By: Steve Temple
Photos by: Steve Temple
Man, if only UPS trucks looked so good as this '59 Sedan Delivery! You wouldn't think twice about wearing those funny-looking brown shorts and picking up packages all day long. You'd actually look forward to firing up that supercharged Chevy under the hood and hauling all sorts of cargo around town. And just think how quickly you'd finish your route! You'd be the first to roll into the parking lot at your local diner for cruise nights.
Of course, Larry Weiner had nothing so ordinary in mind when he built the Winged Express. No, he wanted to build the ultimate wagon, a vehicle that exemplifies an era in America when everything was over the top, when we were big, bold, and unstoppable. That attitude showed was obvious in the designs of the day, an extravagant mix of flamboyant sheet-metal, brilliant chrome and protruding tail fins. And one more, essential thing - unbridled power, stampeding ponies loosed from their reins.
To bring back this feeling of unfettered excess, Weiner started with a stock 1959 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery and infused it with the latest high-performance parts.
Preserving the look of the time was a key component during the development of the Winged Express. Longer, lower and wider was the mantra in Detroit in the 1950's. It was an exciting decade, one heavily influenced by jet aircraft and rockets. Legendary designer Harley Earl no doubt felt that influence in creating the 1959 Chevrolet. As the leader of General Motors Styling, the '59 Chevy set the benchmark for audacious American design with its humongous hood, incredible interior and extreme wings.
The Chevrolet Winged Express revives the power and strength of the late 1950's, a time before the "less is more" concept emasculated American autos to generic, appliance-like, compact conveyances. The Winged Express is the absolute antithesis of these virtually nameless and faceless commodity vehicles. It beckons you to pack your bags, fill up a large cooler with green-glass bottles of Coca Cola, turn up the volume on some golden oldies, and get ready to "See the USA in Your Chevrolet."
The 1959 Chevrolet Winged Express is a perfect expression of the elegant excesses of the Fifties. It makes no pretense or excuses for what it is, nor pretends to be politically correct. It's brash and arrogant, confident and ambitious, like the generation of Americans who inspired it and appreciate what it is today. This Sedan Delivery really delivers the goods.