Mikey Kaulfuss, Forest Lake, MN
Photography by Jim Knight
I bought my 1962 Chevy Bel Air wagon seven years ago from a friend, Randy. Now Randy is a great guy, but he had no idea how to put this station wagon together and I have to admit it was somewhat of a mystery to me, too. It was completely apart and it came with another parts car, which was also taken completely apart. So my project car was really just boxes and piles of parts.
My original plan was to do a frame-off restoration, which was not too hard since the car and frame were in two different places when I bought it. This was a rust free Arizona car so I was able to have the frame sandblasted and painted in my garage. I assembled the frame with a new 10-bolt Chevy rear end with Posi-Traction and Air Ride Technologies suspension components. The car gets real low now!
The wagon is powered by a 350ci/370hp crate motor and is shifted through a 700R4 transmission. Creature comforts include a Vintage Air unit that is mounted under the stock dash, an ididit steering column and a new interior designed and installed by a good friend, Mark Millbrandt. You’ve got to have tunes when you’re cruising, so we put in an awesome Eclipse stereo with six speakers and a subwoofer. People can hear me coming from a long way off.
I had a mix paint of colors tested for the exterior paint scheme, since the original plan was to two-tone the car. One door was sprayed 14 times in different colors, but I couldn’t find the right match. Finally Randy suggested doing the car in one color, a custom mix to create a mint green. Not a bad choice, coming from a guy I thought knew nothing about cars. But then, what do I know?
During the build I was in a bad car accident, which stopped everything in its tracks. I was laid up for over seven months while recuperating. Near the end of my rehab, the Minnesota Back to the 50’s event was only six weeks away. Several of my friends came through in a big way to help me jam 12 weeks of work into 6 weeks to be able to make it to the show. The car was painted just six days before these photos and a few days before the show. Minnesota car guys are a force to be reckoned with when they are on a mission.
By the way, the car was entirely built and painted in my home garage.
Thanks to Dave, Bob, Mark and yes, even Randy. Guys, thanks for the memories!