Wagons, Ho!

April 16th, 2010

Main The idea of a Nova wagon caravan came to me years ago, after I bought my first ’66 Chevy II V-8 wagon in 1989, thanks to Mitch Kim, custom pintriper from Portland, Oregon.

Installing a Vortech Supercharger


The idea of a Nova wagon caravan came to me years ago, after I bought my first ’66 Chevy II V-8 wagon in 1989, thanks to Mitch Kim, custom pintriper from Portland, Oregon. Many years prior, when I was into ’55 Chevys, I used to get owner’s names and numbers and gather everyone together for impromptu caravans. Working for in the mid-1980s, I was involved in the “California Caravan” for VW owners driving to Sacramento for the May Bugoramas; our last one netted 420 cars, starting in Buena Park with 45, heading north and picking up participants along the 5 and 99 freeways.

With the increasing popularity of Chevy II/Nova wagons over recent years, not to mention the internet’s Steve’s Nova site, Nova cruises were also on the rise across the country. Since Mitch and I talked about “how cool it would be to see only Nova wagons caravanning along the coast,” I told him I was thinking about hosting a Nova “Wagon Train,” with October 17 as my proposed date. Mitch, however, had other obligations with work, so he told me that November 28 would work for him, and the rest is history.

I had already talked to a few Nova wagon owners about my plan several months before, and everyone was for it. So I posted a thread on Steve’s Nova Site informing all Chevy II and Nova wagon owners that the Wagon Train was definitely going to happen.

Fellow SNS member hooksup2 (Mark Johnson) rode along with me one Saturday to pre-run the route I had selected. When the 28th rolled around, our unofficial startup point was at my house in Fullerton with seven wagons. By 8 a.m., our 13-wagon train was on the way to nearby Orange, site of Modern Performance, a Nova parts source owned by Rudy Martinez. When we arrived at MP, there were four more wagons, and Rudy had coffee and donuts waiting for us. It was a fun gathering, and when it was time to go,15 of us made it to the 55 Freeway, heading south in two lanes, all the way to Newport Beach, where we stopped for a group photo.

Next, our train veered onto Pacific Coast Highway north, with another cruise through HB’s Main Street, where spectators were in awe of the long-roof flow through town, one exclaiming, “There must be a car show close by.” We regrouped along PCH and again caravanned directly to our last stop for lunch in Long Beach. We were 15 strong, but it looked like more. Beach goers and tourists alike could not believe their eyes. It was a blast!

Steve’s Nova Site played an important role here, and I thank them immensely for being the vehicle that sparked a few wagon owners’ interest to joinin on the first-ever Chevy II/Nova Wagon Train. Also on the thank you list are Modern Performance’s Rudy Martinez for providing his shop and hospitality, as well as Lee & Son Alignment (in Fullerton), for donating a raffle prize (free front end alignment for any Nova with stock suspension). I would also like to extend my gratitude to the following participants for showing up: Jim Smith (’67); Paul King (’65); Barry Dooley (’67); Matt Emery (’64); Dennis Gabele (’63); Mark Johnson (’67); Bob Santana (’67); raffle prize winner Brian Habegger (’67); Andy Pierce (’66); Dennis Mayeshiro (’67); Aron Shubin (’66); Mike Tanori (’64); Tony Hernandez (’65); Brian Ashworth (’64); A.J. Batiste (’62); and John Costan (’67).

Look for another Nova Wagon Train coming your way and watch Steve’s Nova Site for details.





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