14 February 2017

eBay Find of the Week: Wagonaire Extraordinaire

1965 Studebaker Wagonaire

Today we have SUVs, but 50 years ago trucks were trucks. The words "luxury" or "sport" anywhere near a sentence that contained "trucks" would have elicited a chuckle. Still, there were some early attempts to cross the gap. The Ford Ranchero and later Chevy El Camino come to mind.

Taking a different approach, Studebaker's Wagonaire took the concept of a comfortable and family-friendly wagon but combined it with a sliding roof so it could theoretically carry large and tall items like a pickup. General Motors recently copied some of the Wagonaire’s ideas: Its GMC Envoy features a sliding roof. Was Studebaker simply way ahead of the curve?

Nice Wagonaires are a rare sight. This week's subject appears to be in extraordinary condition, as the seller backs up with a long and detailed video. It also sports true sporty pretensions beneath its sleeper skin, with an upgraded Chevrolet 327-cid V-8, which “runs strong, pulls hard and is fast and fun!” and Turbo Hydra-matic three-speed transmission.

Perhaps most importantly, according to the seller, the Wagonaire is “A very solid and rust free car.” As of the time of writing, bidding is up to $17,600 and reserve remains unmet.

8 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Richard Glasscock TX February 15, 2017 at 16:51
    Too bad the engine has been swapped out, the GM is nice, but the 259 or 289 was a great engine. We had one while I was growing up, wonderful utility (the reason my Dad bought it) that leaked like a sieve (probably why they are so scarce today. Would love to have one today, to go with my Dad's 50 model in the garage.
  • 2
    Lance Walker NC February 15, 2017 at 17:47
    I recall someone telling me about the rear roof section being prone to leaks as it was removable . Was this true or ???
  • 3
    Ray T Cleveland, OH February 16, 2017 at 14:12
    Check out the Matchbox Car version of this model on eBay!
  • 4
    Richard winslow Broad Brook, CT February 16, 2017 at 20:05
    The Canadian Studes came with 283 Kinnion V-8 s, not 327 s, or 250" inline sixes
  • 5
    James Mitchell NY February 16, 2017 at 10:55
    Looks great. I remember these Wagonaires with the cool roof that opened.
  • 6
    David CA February 16, 2017 at 10:57
    The engine was not swapped out in this Studebaker Wagonaire. Studebakers were built in Canada the last 2 years. The had GM engines.
  • 7
    Carl MI February 18, 2017 at 13:28
    Note the article does not say the Chevy 350 was "swapped out" but instead "upgraded." This could mean anything from simply rebuilt to mildly souped up. And yes, the sliding roofs leaked horribly, which causes these vehicles to be quite rare.
  • 8
    Gary vuy Modesto cal February 18, 2017 at 10:33
    The engine wasn't swapped out. That's how they were built at the end

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