Dave and Sue Wright's 1959 Chevrolet Brookwood Station Wagon - The Headhunter
1959 Chevrolet Brokwood Station Wagon owned by Headhunter Car Club members Dave and Sue Wright of Poole, United Kingdom. Known as 'The Headhunter,' the Wrights discovered the wagon at the Pomona Swapmeet in 2001. "We bought the car in a rough state... and managed to source quite a few parts," Dave told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in June of 2023. This marked the beginning of a significant custom journey. The car was shipped to the UK and arrived a few weeks later.
- 1 The Satin and Metalflake Transformation
- 2 Mechanical and Interior Upgrades
- 3 Custom Wheels, Stance and Pinstriping
- 4 A Life in Motion: From Family Rides to Stylish Upgrades
- 5 Echoes of Watson: Crafting a Custom Masterpiece
- 6 Retro Revamp: Inside the Vintage-Inspired Cabin
- 7 Legacy of Creativity: The Wagon's Enduring Journey
- 8 References
The Satin and Metalflake Transformation
Upon its arrival in the UK, the wagon was given a makeover. "It was mostly stripped down for a coat of satin green paint and dark green Metalflake roof at a friend's" Dave recounted. This initial paint job was a quick, budget-conscious effort to rejuvenate the wagon and get it back on the road.
Mechanical and Interior Upgrades
The original 235 Six engine and cast iron Glide transmission were maintained, with Dave and Sue only replacing the carburetor, lifters, and fluids. For the interior, torn seats were covered with cheap green material, typically hidden under Mexican blankets. The couple also added a new headliner, carpet, and Tiki accessories from their business Hot Rod Tiki.
Custom Wheels, Stance and Pinstriping
Astro wheels and Coker wide whitewall tires were added, enhancing the wagon's classic appearance. Dave added a custom tube grille and lowered the suspension using cut coils, which were later replaced with an Air Ride kit. Notably, friend Neil Melliard pinstriped the dash and other areas to give the wagon a more customized look.
A Life in Motion: From Family Rides to Stylish Upgrades
Over the years, the wagon became an integral part of Dave and Sue's lives, used for various occasions, including as a wedding and funeral car. "After a year, I fitted the Air ride kit and a power steering unit for a 235, which is a rare part to find," Dave explained. He also installed Impala full side trim with matching metalflake inserts, purchased during a US trip, enhancing the wagon's aesthetics.
Echoes of Watson: Crafting a Custom Masterpiece
After owning the wagon for about 15-16 years, Dave decided on a more substantial overhaul. "It had a few small rust bubbles... so I decided to do what I always wanted to do with it," he mentioned. This included replacing the engine and transmission with a 350 crate motor and a 200R4 overdrive transmission. A disc brake conversion and CPP 500 steering were also installed. The body was stripped to bare metal before it received a full bodywork restoration by Mike Wareham at Stylecraft Coachworks, who added sunken and molded-in headlight rings and a two-tone green metallic finish. "Many ideas went back and forth over the Watson style panel paint look we wanted," Dave recalled. A photo of the Don Varner painted Greg Sargenti 1956 Chevrolet was one of the reference pictures Dave and Mike used when they laid the paint. A coat of white base was laid before Mike carefully masked the panels with a thin white tape to gimmick pinstriping.
Retro Revamp: Inside the Vintage-Inspired Cabin
The wagon's interior was completely redone by Chris Vining at Custom Coach Trimming, using rare vinyl patterns sourced from Portland, Oregon. "We got a green GM geometric patterned one and some 1953 Kaiser Bamboo," Dave recalled. After a house move and the global pandemic, the project was finally completed in June of 2023, with the addition of a twin exhaust with Bellflower tips.
Legacy of Creativity: The Wagon's Enduring Journey
Dave and Sue's Wagon stands as a testament to their dedication to the custom car culture. Sharing garage space with Dave's Gene Winfield painted 1959 El Camino "The Golden Idol", the wagon symbolizes their lifelong passion and creativity in modifying cars. Dave's journey from a simple 1970s Vauxhall to this meticulously restyled Chevrolet Wagon reflects his deep engagement with the custom car community.
Did you enjoy this article?
Kustomrama is an encyclopedia dedicated to preserve, share and protect traditional hot rod and custom car history from all over the world.
- Help us keep history alive. For as little as 2.99 USD a month you can become a monthly supporter. Click here to learn more.
- Subscribe to our free newsletter and receive regular updates and stories from Kustomrama.
- Do you know someone who would enjoy this article? Click here to forward it.
Can you help us make this article better?
Please get in touch with us at email@example.com if you have additional information or photos to share about Dave and Sue Wright's 1959 Chevrolet Brookwood Station Wagon - The Headhunter.
This article was made possible by:
SunTec Auto Glass - Auto Glass Services on Vintage and Classic Cars
Finding a replacement windshield, back or side glass can be a difficult task when restoring your vintage or custom classic car. It doesn't have to be though now with auto glass specialist companies like www.suntecautoglass.com. They can source OEM or OEM-equivalent glass for older makes/models; which will ensure a proper fit every time. Check them out for more details!
Do you want to see your company here? Click here for more info about how you can advertise your business on Kustomrama.