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9 of our all-time favorite wagons

Station wagons are in many ways the unsung heroes of the automotive hobby. Vintage longroofs possess a unique, nostalgic appeal: You're far more likely to have grown up with a brick-shaped Volvo or lozenge-like Roadmaster in your family driveway than a Ferrari Daytona. Station wagons do "understated cool" superbly, but their ranks also include some truly exotic stuff, like Audi's absurd RS 6 Avant, headed to U.S. shores for the first time this year. No matter your budget, wagons are eminently practical and inclusive; you can pack in your family, friends, and even the dog if you don't care too much about the carpet.

 

From four figures to six, Hagerty's Brad Phillips and Colin Comer rounded up 9 of their favorite wagons for your enjoyment in a recent livestream. The theme was inspired by the Wagon Queen Family Truckster, Phillips says. And really, any list of longroofs that starts with that "damn fine automobile" is bound to impress.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com: https://www.hagerty.com/media/lists/9-of-our-all-time-favorite-wagons/

Replies (129)

Replies (129)

You cannot have a wagon list without the Olds Vista Cruiser/Buick Sport or Nomad.

New Driver

Where's the 55, 56 and 57 Nomad?

Passenger

What? No room for the Vista Cruiser?

New Driver

Hrrruuuuuuuuph!

 

So... Innovation was not part of the decisionmaking with this list since the Studebaker Wagonaire, (which could carry a upright refrigerator), was not included. Sometimes I wonder about those who make the choices for these lists...

New Driver

Love me a sport wagon!   We are just getting ready to let our 07 Audi S4 Avant (wagon) find a new forever home.  We greatly enjoyed the S4 V8 all wheel drive 6spd powertrain in a mid-size wagon, doesn't get much more exclusive and fun than that.  Well maybe that awesome 1 of 1 428 manual trans country squire but hey apples and oranges right?  Wonder what the family thought back in 67 when dad rolled in the driveway with that?! 

New Driver

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New Driver

The Nomad & Vista Cruisers should obviously be up there instead of the Suburban and Shamu IMHO, but I agree that the '67 Country Sedan was the best example of this car, in '68 they went to side by side headlamps and it lost it's cool 😉 (I may be biased, having owned a '67, '68, and then a '66 in the mid & late 1970's as I struggled to keep a running car after high school. I'd also nominate a 1963 Buick LeSabre wagon to bump any of the more modern rides off the list. (the 401 engine from a totaled Wildcat under the hood would be nice, too) 😉  

Advanced Driver

Great article that brings back some great memories.  I grew up in Country Squires, 8 kids and mom and dad all fit, that's why mom drove a Ford since only they offered 10 passenger seating.  And since I'm on the bottom end of the 8 I got to share the club seating in the rear with three of my sisters, one older, two younger.  The color of Tom Cotter's unit I think is Sauterne Gold, my mom had a 65 in that color and followed it up with a 72 red one, both sans a 428 with 4 speed and center console, that would have taken up a valuable passenger spot, which was needed unless they left me behind, which only happened once.  Everyone went out to dinner in the Wisconsin Dells and when they came back I was sitting on the motel stoop, ever since then role call took place before any family departure.

 

Thanks for the fond memories

New Driver

I am surprised not to see hardtop wagons in this list... a great period design to give sportier, open air riding and styling on a practical wagon.  All of the 'big four' (GM, Ford, Chrysler, and American Motors) dabbled in these with some striking designs in the late 1950s into the early 1960s.  A couple of my favorites would include the 1960-62 full size Chrysler and Dodge wagons, and the 1959-60 Mercury wagons... but they all were great examples of style and innovation at work!

Pit Crew

Got a happy place in my heart for my 92 525iT. I was amazed at the double sunroof; it was a lifesaver after carrying three dogs on a 2K journey (hint : dogs smell). Opened the 'rear' sunroof and all was well. Only gripe was the GM slushbox; have a 99 528iT now with a proper gearbox.

New Driver

I heartily agree the GM "vista" wagons should have been included.  The mother-in-law had one that I rode/drove in, very unique and enjoyable wagon.  I agree also with GrumpyOne questioning who's making up these lists.  Dodge Magnum wagon?? Seriously?

Wagons have fit our life style for years.  Even today we're running a Prius V wagon, love the mileage (40+), the ride and the flexibility.  Sadly Toyota dropped it.

Our first was a '77 Dodge Aspen wagon that I ordered new.   Loved the color, loved the chrome and the bucket seat interior.  

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With the 318 V8 and the four speed (fourth OD) it would catch 2nd gear chirp (with radial tires) anytime but knock out 25+ mpg on the road.  Great combination and it handled towing our fishing boat better than my F150 did.  Downside .... at 100k+ the body started "melting away" into puddles of rust.

New Driver

I think you missed the best looking wagon of them all! The 1968 Buick Sportwagon with that fancy raised glass roof panel. Not sure what the power train options were. I used to walk by one every day on the way to school. Awesome!

Passenger

I probably have the only 1980 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, in metallic emerald green with the vinyl wood siding down both sides and across the back, that has 42,000 original miles and is rocking a beast of a race car hiding under the hood!! Total Sleeper !! It has a bored out Buick big-block 403 that's putting out 450 horses. Posi-traction rear end w/ coil springs over air bags and H.D. shocks + an anti-sway bar puts the rubber to the road. Front disk brakes, dual exhausts, over-sized radiator, hi-torque starter. When it was raced, it turned 0-60 in 5.1 sec. and 13.24 in the quarter mile...not bad for a gorgeous mint condition 4,000 pd station wagon even today!

Passenger

I woulda left off the Magnum & put upa '70s Holden 4WD. They looked like ours of the same era (gm's " '67 country squire") chebby but were way beefier, durable, brutes that could run the Oz outback for thousands of mi a trip. Also trade a beemer for the audi?

 

Known as the WagonMan around these prts I like the 50s plym suburban, many of the Wolwos (start w/the Duette & hit the safe then sports waggys) and some of the Japanese (esp the pre-mini van MVPs - toy tercelle, honda vanogan, Mutsu/Eagle Summit, Nissan Stanza...or the others of the 90s accord & corolla, camery).

Like any automotive Q it all ways starts w/the Application Q - canyon carver, grocery getter, classic, dependable, like 'hands on tools' every wkend? (Italian/Brit) I do!

Intermediate Driver

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My 57 Nomad - Ross

New Driver

I guess the Volvo Polestar didn't make the cut. Nor did the quirky 60's Studebaker with the sliding roof. Or one of my favorites,  the Ferrari FF

Pit Crew

Ahh the station wagon my father worked at Ford dealerships his entire career and was fortunate enough to have Demo's the majority of the cars he brought home were station wagons big wood grained road behemoths, as we had a four season family cottage it was the best unit for the job. From FE 390,s to the 460 cid we had them all pulling boats/utility trailers and snowmobiles in the winter father was a master at packing he would spend hours and it was amazing how much stuff we brought every time yep station wagons were a big part of my young life I look back now and wonder how Dad did it we pulled 4 place sled trailers north thru the worst of weather, now I will not venture out with my sleds on a trailer or for that matter to get grub without a 4WD or AWD vehicle. Cheers R

Intermediate Driver

This was just a list of "favorites", so very subjective. Really hard to see how the Jeep Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer didn't get there when the Chevy Suburban did though. Maybe because it's an SUV and not just a wagon, since it wasn't available in two wheel drive?

 

The Eagle has an interesting story. It starts with the "Cowboy" mini truck prototype of 1971. One reason AMC decided against building the mini truck (usually shown with Hornet front end -- but that was added later by the owner of the only existing prototype -- originally had more truck-like Gremlin front end) was it would be sold as a Jeep model and there was no 4x4 equipment for it. The second reason is that they were selling Hornets and Gremlins about as fast as they could make them and didn't want to add another model that would slow production.  But AMC engineers didn't rest... they developed the 4x4 system that would fit under a Hornet, then used it in the Eagle under a concord (which is an updated Hornet).  As a side note, they also used the Cowboy "uniframe" under the 1986 Jeep Comanche truck.

Intermediate Driver

Let’s see how many wagons have I owned and loved - 66 and 67 VW squarebacks 70’s Volvo 240 and 80’s 740 turbo wagon, 94 BMW 525it, 2006 Cadillac SRX, 2010 Ford Flex and my current 2019 Ford Flex Limited awd loved them all!

New Driver

How about a 1954 Dodge Coronet Suburban Wagon-All steel except the monstrous 

steering wheel

Passenger

Awhhh, no Chrysler Wagons on yur list!!..Mother Mopar produced some GREAT Wagons over the period of time wagons were made by Chrysler..(I know the Dodge Magnum was featured, I'm talking about 60's-70's}..... 

Passenger

To leave the Audi Allroad 4.2 off this list, given its height adjustable suspension and 300hp of normally aspirated V8 sleeper car goodness, is a miscarriage of justice.

Passenger

I had a 57 Dodge Sierra 2 door wagon with a 1956 354 Hemi, spinner hubcaps, child seats, a real sleeper

Passenger

I loved the 60 - 64 Chrysler wagons with no B pillar.

New Driver

Um...where is the iconic Vista Cruiser?

Passenger

Trucks don't count, delete the Suburban.

 

I had multiple Swedish cargo carriers, either Volvo 145, 245 or 745,  they certainly hauled for me. Wife, two kids, camping gear and four bicycles was fairly common. A brother-in-law agreed his minivan couldn't take the same load. Mind you, this was both a bike rack *and* a clamshell on the roof.

 

At a Carlisle, PA meet I met a fellow with a massive pile of Mercedes part - I had to smile at the Volvo doing the hauling. I even brought home the 20 foot I-beam for the garage loft on the roof of a Volvo.

 

I ended up with the sexy one. Most people's reaction is that Volvo & sexy is an oxymoron. Then they see the 1973 Volvo 1800ES - then the camera's come out.

New Driver

I have and old 1995 S6 Avant (Wagon).  It holds a lot of stuff, great on long trips.  With a GTX 3071 turbo the 5cyl. makes 405 whp. and manages 24 mpg on the highway in sixth gear.  Awesome on mountain roads.  Pushing 240K miles now, engine never apart.  And then there is this, slightly newer, (and harder to work on) Audi Avant https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNJEQ90_wFk

Passenger

Wagon's HO! I miss my 69 Buick Special Sport Wagon. (Vista Cruiser's cousin) Can't leave out all the cool US 4 door hardtop wagons from the late fifties & early 60's. Buick, Olds, Merc & ChryCo.

Intermediate Driver

Roadmaster above a Nomad? Give me a break!

Passenger

What about the Chevy Nomad

Passenger