I can already hear you whispering to yourself: “No way. Not me. I would NEVER drive a station wagon. In fact, I’d probably drive a minivan before even considering one of those fake-wood-paneled monstrosities.”
OK, that’s a little dramatic. Back it down a bit. But then again, you’re probably thinking of the boxy, underpowered and yes, I’ll say it, uninspired 1980s station wagon designs that weren’t really turning any heads on the street. And if that’s the case, then I agree.
But if you go back to the 1950s, 1960s or even the early 1970s, there were loads of really cool station wagon designs to be found. And because all cars were typically built big and heavy back then — and even bigger and heavier in wagon form — most also came equipped with massive V-8 engines. Sometimes the biggest big-block engines that a manufacturer could stuff under the hood.
As just one example, take a look at this photo of a 1969 Buick Vista Cruiser Sportwagon. The smallest engine Buick offered for that year was a 350cubic-inch Rocket V-8 and the largest was a 455 cubic-inch Rocket. You’ve got to admit this car has tons of hot rod potential. Look at the unique styling lines and the chrome accents and the glass roof over the cargo area. And the asking price for this particular example isn’t really out of reach (even for a cheapskate like me).
In other words, a station wagon similar to this one could be your chance to have some real street-muscle wrapped in a somewhat unassuming package. And if you listened to our recent “Sleeper Cars” podcast, then you already know how satisfying it can be to own a true sleeper.
CarStuff listeners also know that I’m a sucker for a shooting brake design; add a wagon back end on just about any sports car and I’ll always give it a second-look.