The Six Most Iconic Station Wagons of All Time

Categories: Cars and Trucks

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The Wagon Queen Family Truckster?
The 2010s will forever be known as the decade of the crossover. But what is a crossover, exactly? It's a car that's trying its hardest to look like an SUV. Crossovers are the poseurs of the automotive world.

My friend's car got totaled last week, and she called to ask me for used-car advice. "What's a station wagon?" she asked out of curiosity. "I'm so glad you asked," I responded. We started browsing used-car listings for station wagons and discovered a lost era of automotive practicality and ingenuity.

Station wagons are a rare breed nowadays. Of the hundreds of new car models available today, there are approximately eight that could be categorized as true station wagons. But station wagons used to be cool, and with good reason. Their boxy rear ends mean that they're immensely practical. They're usually based on sedans, which means they get better fuel economy than tall, non-aerodynamic SUVs. Most important, they're not pretentious like SUVs with their off-road, rough-and-tumble appearance. Who really takes their Honda CR-V off road?

So here is a celebration of some of the best station wagons over the years. Let's hope they make a comeback soon.

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Photo by Jack_Snell
6. Chevrolet Nomad
First generation, 1955-1957

The first generation of the Nomad evokes images of the Beach Boys and surfboards. Related to the equally iconic Chevrolet Bel Air, the 1955-57 Nomad was a stylish two-door wagon introduced during the reign of legendary General Motors designer Harley Earl. Today this generation of Nomad is extremely collectible due to the brief run of the desirable two-door model, and restored versions rack up big bucks at classic car auctions all over the country. Chevy has hinted at the return of the Nomad with a 2004 concept car, but no such model has come to fruition yet.


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9 comments
Tangyjoe
Tangyjoe

In the 70s my folks had the old Dodge wagon with the rear facing "tail gunner" seat in the back. I can't imagine anyone not seeing what a horrible idea that was but back then we just thought it was cool.  My brother and I always rode back there.  

ypman
ypman

Regarding #6 on the list the legendary deisgner was Harley Earl, not Harvey.

NewsDog
NewsDog

You just weren't keeping up with the Jones' in the burbs if you didn't have a 1969 Ford Country Squire in olive green with the fake wood paneling. It seemed like everyone had one.  

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser, coolest wagon ever.

huou9802
huou9802

The W123 Mercedes Wagon is a much better built and reliable wagon than the W124 model. Better looking, too.

Anonymous
Anonymous

You hate it now...wait til you drive it.

NewsDog
NewsDog

@MadMac With the 'missile silo' rear hatch. Cool look but it sucked when/if the door motor went out.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

That's every part on EVERY American car. Olds also attempted to pioneer climate control in the Regency 98, with the end result being the air AND the heat ran constantly. Cadillac's 4-6-8 engine was a complete and utter disaster. Meanwhile the Vista Cruiser was  beautiful to look at, very comfortable to ride in, and the engine was powerful enough to drag all that wagon down the road.

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