Two-Door ’65 Impala Wagon That Turned a Lot of Heads at the GNRS

This wagon has history, but now that it has a new lease on life, it'll have many more tales to tell

Car customizers are obsessed with station wagons, and we’re talking about real wagons—not a PT Cruiser. There’s just something about earlier model wagons that simply gets our attention. Maybe it’s their sheer size, or the fact that they have longer, linear lines, which are way cleaner when compared to their counterpart sedans, but either way they’re powerful pieces of machinery that are also rare to come by.

Let’s face it, the minute you see a wagon, like this 1965 Chevy wagon, you can’t help but stare at it. Its imposing size, and its huge canvas, gives you a platform to envy, and this one stands out because it’s got a plethora of body modifications—the most obvious being that it was converted into a coupe.

In short, this thing is a beast. Even though it’s been doused in pink, there’s nothing feminine about it. Its owner Richie Valles concocted the custom PPG mix, and it features a silver base with ghosted mini-flake lace patterns. With all these mods it should also come as no surprise that he owns Unique Twist, a body shop in Burbank, California.

In all, the complete transformation took 3 1/2 months to complete, and the hardest modification was to convert it from a four-door to a coupe. Further modifications included a molded frontend, removal of the front bumper, a molded rear bumper, as well as a custom front grille. From the inside out, the vehicle has a laundry list of modifications, but what else would you expect? He’s also a member of Lifestyle Car Club.

Purchased for $500 from the former president of the Elvis Presley Fan Club, the previous owner used to take the wagon to Vegas twice a year to see Elvis perform at the Las Vegas Hilton. Before departing with her beloved wagon, she had one perquisite and that was to sell it to someone who would give it life and purpose again—she chose wisely.

With a new life ahead of it, this Impala wagon stands out, but it can also lay low by way of pumps and dumps from Pro Hopper. It features 8-inch, square cylinder dumps up front, 10 inches in the rear, and it’s all mated to Ford solenoids and an eight-battery setup. Under each wheelwell, you’ll find a set of Buick Skylark wire wheels that measure in at 15×6, and they’re massaged onto a set of Firestone tires, compliments of Coker Tire.

Power for the vehicle comes by way of a rebuilt 327 that was mated to a two-speed Power Glide, all of which was rebuilt, tuned, and installed by Burbank Speed.

Moving on in to the guts of the vehicle, Santana Upholstery handled the revamping of the stock interior and took care of the audio, which features a catalog of parts from Kicker. With two 10-inch subs and 5.5-inch separates in all doors, the car definitely kicks while bass and road noise is improved by way of rolls and rolls of Dynamat found all throughout the floorboards and door panels.

As with most classic cars, the history of this vehicle is important, but where it’s been, and where it’s at today is sure to create many more historical memories, which will go down in history as some of the greatest stories ever told. It’s also proof that lowriders have the ability to bring life to what was once abandoned and it give it a new lease on life with a residual value that is worth its weight in gold.

1965 Chevrolet Impala Wagon

Vehicle Nickname

Sweet Soul

Owner

Richie Valles

City/State

Burbank, CA

Club

Lifestyle

Engine

Burbank Speed and J&H Automotive in Burbank assembled the 327 engine with AC Delco water pump, AC Delco 110-amp alternator, and original four-barrel intake

Body/Paint

Unique Twist loaded the 1965 wagon with body modifications. To begin they converted the original four-door wagon into a two-door, they rolled the hood corners, shaved header panel, and molded it with the fenders and splash pan, shaved parking light, extended the grille, and many more modifications. With the help of Miguel Zarape they chopped the top and slanted front post. Richie Valles then sprayed the car a silver base with mini-flake. He then made a custom magenta mix with PPG toners to paint it with. He added fan and lace patterns throughout the car while L.G. in Simi Valley, CA, striped it. E.G. Auto Glass made the custom windows and Torkelson Polishing Inc. in Santa Fe Springs, CA, did all the chrome.

Suspension

Richie Valles installed a Pro-Hopper setup with heavy-duty battery, two switches (front and back), and 8-inch cylinders in the front and 10-inch in the rear

Interior

Richie first molded and painted the dash before having Santana’s Upholstery in Santa Fe Springs do pink suede biscuit tuck interior.

Sound: Scott Burton and Chase Germeroth installed the Kenwood stereo, Kicker amps, and Kicker speakers on the wagon.

Wheels/Tires:

15×6-inch 40-spoke Buick Skylark wire wheels with 560/15 Firestone Coker tires