years? Yes!


The only things Stachowiak wants to change are the black seats and door panels. They are not the blue color that he believes they should be. He plans to find some original blue seats with a similar patina that matches the overall condition of the interior.

“It would look odd to have a rough exterior and completely new interior,” said Stachowiak. “I’m heading to Carlisle to find some seats soon.”   

Vintage torque thrust 5-spoke wheel sits on seat inside 1959 Vette.
Vintage Torque Thrust wheel inside the 1959 Vette.

1959 was first year for black seats in Corvette.
Black seats will be replaced with some vintage (weathered) blue seats.

Anti-theft measures

Before he rolled the Corvette into the field the previous owner stashed away some items that were often stolen from Corvettes. He removed the hood and trunk emblems, side flags, and pulled out the original Wonderbar radio for safe keeping. Even greater precautions were taken to preserve an even bigger item. The engine was relocated into a 1967 Chevy truck on the property. The truck engine was put into the Corvette.

You might think that maybe the truck needed a power plant? That's not what Stachowiak believes. The story he was told confirmed the engine swap was done to save the Vette’s 283-V8 engine from theft. The truck and original Corvette engine were also part of the deal.

283-V8 Corvette engine
Corvette 283-V8 was installed under hood of 1967 Chevy truck.

1967 Chevy truck engine now in Corvette.
Corvette’s engine bay now has the engine from the 1967 Chevy truck.

Why did it get parked? 

The previous owner loved it and drove it nearly 30 years. He parked it in field behind his house with the intention to someday restore it back to its original glory. But, life got in the way. Many years passed. Five years ago the owner died. 

“A few more years out there and it would have been lost forever,” Stachowiak said. “I was fortunate to be able to buy it and save it.”

Keep dreaming!

The next field of dreams may have your dream car in it. Keep hunting, keep digging, and never stop dreaming!

Jody Potter
– Junkyard Life

Weathered paint on trunk of 1959 Corvette.
Patina in spades on this Corvette.

160 mph speedo in the 1959 Corvette.
Capturing time or the transition as something ages is what makes cars with patina a draw at car shows. Each blemish tells a story. This entire car wears the story of its life. Cared for, then held onto as best the owner could. Their choice may not have been what you would have liked but it preserved a 62-year-old Corvette in a way that makes the car appear more attainable to a larger audience.

Weeds all around the white 1959 Corvette in the field.
Field find gold mine in my opinion.

Rusty bumper sticks out from the weeds.
A non-restored version of this car will pull more eyeballs and have a larger crowd at the local car show than a Bloomington Gold certified version.

Louvered hood from a 1958 model installed on the 1959 Corvette.
Louvered hood from a 1958 Corvette was installed on this 1959 model.

Side view of rescued 1959 field find Corvette.
No sweeter sight than a "just rescued" hot rod Corvette.

Yellow tow strap pulled the Vette out of field.
The new owner was worried that he would damage the Vette when he dug it out. Somehow the squared tires rolled and the brakes were not locked up.

Side view of red, white, and blue 1959 Corvette.
Only one piece of trim was missing. Bottom of the driver's side cove.

Trunk shot shows curvy bumper of 1959 Corvette.
So many curves. A work of art from any angle.

1987 registration sticker in window.
January 1987 sticker in window from last time the 1959 Vette was on the road.

Rear shot of 1959 Corvette on dirt road.
The road is long. With many a winding turn.
Here's to new life for this old Vette!

More Corvette stories on Junkyard Life:

Do you have a classic car in the yard, or a great story?
Send us details and we’re on the way!
Send emails to Jody Potter at 
or Ron Kidd at