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

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