10 Best Classic Station Wagons. Do You Know Who They Are?
If you are one of those who think the station wagons are not cool, we can only recommend that you read this article for these classic American wagons, and we hope we can change your mind.
Station wagons by nature are not luxury vehicles and that is a truth that must be accepted. Based on this if excluded Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagons from a couple of generations ago, luxury models with comfortable third-row seats that are also intended for children are not available, and all of this is now available in powerful and super-luxury SUVs.
But when it comes to American station wagons from the mid-1910s, when Ford introduced the wood-bodied version of its Model T, until the middle of 1970s represents true American history. After completing World War II, most of these station wagons came with powerful eight-cylinder engines.
In the continuation of the text, we present to you the ten best American Station Wagons.
1937 Ford V-8 Station Wagon
Until the mid-1960s, American carmakers farmed-out station wagon assembly to suppliers, but in 1936, Ford has opened its own wagon factory located in Iron Mountain, Michigan.
This factory located in the state’s Upper Peninsula used the wood raw material near Lake Superior, in the manufacture of this vehicle. The Iron Mountain factory distributed all wooden bodies to Ford’s assembly plants around North America. Тhe total price was only $755, according to The Standard Catalog of American Cars.
Тhe 1937 Ford V-8 Station Wagon has a 112-inch wheelbase, and a seating area for eight people, with the seats arranged in combination 3-2-3. This vehicle offered a choice between a 60-horsepower or an 85-hp, 221 cubic-inch V-8.
The car was ideal for transportation, as it provided comfort as well as the opportunity to collect all the necessary things for travel.
1942 Chrysler Town & Country Car
1942 Chrysler Town & Country Car is a special kind of wagon you might buy if even a solidly equipped Ford V-8 can not fully satisfy all your needs and desires. This is the only station wagon with an all-steel automotive-type top.
The car is long 217 inches, wide around 75-inches, and has a 121.5-inch wheelbase. Тhis vehicle can accommodate up to nine passengers and only with the auxiliary center jump seat. It is also interesting to mention that without the luggage rack (which is optional) the height of this wagon is 68 inches and it is 1.3-inches short of a modern Jeep Grand Cherokee’s.
Chrysler Town & Country Car has the engine from 120-hp, 250.6 cubic-inch (4.1L) inline-six, and it is very significant that it is associated with a fluid-drive semi-automatic transmission. In the vehicle catalog for this wagon, there was no price although in 42 towns and countries sedan cost $1,520.
1949 Buick Estate Wagon
1949 Buick Estate Wagon is an impressive American classic wagon. He has three models Super, Special, and Roadmaster, and they were all brand new, created for the first time since the war and Ionia built wagon bodies for the two models.
The Roadmaster wagon was long around 214.5-inches on a 126-inch wheelbase, and the Super was long around 209.5-inches on a 121-inch wheelbase.
1949 Buick Estate Wagon supplied with a 150-hp, 320 cubic-inch 5.2L straight-eight and specific to this model is that it had a two-speed automatic transmission – Dynaflow.
And this vehicle had a 248 cubic-inch 4.1L I-8, rated for 115 horsepower, and specific to this model is that it had a three-speed manual transmission with the optional Dynaflow.
This car has two-row, and six passengers could be transported in it. Аnother significant feature that this car had a back door in the shape of a shell. Also, the rear seat of this car folds like many modern and luxurious ones’ today SUV seats thus giving more space for cargo. The basic price was $3,176 for the Super, and while the price for the model Roadmaster was $3,734.
1955 Pontiac Star Chief Custom Safari
1955 Pontiac Star Chief Custom Safari is an amazing classic station wagon. An interesting fact about this vehicle is that 1955-57 Safari was Pontiac’s version of the Chevrolet Nomad, and in these three years, it was shown how as a straight sporty two-door and two-row station wagon.
The inspiration for creating these two cars comes from the 1954 Chevy Corvette Nomad Motorama car, it is a two-door and two-seat wagon. Basically, these classic cars were the forerunners of today’s modern and luxury cars such as GLE Coupes, BMW X6, and Mercedes-Benz GLC.
The length of this two-door Safari is somewhere around 202.9-inches, its width is somewhere around 75.4-inches and its height was 61 inches. this vehicle was shipped with a 180-hp two-barrel, or 200-hp four-barrel 287 cubic-inch (4.7L) V-8, and had a four-speed automatic transmission (Hydra-Matic). Тhe price of this 55 Pontiac is more than $3,000.
1956 Rambler Cross Country
1956 Rambler Cross Country is the only surviving brand after George Romney who was a failed candidate for the 1968 GOP presidential nomination, future Michigan governor and chief of the newly formed American Motors Corp shuttered Hudson not long after it merged with Nash-Kelvinator in 1954.
Тhis surviving brand continued to offer much smaller cars, in a word cars in reasonable sizes as the big three offered prairie schooners roughly 205- to 220-inches long. This car had 193.6 inches on a 108-inch wheelbase, his height was about 58.6 inches and the width was about 71.3 inches. Its 195.6 cubic-inch six made 120 horsepower and 170 lb-ft. This car could hold a total of six passengers in two rows of seats and also had simple rounded doors.
But what makes this car first in the American industry is its body appearance because is a four-door pillarless hardtop station wagon. A year earlier GM had introduced its first four-door hardtops Buick Century and 1955 Olds 88. The basic price of this beautiful Rambler Cross Country is $2,326.
1957 Oldsmobile Super 88 Fiesta
Ionia Manufacturing has created the Buick and Olds hardtop wagons and it lasted unfortunately only two years ending in 1958 but the style they have, made them look magical and irresistible.
Unlike Olds which was only available as a car that could accommodate six passengers in two rows, the Buick was available with two or three rows which could accommodate six or nine passengers and also had the opportunity to split the seats in the second row. The back doors of this real beauty was a two-piece, clamshell design.
This Olds Super 88 Fiesta comes with an amazing 277-horsepower, 400-lb-ft 371 cubic-inch V-8, connected with two-speed automatic transmission (Jetaway Hydra-Matic). The Buick Century Caballero Riviera had a 300-horsepower, 400-lb-ft, 364-cubic-inch V-8 related to standard automatic transmission ( Dynaflow). A cheaper Special Caballero Riviera was available, with a 250-horsepower, 380-lb-ft 264 V-8 with a choice between Dynaflow (automatic) or manual transmission.
The basic price for a 1957 Oldsmobile moves between $3,017-$3,220, and while the base price of a 1957 Buick moves between $3,167-$3,831.
1960 Chrysler Town & Country
One very significant and important fact about Chrysler is that they didn’t offer an alternative to the New Yorker Town & Country and Windsor Town & Country when they were first shown in the 1960 model year. Аlso these New Yorker Town & Country were one of the best America’s station wagons from the 1950s to the early ’80s.
The ’60 New Yorker Town & Country is 219.6-inches long on a 126-inch wheelbase and has a V-8 engine with 350 horsepower. Тhe initial model of Chrysler Windsor Town & Country is 215.4-inches long, on a 122-inch wheelbase, and has a V-8 engine with 305 horsepower. What is common to both cars is that came with a pushbutton Torqueflite automatic, and as an option, it existed rear-facing third-row seats.
Chrysler’s 1964 wagons were the last vehicles to have solid four-door roofs. In the next few years all pillarless hardtops, whether four-door, two-door, or wagon, came under the complete control of the Ralph Nader-sparked safety movement. Аll this is done because the wagons are prone to overturning because they have long roofs without adequate vertical pillars, and that is one of the main reasons why it is difficult to find modern three-row wagons.
The basic price for Windsor Town & Country is $3,691 and for New Yorker Town & Country is $5,212.
1963 Studebaker Lark Wagonaire
Studebaker Lark Wagonaire is a very amazing classic wagon because in this vehicle the most famous industrial designer Brook Stevens designed a sliding roof panel. It opened the top from just behind the thin c-pillar, to the back with a single purpose to be able to transport tall objects.
This Wagonaires was available with a 112-hp 169.6-cubic-inch/2.8L six, a 180-hp 259-cubic-inch/4.2L V-8, a 210-hp 289-cubic-inch /4.7L V-8, or a supercharged 289 rated for 289 hp.
Тhis vehicle was made in only 15 copies with this latter R2 engine package. There was an option to choose between a four-speed manual transmission or a three-speed automatic transmission. Its length was about 190.3-inches and high around 57-inches on a 113-inch wheelbase, and available only as a two-row, six-passenger car.
Studebaker Lark Wagonaire can be purchased for the price of $2,550 to 2,700$.
1964 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser/1965 Buick Sportwagon
1964 was the last year in which Ionia Manufacturing built Olds and Buick full-size wagons. The length of the ’64 Olds Vista Cruiser was 208-inches on a 120-inch wheelbase, and while the F-85 wagon was long 203 inches on a 115-inch wheelbase. The height of the Olds was 58.3-inches and the height of Buick was 57.5-inches.
Vista Cruiser has 290 horsepower or 230 horsepower 330-cubic-inch / 5.4L V-8 engine and while Sportwagon has 250 horsepower or 210 horsepower 300-cubic-inch / 4.9L V-8 engine. Both models are offered with two- and three-row variations.
А very interesting fact is that the roof of Cruiser Vista survived four iterations through the ’72 model year. Аs for the ’73 Vista Cruiser has only a small sunroof and these same are found on GM’s new Colonnade A-bodies.
The base price of Oldsmobile ranges from $2,938-$3,122 and while the base price of Buick ranges from $2,925-$3,214.
1966 Ford Country Squire
I don’t know if you know but in those days Ford called itself The Wagonmaster and one of the most famous models was from 66 because it was the first with the Magic Moorgate.
In this vehicle, the rear door which had an electric window was hinged so that it could open like a door or like a conventional tailgate with a lower and an upper hinge on the driver’s side.
What is specific about this wagon is that it had a third-order option along with dual-facing rear seats. All this allowed this large vehicle to gather up to 10 passengers.
1966 Ford Country Squire has a length of 210.9 inches on a 119-inch wheelbase, its height is 56.7-inches and its width is 79-inches. In terms of the engine, there was an option to choose between 289-4.7L, 352-5.8L, 390-6.4L, and 428-7.0L V-8s ranging from 200-345 horsepower. The base price of this Ford ranged between $3,289-$3,372.
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