Back in 1969, the term "SUV" didn't exist, and even the concept of the minivan was still in its infancy. At that time, if you wanted a vehicle to transport your family and all their belongings in a single vehicle, you looked to the venerable station wagon. These long, low-slung vehicles combined the practicality of a sedan (like the Chevy Impala) with the spaciousness of a full-size truck (like the Chevy Suburban).
This particular black station wagon is a 1969 Chevrolet Kingswood, and it belongs to Leon McClain of Long Beach, California. The Kingswood is a full-size wagon based on the Chevy Impala, and fills the gap between the utilitarian Brookwood and the deluxe woodgrain-paneled Kingswood Estate.
Leon tells us he purchased the Kingswood back in 1999, as a vehicle to transport his son's pee wee football team to and from practice and games. He originally intended to sell the wagon after a few years, but he ended up falling in love with this rare vehicle, and has spent the following years restoring it.
This Kingswood features a powerful 454ci V8, as well as another highly-sought-after original option: hideaway headlamps. The TH-400 automatic transmission is also original to the car.
The 1969 Kingswood's exterior is painted in a sleek gloss black, offset by chrome trim and large 5-spoke billet wheels. The car's interior includes two front-facing bench seats and a rear-facing third row, all upholstered in gold vinyl.
The tailgate panel also has some trick features to help passengers into the third row seats. One handle opens the tailgate downwards, while another opens it on a second sideways hinge like a door.
Leon tells us that he's glad he kept this old-school wagon instead of buying a newer SUV, and that he and the family still enjoy taking it on road trips together. When he needs parts, he simply drives out to Huntington Beach and picks them up at the Classic Industries showroom.
If you have a classic Impala, Bel Air, Biscayne, Caprice, Brookwood, Kingswood, or other full-size Chevrolet vehicle, Classic Industries has the parts you need to keep it in tip-top condition. Click the button below for a free Impala/Full-Size Chevy parts catalog.