Rich Arlie’s ’65 Wagon, “The Custom Cruiser”

Ever wonder about your old high school girlfriend . . . ?

Ever wonder about how she looks today . . . ?

Well, Nor-Cal Club member Rich Arlie is still with her, but these days she is more pampered and better looking than ever. I'm talking about Rich's 1965 2 Door Chevelle Wagon. But, as you can see, she was not always in the best of shape.

A white car parked in front of a house.
A red and white car parked in front of a house.

Rich bought his wagon for $300 in 1974 . . . the year he graduated from high school and the year the restoration began. This life-long project has evolved from the original 6 cylinder 3-speed, to a 283 with a 4-speed, to a . . .

327 4-speed and finally to a 396 with a Doug Nash 5-speed. Now the 396 is matched with a 700R-4 auto transmission. The 2-tone paint scheme is 75/76 GM colors Autumn Mist and Silver.

A red car parked in front of a garage.
A red car with its door open at a show.

As far as the interior . . . it is a combination of black naugahyde seats and headliner, oxblood carpets and specially designed interior side panels. The first car show Rich entered was a Good Guys event and he said he was shocked when he won "Best of Show"! You check it out for yourself and see if his high school project didn't turn out to be a winner!

Today . . . Rich can be seen cruising, with his family of four, with heads turning everywhere. But even more important, he acknowledges that he could not have completed this project without the love of his wife and the support of many friends.

Thanks Rich for your story and pictures.

A red station wagon is parked in front of a house.

Are you a member of Nor-Cal? Do you have a project car? Let us know, and maybe your car could be featured next.