The term “restomod” has been defined by a popular car magazine as a car that has been mostly restored, but has had parts changed to “improve its performance, handling, and safety.” This exceptional 1954 Chevy Handyman wagon is just such a car.
The Chevy Handyman wagon was an entry-level offering, as it was based on the Chevrolet 150. These were primarily fleet cars, and as such sold in far fewer numbers than either the 210 or the Bel Air.
The exterior of this Chevy Handyman wagon has been lovingly refinished in a Horizon Blue/Polo White two-tone paint scheme. The chrome bumpers appear to have been refinished, with no undue swirl or pitting noted. Stainless steel trim and wiper arms are well polished. Painted steel wheels wear polished hubcaps and wide whitewall bias-ply tires. Glass is clear, and the windshield is devoid of wiper blade tracks. Weatherstrip appears new, with no signs of cracking. The jet ornament sits proudly at the leading edge of the hood.
Inside the Chevy Handyman, the color scheme continues. Front and rear bench seats, as well as the door panels, have been freshly recovered in a light blue/cream white vinyl that complements the exterior. The upper part of the dash houses the traditional speedo and gauges, but a SunPro tachometer has been added to the steering column. The lower portion of the dash is populated by Vintage Air climate controls, Summit racing auxiliary gauges, and A/C vents. The floors have been covered in new navy blue carpets. The shifter has been moved from the column to a floor shift. The factory AM radio is still fitted. The tailgate has wood inlays, and the cargo area appears to have a cover made from vinyl trunk material.
Under the hood, more of this Chevy Handyman’s secrets are revealed. The original drivetrain has been swapped for a more powerful 350 cubic-inch V8 backed by a modern 200R4 automatic transmission. A power brake booster sits on the firewall. The wagon has had its drum brakes replaced with front discs, and power steering has been added. The modern A/C compressor is visible. This is not a show quality engine bay, but rather a very straightforward installation and decided improvement over the original drivetrain. The new engine has just 5,300 miles on it.
This Chevy Handyman wagon is available from Garage Kept Motors.