9 January 2014

Five Of The Coolest Station Wagons Ever

Station wagons are officially endangered in the U.S., and other than the Dodge Magnum and Cadillac CTS wagon, Richard Nixon was president when the last really cool one was built in America. But a quick look at the cars on this list might make you re-think any preconceived notions that wagons were all “Mom Mobiles” for the pre-minivan generation.

  1. 1955-57 Chevrolet Nomad — The iconic Tri-Five Chevy, built from 1955-1957, was likely the post-war high-water mark for Chevrolet. It came in myriad body styles and was available with the first version of Chevrolet’s legendary small-block V-8. The two-door Nomad wagon gives even the convertible a serious run for its money in the cool department.
  2. 1959 Pontiac Safari — The 1950s were littered with cool station wagons with over-the-top styling. Our vote goes for the ’59 Pontiac Safari. That was the model year in which tail fins reached their absurd apex. The ’59 Safari actually had two sets of fins on the top and the bottom of the rear fenders, making it look like a Redstone ballistic missile – which was probably not an accident.
  3. 1964-65 Chevrolet Chevelle — Two-door wagons are totally impractical to the point of defeating the purpose of having a wagon in the first place, but they look cool. We love the first-generation Chevelle two-door wagon for its handy size, great looks and the fact that all of the performance parts from the two-door SS coupe will fit on the wagon, making it a great sleeper muscle car.
  4. 1968-72 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser — The Vista Cruiser and the Ford Country Squire are the cars that immediately come to mind when referring to the “back backseat,” and it was probably in one of these wagons where the classic slow-burn phrase “Don’t make me come back there” was first uttered by an agitated father. The Olds gets the nod in terms of cool, simply because we love the glass roof and GM’s spot-on styling work.
  5. 1971-73 Volvo 1800ES — Volvo of the 1960s and ‘70s wasn’t exactly a company synonymous with high style. Frumpy but practical 544s, Amazons and brick-like 240s were the stereotypical Volvos of the day. But the P1800 coupe was gorgeous, and for a few brief model years it was available as a very pretty two-door sports wagon. Nicknamed “Cinderella’s Coffin” by some for their long, flat roof lines and generous glass, these wagons are among the few truly collectible Volvos — and they run virtually forever.

26 Reader Comments

  • 1
    E L Harden LA CA January 10, 2014 at 17:16
    Dad had a black Mercury Colony Park with a 430 ci MEL Super Marauder engine (400 HP). You need do thing to make it a sleeper muscle car.
  • 2
    jack hunker nothern wisc January 13, 2014 at 18:13
    love the wagons have a 64 2dr chevelle and a 4door wagon a 70 buick gsx clone a70 flat top 442 olds clone wagon 67 impala 3 seat wagon love my 5 wagons
  • 3
    jack adler gordonville, Texas January 29, 2014 at 16:44
    Come on, a 64 chevelle? You missed it by two years.by overlooking the 62 Buick estate wagon. Remember the crisp sharp lines and fender styling? The low roof that almost makes it look chopped. The first V-6. Motor Trend car of the yr. I like the ret of the picks
  • 4
    Michael Illinois January 31, 2014 at 16:52
    My uncle had a 55 blue and white nomad. It was sooooo cool compared to my dads 51 buick wagon. Station wagons ran in the family, and I own an o5 magnum, and that's coooool too.
  • 5
    Roger Burke Alberta,Canada April 2, 2014 at 22:34
    I'm working on a 1928 Pontiac Model 6-28 two door sedan and I need to find the measurements for the windshield. Can anybody out there help?? Sure would appreciate it.
  • 6
    Eric Huntington Beach May 21, 2014 at 18:04
    Still get a kick out of seeing a 70's Buick Roadmaster that has faux wood paneling. The ultimate luxo yacht with great MPG.Take the family and the neighborhood. Maybe could be the mini Suburban.
  • 7
    Richie T. Philly Suburbs May 21, 2014 at 18:29
    How is it possible that none of the ultra cool looking Chrysler-Dodge-Plymouth wagons of the late '50's-early '60's were overlooked in this article?..The operative was "cool"..right?
  • 8
    Guy Ogan West Texas May 21, 2014 at 18:43
    I love the look and rarity of my wife's 1964 Studebaker Daytona Wagonaire with the sliding rear roof that turns it into a truck. We don't haul anything in it but it is a conversation piece if we take it out anywhere for a drive.
  • 9
    James Wright Ft. Lauderdale, FL May 21, 2014 at 20:53
    I couldn't agree more. My car ever was a 1956 Chevy Nomad. I now have two. One modified and one original. Chevy Nomad also make Hagerty's list of Top 5 Best-Looking Cars Ever.
  • 10
    Dean Koehler Yosemite May 21, 2014 at 22:18
    The Volvo 1800ES is called "Snow White's Coffin" or schneewichensarg as it had so much glass as to look the Her glass coffin. Cinderella just had the glass slipper. Also, only produced for '72 and '73 model years. Not '71.
  • 11
    T.H. Estes South Carolina May 22, 2014 at 18:27
    These were good choices for the "modern" wagon. What about the old woodies of Ford and Mercury. The Packard wagons were also special.
  • 12
    James Littlejohn San Diego, Ca. May 26, 2014 at 12:08
    I learned how to drive in a 68 Plymouth Satellite wagon, Looks like a 68 Road Runner back in 77, Still have it, Hasn't run in 30yrs. Wish I could afford to restore it,
  • 13
    Robert Moore United States September 3, 2014 at 22:18
    Not one of those is on my top 5 list. A '40 Ford Woodie, 56 Chevy Nomad, 55 or 56 Ford Country Squire, 56 Pontiac Safari, and Dodge Magnum.
  • 14
    Mark C Laguna Beach, CA September 4, 2014 at 14:34
    What about the 1960 Chrysler New Yorker Wagon. A friend of the family had one - the ultimate in space age styling.
  • 15
    Bob Marshall United States September 17, 2014 at 18:26
    Dad had a 1955 Ford Ranch Wagon with dual quads. I have a 55 Ranch Wagon also. I'm the Dad now! But not with the dual quad teapot carbs.
  • 16
    Kevin Rockwall, TX September 17, 2014 at 19:14
    Any of the hardtop wagons from Mopar in the late 50s and early 60s, but my personal favorites are the '57 and '58 Oldsmobile Fiesta and Buick Caballeros. There's no better example of '50s styling and excess than a '58 Caballero with all four windows down.
  • 17
    Edgar Fla November 13, 2014 at 13:41
    What about the Oldsmobile Fiesta of late 50's It was all chromed and beautiful ????
  • 18
    mike saathoff indiana November 13, 2014 at 19:00
    My daily driver since 2001 has been my 1963 country sedan wagon. In 2005 I installed a DOHC ford 4.6 , with a 4150 holley carb, Tremec TKO 500, 3.7 limited slip 9 inch ford rear end. ,I could have sold this car 200 times, as people are always wanting to buy it.
  • 19
    BD Northern California November 13, 2014 at 19:53
    As a kid: I grew up loving the Tri 5's, and always hoped my wife would drive the kids to school in one, (rodded, and w/ Cragars). While I was fortunate enough to own a nice 55 for a short time; life intervenes, and it doesn't work out the way you want - but it was worth it.
  • 20
    Larry Southern WI November 16, 2014 at 13:15
    Driving an 82 Ford Crown Vic Wagon, built 302, 5 speed manual 355 posi
  • 21
    Rick Oliver tbo Re-Klaim United States November 16, 2014 at 12:40
    any of these would look great along side my Volvo 240 wagon with a 355sbc and tpi with t5 trany....just saying. .
  • 22
    Doug Wolford Puyallup, WA November 25, 2014 at 16:50
    This Pontiac wagon is one of several Pontiacs owned by a friend of mine. He also has a white '59 Bonneville 4 dr HT, a '63 wagon, convertible, and 2 dr HT, a '65 Bonneville convertible, as well as some Buicks and Cadillacs.
  • 23
    Phil Saint Paul July 16, 2015 at 01:31
    My family had a 1957 Pontiac Star Chief Safari. It had it all. Four doors. 347 engine. Signal-seeking radio. Leather interior. Acres of chrome.
  • 24
    Randy Pedersen Salina, Ks June 1, 2016 at 19:43
    You really missed the boat on this one. In just the 50's alone you could fill your list and then some all the neat 2dr and 4dr hardtop wagons anyone of which would knock out all but the Nomad from your list. Wake up guys I thought you were classic car nuts like the rest of us, you can do better.
  • 25
    Jeffrey Brown Utah November 23, 2016 at 16:59
    You missed THEE coolest station wagon ever; the late 50's or early 60's Rambler Deluxe station wagon; check out the movie Mystery Men for this sweet ride
  • 26
    Bob Corin Florida November 23, 2016 at 22:05
    You also left off the '56 Ford Parklane (which out sold the Nomad) and '57-'59 Mercury two door hardtop wagons

Join the Discussion