At the time I found it, I had nowhere to keep the wagon, but I was able to stash it at my Dad's place in Southern California. Unfortunately 2 years went by as I dealt with some health issues & figuring out a place where I can actually work on it. Fast forward to the end of February of this year & my health is doing much better & I'm living in a place where I have enough space to start tearing into the car.
In the meantime I’ve been collecting as many NOS parts as I can find & trying to come up with a build plan. The day we picked up the car, we were sitting having lunch in Flagstaff when the seller calls me. He says he forget to mention he has a 327 "Corvette" engine along with the matching Muncie 4 speed. Immediately I'm interested, but he says he needs time to make them accessible & to research what they are worth. We agree to get in touch with other to follow up.
Now I neglected to mention this gentleman doesn't own a computer or a cell phone & has never been on the internet. Which is the ONLY reason it took him so long to sell the wagon. He didn't advertise it anywhere other than his front yard. So when he tells me he's going to research the value of the engine & trans, I find it a bit humorous.
Anyway, right as I purchase the wagon is when I began having those health issues that persisted for the next 18 months or so. During that time, I subsequently injured my back & the project is seriously on the back burner while I'm dealing with these problems. Fast forward to October of 2017 & I get a call out of the blue from the seller of the wagon. He reminds about the 327 & 4 speed & says he's coming up to Vegas to meet his buddies for a few days. He's offering to deliver the engine & trans & we quickly agree on a price.
When he shows up in Vegas he has the 327 in his truck, but not together & it's not complete. He has most of the parts to build a complete engine. I see a set of heads, a GM aluminum intake, bellhousing, 14" flywheel still bolted to the crank, quadrajet, some pulleys, a starter, etc.
The trans however, is not a Muncie. It's a cast iron Saginaw 4 speed & I'm not remotely interested, but I tell him I'd like to make a deal on the engine & the related parts. I give him the cash & he's back on the road to Flagstaff.
When he leaves I get my phone out & google the engine suffix. Turns out the engine actually
is a real deal '65 327/300 Corvette block with an HF stamp. Sweet! I check the manifold, but it's from the wrong year Vette. It's a 62 Vette GM intake # 3795397,but in very
nice shape. Probably hasn't been run in 45-50 years. Bellhousing is a GM 621.
Unfortunately, the heads turn out to be early 60s 283 heads with tiny valves. I literally threw them right into the scrap pile at my buddies shop where we made the deal. I had the decency to wait until the seller had left the parking lot before doing so. Didn't have the heart to tell him they were worthless.
So in the next year or so, as I'm deciding the direction I'd like to go with this build, two things really stand out. Number 1, my previous '67 project was 100% custom build & it took forever. Waiting for parts & the trial & error of making things fit exactly right left a lasting impression.
Number 2 is every single 2 door wagon I see are customs. Some of them are done tastefully, Rich's '65 stands out, as does Gary's (Saltygog). However most of them, look like hack jobs, IMO. It hit me, other than Allen Petroskey's '64, I have not seen a bone stock 2 door wagon, anywhere.
Now when I say bone stock, I'm excluding 2 main components, the engine & trans. I will never build a muscle car with a 6 cylinder, nor will I leave it column shifted. So now that I have that 327, I decided to build a 327 L79 car. The '64 wagon that GM should've built. Other than that, this car will look like it rolled off a GM assembly line, complete with 300 seat covers & door panels.
The fortunate aspect of this wagon, is how mostly complete it is. It was missing the rear bumper when I got it, & all 4 tail lights were cracked, but all the vital, irreplaceable 2 door wagon parts are all present, including the side moldings. With such a strong foundation, I felt like I could only take this car in one direction. There are enough LS converted 2 door wagons in the world.