From The Brady Bunch to, well, Randy...a look at Station Wagons

    The Station Wagon doesn't get a lot of respect, but before SUV's, and minivans it was THE family car. It hardly ever flips over during quick turns, the back door doesn't have that nasty habit of spontaneously throwing your kids out onto the freeway, and the amount of gas you use to fill up isn't equal to the amount used in a year by a 3rd world country. Heck, even the Brady Bunch had one.


    I remember my parent's first super powered, V8 Station Wagon was born in 1969 the same year I was. It was a gray Pontiac, the speedometer read up to 120 mph, and I use to think it was so incredibly cool because when you turned on the high beams an Indian Tomahawk would glow red. On vacations we'd take down the door & ride with our feet perilously close to the pavement.


    Innovative dual hinge door design swung open like a door or lowered down on either side. Check out the cool, built in step!

    We went to see numerous drive-in movies in this car ranging from
    Grizzly Adams to Laserblast. I use to love to lie down in the back & look up at the stars as we cruised around at night. This Pontiac was spacious & you could easily throw a group of 8 girl scouts in the back. The car felt like a part of our family and I was sad when we had to sell the car 10 years & 200,000 miles later.

    Our second Station Wagon was a Buick and it had all the stylings of a 70's UFO. With a god awful hatchback & a terrribly back window design this wagon was a loser. It did have flipback seats that would allow us to carry an additional two "adult sized" people. I absolutely hated this car & missed the Pontiac. Perhaps it felt my dislike & completely broke down after only a few years.

    Our third Station Wagon was another Buick & it was similar to our old Pontiac. Honest, I was a teenager by then & I don't have a lot of memories of it except trying to learn how to drive this battletank. Whenever I tried to drive it I felt like I was taking up the entire road & that I was going to wipe out every Mormon bicyclist & young child that got in my way. It also lead me to think, "How in the hell has my mom been driving these big cars?"

    My parents fourth Station Wagon is a Buick Roadster. It actually is the Cadillac of Station Wagons in that it has bucket seats, power windows, power locks, and lots of other gadgets/buttons my parents will never figure out. They love it & my dad races it around like a sports car.

    Both of my sister's vowed never to own a station wagon, but low & behold they've both owned them. My older sister had the wood paneling "country squire" type for about ten years & my younger sister recently bought a new Ford Taurus Wagon.

    It's sporty for a wagon & I'm proud of her. I believe she is now an "official mom" by thinking of her 3 kids first instead of buying something completely impractical such as...a Mazda Miata.

    Before I leave this journey of "Station Wagon Land" I have to mention my neighbor's Ford Pinto wagon bought sometime in the mid 70's. I thought my friend's mom was the hottest thing on wheels. She was way skinny/cute, dressed in stylish halter tops, had her hair dyed a "sassy" red color, and she wore her "Foster Grant" ultra wide sunglasses all the time. Her son poked me in the eye (traumatizing me for life) after doing the Fonzie from Happy Days "Ayeeee" in that car. Forcing me to wear an eye patch for about a month & another time he also vomitted all over the seats. Gotta love kids!

    Even though the glory days of the station have passed. I want to say, "Thank you" to the friendly, family vehicles that safely got us to our childhood swim lessons, vacations, skating rinks, birthday parties, school field trips, malls, and assorted other places in one piece.

    Check out this Station Wagon Gallery:
    Betcha never knew they made this many stylish types!

    1955 Chrysler New Yorker/1957 Chevy Bel Air

    1957 Olds Fiesta/1957 Chevy Nomad

    1958 Edsel Amblewagon/1960 Rambler American
    1958 Edsel Amblewagon/1960 Rambler American

    1964 Dodge 440/1966 Buick Sportwagon
    1964 Dodge 440/1966 Buick Sportwagon

    1967 AMC Ambassador 990/1970 Cadillac Eldorado
    1967 AMC Ambassador 990/1970 Cadillac El Dorado

    1973 Ford Country Squire/1983 Chevy Malibu
    1973 Ford Country Squire/1983 Chevy Malibu

    1983 Ford Truckster/1999 Dodge Viper concept
    1983 Ford Truckster/1958 Plymouth Bradster

    All photos courtesy of Stationwagon.com.
    Click on over to see the rest of their HUGE Gallery
    of Station Wagons!

    -Randy Waage