The Return of the Wagon!

The Return of the Wagon! Part 1
Just over 20 years ago, my Dad and I resurrected a rusty 1967 Chevy Nova station-wagon, with the intention of building our next drag-race car. I remember asking Dad: “why a wagon” and he simply said, “because they’re different…and they’re cool”. And for many years it was pretty dang cool and one of the fastest and most consistent grocery-getter’s at the track. But we sold it and moved onto the next project…but the wagon was always special. Fast forward 20 years later and the man that bought it passed away and his son called us up out of the blue and said: “would you like your wagon back?”.

At this point I figured it was a basket case that had been rusting away (again) but instead it was, literally, a time capsule! They did not change one thing on it. Heck, the license plate ring was the one we got Dad on his 50th B-day. I couldn’t believe it, so I said let’s get it home and see if we can fix what needs fixing and go racing again. Stay tuned for part two where we’ll rebuild the motor and part three where I’ll take it down the track!

The Return of the Wagon! Part 2
Back in the old garage with Dad! We have built and restored so many cars in this 30′ x 30′ home of horsepower but the wagon was memorable because it was the first build that I was old enough to really work on. It was the first car I could really contribute to but I was still too young and inexperienced to drive it. This, like most of our cars, was on a tight budget. It was all hand-built and armed with mostly swap-meet parts. In fact, we found a left for dead ’79 Camaro race car and got many of the parts we needed for the wagon from that old car.

Fast forward 20 years and here we are with the same short block 406, same heads, same intake and same old double pumper. We decided on a roller cam this time but everything else is pretty much exactly the same. The 9 inch Ford out back has 4.10’s so the car will mile-per-hour well and we added new rubber all around but the long-roof racer is basically a time-machine filled with 90’s tech. This episode has become a fan favorite since you get a glimpse of my Old Man in his element. He has been drag racing on an off the track since 1962….and you get to hear the old small-block roar again!

The Return of the Wagon! Part 3
Here we go! Off to Gateway Motorsports Park, the drag strip that I practically grew up at. The last time we ran the wagon here was in the mid 90’s before the track was renovated and expanded. It was fitting to make my first run back here where I have so many memories of this great sport and the hard-working, friendly racers that chase their dreams at high speed!

Ryan Hanlon
Route 3 Films (Race Team)

MUSIC by Gin House, song is Marianna (Acoustic) – Instrumental – licensed thru