I posted a page of our Buick Roadmaster wagons elsewhere on this website, and also
pictures of cars I have owned. This page is about
station wagons and similar vehicles. There are some wierd, wild, wagons further
down the page followed by Roadmaster & co.
The September 2006 and June 2010 issues of Hemming's Classic Car Magazine featured station
wagons, and I am a big SW fan. I have owned 90 motor vehicles since I was 14 years old and
31 of them were station wagons or built to carry at least 7 persons. My second car was a
1922 Model T Ford "woodie" that started life as a taxi but was later converted into a
delivery wagon. While living in Austria, I owned 9 Volkswagen busses, 7 German Ford
wagons and 5 other wagons.
Station wagons appeared nearly as early as passenger cars. In England, they were called
"estate cars" and were status symbols of the wealthy, but in America, these vehicles were
almost entirely used for commercial purposes or they were purchased for their utilitarian
value. Because many served as taxis, bringing railroad passengers to or from the station,
the term "station wagon" became the generic name for these vehicles.
During the eighties, the mini-van became the vehicle of choice for many American families who needed
extra cargo space or desired to transport more than 5 or 6 passengers. With front-wheel-drive, smaller
motors and transmissions, these vans were cheaper to build and more fuel-efficient than most large
Recognizing this trend, American car manufacturers gradually ceased producing station wagons. Customers
who were not especially infatuated with the minivans could choose between imports or gas-guzzling SUVs,
which were fast becoming the new status symbol of affluent America. This trend shows that gas consumption
was not really a major factor in the demise of the station wagon.
The earliest wagons had a lot of wood parts and got heavy usage.
These vehicles are ideal projects for those who enjoy working with wood!
Up until the fifties, "woodies" prevailed among wagons.
Some have been made into rods or customs, but most owners
try to preserve the wood.
A well-preserved, untouched original is rare!
Even in Europe, wood-sided wagons were popular
I was sitting somewhere in this '50 Ford
In the late fifties the trend changed to artificial wood decor
We had two Ford LTD wagons.
In the sixties and seventies, fewer wagons came with artificial wood trim.
I bought a 1974 Pinto without the woody look and exported it to Europe
where it drew a lot of attention. Europeans considered it a luxury car!
The Pinto was smaller than the German Ford wagon that we bought later.
I recently saw this Pinto with a 302 V8 and was tempted to buy it!
Below is a 1967 Pontiac Tempest that belonged to my father. He traded it in
for another Tempest wagon two years later.
Our '83 Dodge Colt Vista was considered to be one of the earliest minivans.
Why is it that ambulances which carry sick and injured people are
rough-riding box trucks, while the dead get to ride in luxurious
wagons with every comfort?
Windowless wagons have been around for a while, but they
became more common in the 40s and 50s.
Europeans went in the other direction with the VW Samba bus.
Here is my '58 bus with 24 glass panes to wash,
9 seats and a folding sunroof, but only 34 hp to push it up hills!
Stupid me -- I traded the Samba in on a new '67! It would be worth over $20,000
Europeans like wagons. This was my Opel Kadett right after
While living in Europe I owned a total of nine VW vans
I painted four of them. Here is a "before" shot...
...and the "after" shot.
I had eight Ford wagons in Europe: 3 Sierras, 2 Scorpios, 2 Taunus and 1 Pinto.
I never owned one, but I really like the styling of this Volvo wagon!
Here is a French Citroen wagon from the seventies.
The Fiat Multipla was built from 1956 until the early 60s. It is a forerunner
of the minivan. The early models had only 19 hp to carry 7 passengers, but
they later got 27 hp engines! I had two of these cars.
We bought one of the first Mazda cars sold in Austria in 1970
The Chevy and Pontiac Nomads were probably the classiest wagons made!
There are a couple of Mustang wagons in existence, but they were custom built.
The same is true of this VW "Shorty"
A VW wagon, or stretch limousine?
Some have attempted to create Corvette wagons...
Now this one really appeals to me!
Someone even made a Ferrari wagon -- perhaps with a trailer hitch?
A re-worked Henry J Kaiser!
It's called a "Nun Runner"
Rightly named -- the Nissan "Cube" with lop-sided windows!
I think this is a Russian skimobile!
A Saudi had this built with a swimming pool at the rear -- with our gas money!
Had enough yet?
Roadmaster, Caprice & Vista Cruiser wagons