There’s a lot to be said about a hot rod with a long roof. They’re often just as cool as their coupe counterparts, but give the builder more space to work with. The extra cab area makes ample room for more seats, and ultimately, more friends.
This ’65 Nova wagon belongs to Mark Palmer of Edgewood, Washington. Mark has claimed ownership of the car for 19 years, and turned it into one hell of a cool driver. It has a tubular front suspension, power brakes, and air ride for the smoothest possible cruising experience.
Mark didn’t buy himself into a car this nice, he bought it as a low mileage, rust-free project that someone else had already started, and left unfinished. He acquired it from a man named Gary in Eatonville, Washington. “He had already started installing the new engine and automatic transmission,” Mark explained. “He had everything to finish it, so me an my dad went over to his house every night for two weeks to put it together so I could drive it home.”
It came to him in a baby blue color, and when he got it on the road, it had a small-block 350 cubic-inch engine and a Turbo 350 transmission. He drove it like that for three years before he started making changes.
The changes started with some fresh paint on the top to repair some surface rust in the top area, and rather than paint it the same color, he went with a darker blue for a two-toned paint scheme. Then, he started making mechanical changes like adding the tubular front suspension, air ride, and a manual transmission.
“Now it has a five-speed out of a 1986 Camaro,” he explained. “I also moved the battery to the back, along with the tank for the air ride.” He has a belt-driven compressor to supply the air ride while the car is running, and an electric compressor for when the car is off.
While the interior is a work in progress, a lot has also been done to improve things there as well. Mark added a custom overhead console along with all new instruments and Auto Meter gauges. Not only that, but it’s only the upholstery work that still needs to be done, the orange paint inside that matches the exterior color is flawless.
Driving tunes and interior function are important, so Mark has a custom stereo setup in the car. and a really cool custom control panel for the air ride operations. All this thing needs in order to be “done”, is a fresh upholstery job and it’ll be a real show-stopper.
Under the hood is also dressed to impress with Mickey-Thompson valve covers, a chrome air cleaner, and a Holley 650 cfm carburetor mounted to a Holley intake fueling the small-block. The orange on the valve covers really helps things pop under the hood.
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