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
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
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
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
1964 Dodge 440/1966 Buick Sportwagon
1967 AMC Ambassador 990/1970 Cadillac El Dorado
1973 Ford Country Squire/1983 Chevy Malibu
1983 Ford Truckster/1958 Plymouth Bradster
All photos courtesy of
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HUGE Gallery of