Classic station wagons have a certain appeal to today’s enthusiasts that may not have been readily apparent when they were new. They’re often rarer than their standard sedan or coupe counterparts, and depending on who you ask, they often have a more elegant look to them as well. Most of all, though, wagons offer a ton of practicality for a recreational vehicle, so for anybody who’s got the urge to take along a classic for a holiday road trip, you’ll have to leave the Corvette at home and take the Nomad instead.
As the classic car market has grown, wagons certainly haven’t been left behind, and great interest has been shown this year, with a 46 percent increase in the number of quotes so far in 2015. This corresponds with both an increase in values and a greater number of examples coming to market, as over the past five years Hagerty Price Guide values have increased by 16 percent overall for station wagons and the number offered at North American collector auctions has increased by 18 percent.
That most of the 10 most popular station wagons shown here are American should come as no surprise given the popularity of wagons among American families for so many years. The Volvo 1800ES, meanwhile, is a bit of a surprise considering that only 8,077 examples of Volvo’s elegant two-door wagon were ever built, so it seems that the old “Snow White’s hearse” benefitted from Volvo’s legendary build quality and enjoys an unusually high survival rate. Overall, though, it’s the large American wagons from the 1950s-70s that remain popular as interest in classic wagons grows.