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Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:29 am

Did you grow up with a station wagon as the "family car" when you were kids?

I sure did! I grew up in a BIG family of 12, so we had 2 station wagons to haul all of us around. (This was back in the 70s and early 80s, when I was a young child, and our family spanned the age spectrum from toddler to college-age). This was how we went to church each Sunday (and filled an entire pew), school every day, camping in the summer, etc.

I also made my countless trips to the hospital for my surgeries throughout childhood, in the back of a station wagon, from Fort Wayne, IN to St. Louis, MO.

I always rode in the rear of the station wagon; it was the best seat for me--the space and the view.

The station wagons I remember from childhood are:

1) 1976 Buick Century wagon--brown with tan vinyl interior. This was my favourite car for some reason, and it was "Dad's car". It's the first one I remember since being adopted by my family in the late 70s. This was the one that towed our fold-down trailer (and the tent that was specially made to attach to the side of the trailer to hold the overflow of our family). Dad and I made many trips to St. Louis for my surgeries, and I went to camp in Michigan one summer in this one. It was great for hauling me and my clothes and medical supplies to hospital and camp. I loved it!

2) 1978 Chrysler LeBaron Town & Country wagon--metallic sunfire green with "woody-wagon" trim, and matching green vinyl interior. This was "Mom's car"--she used it while Dad was at work with the Buick. We had this one at the same time as the 1976 Buick, and it continued serving our family long after the Buick died--and even when we had a full-size passenger van. With Dad working, we still needed to use two cars. The Chrysler was our "school bus" and our church bus, too (until the van took over the primary family-transporter duties). I also made many trips to the hospital in St. Louis with Dad in this one. The Chrysler finally met its end when one of my siblings, learning to drive, wrecked it. It was on its last legs anyway, due to terminal rust eating away the metal under the fake wood trim.

3) 1986 Chevrolet Cavalier wagon--blue with black cloth interior. This was our last station wagon; a brother of mine bought it for the family. By that time (the early 1990s), we were using our second van--a white 1985 GMC. Dad used this mostly as transport to work in Fort Wayne, IN. By that time, I had started high school in Fort Wayne, and needed to be driven every day for the 50-mile round trip to my high school in Fort Wayne. I also made the remainder of my hospital trips (both Indianapolis and St. Louis) in this one, with either Mom or Dad driving. This one was not used much as a family hauler--most of my siblings had moved out and married. The van did most of the hauling for what was left of our family at home--pulling the camping trailer, etc. When I reached university age, I started driving--and I learned to drive in the Chevy wagon. I drove it for the next two years on my daily commute to college in Fort Wayne, until I finally traded it in on my first car--a 1989 Dodge Aries K sedan. The last I heard is that the car, soon after being traded in and sold at an auto auction, was abandoned on a side road somewhere in the Fort Wayne area.

Those are my station wagon memories! I would love to someday find a full-sized station wagon again and drive it.

Please share your childhood station wagon memories!

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
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RE: Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:41 am

We never had one, but my Aunt and Uncle did. A big ugly "70's Green" one, probably a Chevy as my Aunt was and is a loyal Chevy customer.

I remember many a ride in the back with my cousin Mark who I disliked then and don't care for much now. His older sisters always sat in the back seating area while my Aunt and Mom rode in the front.

Fortunately, Mark's sisters disliked him as well and as I was the youngest of the troop, they were 3, 5 and 7 years older than I, it was fun to listen to those girls rip him a new one every 2 miles.

I learned many a catty phrase in the back of that station wagon, which was always a hit when I repeated them at school!
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RE: Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:46 am

yeah! when we lived out in Saudi, and a couple of Turkish Families would combine to go on an outing, we would all race for the back! it was like being in a space ship, or aquarium.

Of course, now, there's no way in hell id fit lol
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RE: Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:52 am

Family Trucksters:

1958 Rambler: My dad taught at OU in the late 1960's and he decided that my mom needed a car all her own. He bought a used light metallic purple Rambler wagon in 1966. Car lasted about 10 minutes, and died on a very cold Norman Oklahoma night, while I was watching my favorite show (at the time) called "Maya" about an American kid who gets lost in India, with a boy and his elephant. I remember being pretty mad I was going to miss the show.

1968 Dodge Coronet 440: We moved to Houston in 1968, and lived far from the U of H campus, and Dad, again decided we were to be a two car family. We went to Sharpstown Dodge looking for a new car. There were only two wagons that were at the price my dad was willing to pay. One was a demonstrator Polara wagon, with a scratch in the fake wood, and the other a very plain jane Coronet. We got that one, and drove it 'till 1975. Took it to LA in 1972, on a family trip, and did 100+mph thru Nevada, when they had no speed limit. Car never even broke a sweat.

1970 Ford Country Sedan: My second car. Lasted from 1977-1978. Baby blue w/390 four barrel. Typical electrical gremlins killed it. Probably would still own it, if it had run right.

Almost wagons:

1972 Vega Kammback: Would have been my first car in 1977. Freind bought it, and it burned oil like a big dog

1973 Olds Custom Cruiser: Was considering it in 1980 as I was about to go to college to haul all my crap too and from school.

1971 Ford Country Sedan: Was dirt poor and needed a car in 1987. Some other fellow beat me to the deal. Very basic metallic green wagon. Nice.

Wagons I'd like:

1974-78 AMC Matador....1994-96 Buick Roadmaster....1968-72 Olds VistaCruiser.....1973 Chevy Laguna......1958 Edsel Villager.....1960 Ford....

[Edited 2005-05-31 22:59:51]
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RE: Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:52 am


Never have been in one, the only memories I have of one is the family truckster from National Lampoons Vacation when Clark Griswald took the family to Wally World.

While lost in St. Louis, Clark asks a pimp for directions.

"Excuse me, do you think you can tell me and my family how to get back on the expressway? Pimp replies "man go fuck your mama!!!" Clark replies with a "thank you very much"

A classic.
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RE: Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 6:46 am

I spent a better part of my early childhood in the backseat of a 1975 Dodge Coronet wagon. It was gold with tan vinyl (fun in the summer) interior. By the time we got rid of the beast (1986) the rear quarter panels and the tailgate had rusted pretty good. I do vaguely remember going to a drive-in movie (I believe it was "The Breakfast Club") in the beast.

It always looked kinda funny in the garage, b/c right next to the huge ass station wagon was a subcompact Dodge Omni. Which we spent just about as much time in traveling as a family. Though, before I was born, the wagon's garagemate was a 1972 Plymouth Gran Fury coupe, must have been a tight fit.

Ultimately the Coronet and the Omni were retired in favor of a 1987 Toyota Camry sedan... I car that I have much more favorable memories of and felt a little sad when my dad finally sold it 5 years ago.
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RE: Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 6:50 am

I spend many occasions in the back of station wagons.

Although my parents weren't that 'cool' to buy a station wagon, almost everyone else did.
My older sisters were girl scouts and I had to be the little brother tagging along on many of there trips. Of the scouts, my favorite to ride in was a 1976 Oldsmobile 98 Custom Cruiser. The others were 1975 Ford Country Squire and 1973 Cheverolet Caprice wagon.

My favorite full size wagon is the 1975-1978 Mercury Colony Park.
Bring back the Concorde
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RE: Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 7:11 am

1964 Ford Country Squire: White w/red interior (similar to the below-ad).

My mother owned it from 1966 to 1971. It was the car that I had my earliest of memories of.

1969 Mercury Colony Park:

My father's was Medium Green w/black interior (no vinyl roof, unlike above-picture). He actually owned two of them, same color. One had the 390, the other a 429. He bought one then swapped it for the other (390 for 429) about a week later. It had the rear dual-facing seats, A/C, factory AM/8-track stereo. He towed his 25-foot tri-moran sailboat with this beast. He owned it from 1971 to late 1974. New England salt air (and water) started rotting out the rear-quarter panels.

1974 Ford Pinto Squire wagon:

My father's was dark blue and had the manual-transmission, of course.
Major culture shock of a transition from the Colony Park (I missed the old big wagon). Due to financial problems, my father earlier sold his boat (eliminating the need for a towing vehicle) and downsized to a one-year old left-over wagon since he was doing a lot of driving. Gas prices did jump to a whopping 65 to 70 cents per gallon from 35 to 40 cents per gallon 1 1/2 years earlier. He owned it from late 1974 to 1977.

1969 Ford Country Squire:

Ours was dark green, almost black in appearance, (the one pictured above is more the color of my father's Colony Park): Originally this car belonged to a former neighbor of ours. It sat in their driveway for about 2 years. Orignally, my brother bought it for a tinker around vehicle (he did not yet have his license). The car had the 390. Later, my father bought it off my brother (the wagon was driveable) and used it for a while. It would burn a fair amount of oil. My brother dubbed the car as The Pig due to its gas consumption. My family had it from 1978 to 1979. We did use it on a family trip to Maine. The wagon did have some body rot.

That was it in terms of wagons used for family transportation in my family, although there are some other notable station wagons my brother & father owned during the '80s when we were all still living under one roof.

1971 Ford Country Squire:
My brother had a yellow one briefly in 1982. It had the 390. I remember one snowy night, we were at a deserted Stop-n-Shop parking lot doing donuts with the thing.

1972 Ford Pinto wagon:

My father's 2nd Pinto wagon for my father was dark brown (NOT the Squire).
After having problems with his '72 BWW Bavaria (long story), he needed some cheap (& more dependable) transportation. He bought this wagon for $300 in 1983 and had it for about a year. I learned to drive a manual transmission with this car.

1975 Chevy Impala wagon:

My brother bought a light green one of these wagons and used it as a dump-runner in 1987. He had it for about a year. It was equipped with the 350.

Since being married since 1994, my brother has kept station wagon ownership alive in the family.

1986 Pontiac Safari: (grainy picture shown is an '88 model)

My brother's maroon wagon had the rear-seat. He owned it for about 3 years ('94-'97). Believe it or not; it was briefly stolen. Who steals station wagons? It was recovered about a week later with some damage. Somebody must have wanted a large capacity joy-ride vehicle for a while.

1986 Mercury Colony Park LS:
Around 1996, my brother bought a dark blue model w/the leather interior; and passed the Pontiac over to his wife. He owned it from '96 to '99 when he sold it to a friend of his, who, I believe, still owns it. It probably has over 200k on it.

1988 Ford Country Squire LX:

My brother picked up a medium blue wagon (w/the velour interior)about a year after he picked up the '86 Merc. The earlier-mentioned '86 Pontiac was either sold or junked. His wife usually drove this one. It had the dual-facing rear-seats. He owned it until 2002.

1983 Chevy Caprice Estate wagon:

When the '86 Merc. was let go, my brother bought a one on of these. He dubbed it Gertrude. It had the third seat. He picked it up in '99 and just recently sold it for a quick $275. The car had over 300k on it. This was the last full-size wagon my brother owned.

1995 Frod Taurus LX wagon:

After living a few years in Sturbridge, MA (they lived in Worcester when they first married for a few years); my brother's wife was doing a lot of driving and the earlier big wegon's gas comsumption was taking a bite in the family budget. As a result, my brother bought a medium blue one of these (w/the 3rd jump-seat) in 2002. They still own it to the day. It may be the last station wagon in my brother's family.

[Edited 2005-06-01 00:12:50]
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RE: Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 7:28 am

1978 Volvo 240 DL Wagon – color Avocado [puke green] with red vinyl interior.

My brother and I tore up seats in spirit of growing up in a laisse-faire household. My father went to the junkyard for a new rear seat and got the red vinyl out of a Volvo someone had actually died in. I guess this goes with his habit of purchasing a house that was the scene of a notorious murder. (Truly, pure coincidence as he got good deals on both, he’s not morbid).

He bought a Volvo when he could finally afford one ‘because all the yuppies in New England had them.’ His words, not mine.

The Volvo met an untimely death at around 175k miles and was replaced by a 1985 Suburban because all realTexans drove a Suburban - just not one with a Kill Your TV bumper sticker on it. That, unfortunately met an untimely death at 258k on the odometer, having driven thru every state east of the Mississippi and Atlantic Canada/The Maritimes.
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RE: Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 7:36 am

Quoting FlyingTexan (Reply 8):
I guess this goes with his habit of purchasing a house that was the scene of a notorious murder. (Truly, pure coincidence as he got good deals on both, he’s not morbid).

Hmmm, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre comes to mind.
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RE: Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 7:45 am

We used to rent those Buick Estate Wagons for long family trips.

One memorable trip was from Phoenix to Durango Colorado, via the Grand Canyon. My uncle and his family from France came with us. We actually got to go through McDonalds drive thrus and stay in Best Western Motels. Big adventure for me, as usually my mother would never put up with that kind of traveling.

We used to rent them for trips to Lion Country Safari in Georgia for birthday parties.
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RE: Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 8:01 am

Ah, memories.
Yes, I was a station wagon kid.
When I was a youngster, we had a seafoam green 66 Falcon Wagon. Ok car, til my brother wrecked it. After that, we had what could only be described as the biggest barge on the planet. A butternut yellow, 70 Mecury Colony Park Wagon. Big monster V8, seating for 9, and six acres of woodgrain slathered down both sides.
Well, then the 73 oil crisis came, and the price of gasoline went to......OMG! 50 cents a gallon!!!
Well, at 10 mpg, Mom decided that we had to shed this leviathan and get something more efficient.
Enter the 73 VW 411 Wagon. You could park this little pea shooter in the back of the old Merc!
Well, that didn't last but a few year. Then Mom, in a fury of militant feminism trades in the VW and comes home with a 75 International Scout. Big, 4WD, V8, removable roof. (It was kind of a wagon, and a precursor to the current obsession that Americans have with SUV's.  vomit  Don't know when she went off the deep end. I mean, come on, gasoline was 65 cents a gallon!
We'll that ended my families love affair with the old station wagon. That is, until I started my family.
My first family car was a 93 Honda Accord Wagon. What a great car.
Even still, after divorce, and subsequent single fatherhood, there is a 2000 BMW 323i Sportwagon parked in my stable.
Death to the SUV! Long live the Station Wagon!

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RE: Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 8:06 am

Volkswagen Dasher I think? It was definately blue. I rember being sooooooooooo disapointed when I found out that we didn't ACTAULY have mice and birdies under the hood as I had been told, but merely a colection of loose fitting belts and parts (which in turn caused) a variety of smoke colors to be emitted out the tail pipe.
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RE: Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 8:18 am

Quoting 777DadandJr (Reply 11):
Death to the SUV! Long live the Station Wagon!

I agree!  bigthumbsup 

Quoting Doug_Or (Reply 12):
Volkswagen Dasher

I had one of those back in high school. I bought it off my english teacher for $50.
Even though it was a 4-banger, front-drive unibody, it started my love for diesel engines. Too bad Ford never made diesel for there full-sized sedans & wagons.
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RE: Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 8:34 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 9):
Hmmm, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre comes to mind.

It was actually their house in bring Stephen King to mind
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RE: Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 10:52 am

The first & only station wagon that my family ever owned when I was growing up in the '70s & '80s was a big, beautiful 1970 Mercury Marquis Colony Park. It was green with false wood grain siding down the middle of the sides. It had a big 429 cid V-8 in it, and God how I love that car!! In 1977 when I was 16, I earned my driver license with that car. I passed on the first test too.  Wink We were a family of 5 in those years, and we all drove it from L.A. to New York state with it, made a lots of side trips along the way, and the car was flawlessy dependable the entire 30-day trip. Even today, some 20 plus years after I've last seen it, I still miss it. Superfly, if you read certainly do have great taste in automobiles.  Wink Regards.
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RE: Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 11:04 am

No one's gotten laid in one?

I haven't, unfortunately...vans yes, wagons no.
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RE: Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 11:08 am

Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 16):
No one's gotten laid in one?

I haven't, unfortunately...vans yes, wagons no

Hatchbacks are bad. Tust me.
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RE: Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 11:29 am

We had a 69 Olds Vista Cruiser, pea green, miles of glass, and still in the box (wood grain paneling). We spent a lot of time at the drive in theater. I can remember laying on the floor and breathing through the rust holes because my oldest brother and his girlfriend were chain smokers. My second oldest brother wrapped it around a huge oak tree when drinking and driving was still cool. Even today I drive by it and show my kids the big scar that their uncle left in that tree.
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RE: Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 11:45 am

1966 Ford Fairlane 500 Wagon, it was Black . . . red interior.

Then a 1970 Ford Country Squire, it was Black . . . red interior.

Geeeezus my dad was boring . . .

After that, I had my own car . . . it was a Ford Torino . . .  Smile
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RE: Station Wagon Memories Anyone?

Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:06 pm

Lots of good memories in the summer of being driven around by Mrs. Kay, the owner of a Montessori school where me and my sister went to in the summer. She had an 80's Oldsmobile wagon, and we often shared seat belts when going somewhere like the bowling alley or roller skating. 3 in the front, 4 in the middle, and 3 in the back (if they were really small and/or skinny). It wasn't a woody, but sort of looked like it had light brown wood panelling because of the tan color. Luckily, it had cloth seats, not vinyl.

During that same time, we had a 1985 Toyota Cressida wagon, a very fine vehicle. I was a year old when Mom bought it (thankfully, she won out over Dad's preference, a Volvo 240 b/c you could get it with a stick), and she didn't sell it till I was a freshman in college (got $950 for it, with well over 200K hard miles on it). Had a great straight Six in it, and was properly RWD. Felt much better to drive than my sluggish 95 four-banger Camry.

Quoting FlyingTexan (Reply 8):
just not one with a Kill Your TV bumper sticker on it.

I want one of those! And your dad was right: I remember being amazed when I went up to visit Dad in Connecticut once, after I had started driving (our Cressida wagon), and couldn't believe how many Subaru Outbacks, Volvo wagons, VW/Mercedes/BMW/Saab wagons, etc that I saw.

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