In a city where cars outlast the careers of most actors it is always fun to find a survivor. Behold the bottom feeders full size Chevy wagon for 1971: the Kingswood. This was the redesign that introduced the “clam shell” tailgate. This innovative tail gate tucked under the rear floor through the magic of some gears and hydraulics, while the rear glass slid up under the roof.
To cope with the added weight of this new design the 400CID V8 (which was the largest production displacement of the legendary chevy small block) was now the standard engine in the station wagons.
At slightly more than 5,000 pounds the car was still some 2,000+ pounds lighter than today’s equivalent people hauler the Suburban. This car hit the road before the first oil embargo and gas cost just 32 cents/gallon. There was no EPA fuel economy ratings (those didn’t start until 1974) and no one really cared. This was the year that the engines had lowered compression in an effort to curb nitrogen oxide components and the beginning of serious exhaust standards.
One more pic and a little more info on the car after the jump.
While taking the picture I met Bill the proud owner of the car. He is the original owner. The car has only 85,000 miles on it. It has never had anything beyond regular maintenance. Both the owner and the car are true survivors. Both are something nice to see on the streets of LA.