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If you could have any car, what would you choose? My guess is it probably wouldn’t be a station wagon, but what if it was by the far the best 1969 Buick Sport Wagon around?
The guys at Custom Car Channel met up with Eric Minor, the owner of MAC Speed and Custom, to take a look at his awesome hot rod station wagon.
A quick look at this 1969 Buick Sport Wagon
One of the first things Eric talks about is how he’s always the only one at the show driving a station wagon, this immediately makes him a point of interest. Although he’s competing with some classic vintage Roadster’s and incredibly popular mustangs. He has a one-of-a-kind vehicle that never fails to impress, and is a testament to how a restoration project can be done on a budget – you just have to know what you’re doing.
So Eric customized this car for the sole purpose of promoting his business. He wanted something that he could take to shows, drive around and still be a practical vehicle. By choosing a station wagon, the aim was to draw attention to the vehicle as it’s guaranteed to stand out. With the nickname the Swagon Wagon, this 1969 Buick Sport Wagon provides striking competition to the traditional classic cars.
The technical bits
The original 400 stock engine was removed and replaced with a 1970 455 big block GS Stage 1 that produces 600 horsepower and 510 torque, and the only parts of the engine that aren’t stock are the aluminum heads and the intake.
Alongside an upgraded engine, this Buick actually sits on air. The springs and shocks have been traded out for adjustable airbag units that can manually lower the car when it’s stationary, giving a cool – and purely aesthetical – feature.
Some more custom features
The paint is a simple, single-stage, flat orange paint, and the reason behind such a choice is easy. Eric discusses the need for the car to be used, for it to be driven and with this type of paint, the color is much more resilient and will withstand people touching it, or leaning against at shows. This may not be something that everyone would be comfortable with but by deliberately choosing a resilient paint, Eric can be reassured that the vehicle will maintain its good condition.
The wheels on this Buick are in fact custom made with the company’s logo in the center. This is somewhat extravagant but when you know the right people, anything is possible. They also took an 8th of an inch off the back in order to tuck the wheels in and give the car a seamless look. By doing it this way, Eric gets to avoid cutting the car and maintaining its original and flawless shape.
The back end
As he moves round to the back of the vehicle, we get to see the draw action tailgate, something that was cutting edge in 1969. And when the seats are folded forwards, there’s a 6-foot bed which makes this 1969 Buick Sport Wagon the ultimate functioning utility vehicle.
There were some more modifications required before they could finish the project which included the relocation of the fuel tank. Originally it would sit on one side of the car which would cause the vehicle to tilt whilst driving and so it was moved under the trunk to rebalance the car – in the same way modern cars are built.
And if that wasn’t enough, Eric’s even gone so far as to install some awesome speakers where the spare wheel would originally be. Not only is it subtle but it works like a charm, and coupled with the sound deadening agent inside the vehicle means that the interior is pretty quiet.
When it came to fine-tuning the car’s overall look, Eric has done a great job. He’s removed the rear door handles and all the trim which means the Buick has nice clean body lines and sets it apart from other hot rods.
The inside is pretty simplistic too as he’s kept the original seats – even though he debated about installing bucket seats – and has replaced the steering wheel with an original Boyd’s which fits right in. All of this works seamlessly to make an incredibly impressive vehicle.
What are your thoughts on this 1969 Buick Sport Wagon? What was your favorite feature and what would you change?