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HomeAutoHunterDiego’s Friday AutoHunter Picks

Diego’s Friday AutoHunter Picks

Station wagons for the classic car collector

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This week’s Friday AutoHunter Picks are utilitarian in nature. There was a time in many people’s lives when a station wagon was like a scarlet letter. Today, a wave of nostalgia erupts with wagons, not because they were better than we thought but because they’re better than the minivans and SUVs that have taken over. Not every wagon deserves adoration, but this set is consistently solid. Do you have a favorite? Tell us!

1956 Chevrolet Nomad
Is there someone who doesn’t love the Nomad? It was the first wagon with hardtop styling, but the Nomad was so much more compared to the hardtop wagons that followed from the Big Three plus AMC. I myself prefer the ’55 thanks to its radiused rear wheel wells.

But this 1956 Nomad can stand tall thanks to its strengths, the best possibly being its monotone paint scheme — in a world of two- and three-toning, formal black and nothing else is a great look. Plus, this one is powered by a Power Pack 265, so you have horsepower to complement its looks.

1979 Cadillac Wagon
Any Cadillac wagon is desirable in my book because I enjoy coachbuilt vehicles. I’m not talking about hearses or ambulances here — this is the original utilitarian Caddy, decades before the Escalade came to be. However, I don’t think original owners of these types of creations had utility in mind.

Nonetheless, this 1979 Sedan de Ville d’Elegance is reportedly one of a handful built by R.S. Harper Custom Coachbuilders. It’s powered by a big 425 V8, the last of the Cadillac torque-monsters. This one needs some TLC but reeks of style that the Escalade can’t touch.

1957 Rambler Custom Country Club
Ever see a car that absolutely doesn’t interest you but the way it’s trimmed grabs ya? That’s how I feel about this Rambler. The colors are fabulous, and the matching interior is icing on the cake. While it’s no finned rocket ship, it represents the 1950s with aplomb.

This Custom Cross Country is the top-of-the-line wagon (save the hardtop), so that helps with the attraction. Even the straight-six doesn’t bother me. But vintage wagons can get pricey and, even though this is a Rambler, I bet this one will go for plenty because it’s truly a honey.

1959 Pontiac Catalina Safari
The 1959 Pontiac is a strong contender for the best brand of the year thanks to being Bunkie’s baby: fine styling, Wide-Track chassis and the introduction of the 389. When you think of the heights Pontiac achieved in the 1960s, you can look at 1959 and see where it all started.

So, the 347 (a 1957 engine) in this slightly modified Catalina Safari wagon is somewhat curious to me. If I bought this, I would drop in a Tri-Power 389 built up to 420A specs, and my son would be the coolest kid at school when I drop him off.

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Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in metropolitan Phoenix.

2 COMMENTS

  1. My favorite Station Wagon is the 1959 Pontiac Bonneville the 1972-1976 Pontiac Bonneville Station Wagon. The Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser 1967-1976. The 1966 Pontiac Station Wagon Bonneville . I’ve always been a Station Wagon lover

  2. ’57 Pontiac Safari, ’55 Nomad with eyebrow chrome,’39 Willys Overland Sharknose coupe 4 cylible flathead with LaSalle transmission, beautiful cars I once owned, except the Pontiac by my friend Bob, who was killed delivering milk.

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