I think I speak for most of us when I say that I LOVE station wagons. Wagons make awesome platforms for customization, and they will often end up being cooler than their sedan or coupe counterparts. Over the years there have also been some very desirable station wagons, straight off the showroom floor.
As we close out Sedans and Haulers month, I thought I'd take a look back at the history of the hot production station wagon.
The wagon had existed prior to the 1950's, but the sleek '55 Chevy Nomad two-door was one of the first wagons that people looked at as more than a utility vehicle. Today, early Nomads are worth astronomical amounts of money.
Another one of the great American wagons from the 1950's was the Buick Caballero, with hardtop styling and top of the line V8 options. Rolling down a brand new interstate highway with your family in the back – the American dream.
It's quite amazing to think in that '60s you could order almost all American models in several different body styles – including a station wagon. If you desired, a wagon could be optioned to match many of the muscle cars of the day.
Some people have even gone as far as building "what if" muscle car wagons. Here's a '68 GTO wagon built of a standard Pontiac Le Mans. The popularity of the big American wagon would continue through the '70s, but by the time the '80s rolled around, rising gas prices and the rise of the minivan and later the SUV had made the station wagon a rarity in American showrooms.
The wagon might have been faded out a in the US, but it continued to be a popular choice in the rest of the world. Volvo has always been famous for its stations wagons, with models like the turbocharged 850R being an enthusiast favorite.
Japanese makers have long produced exciting wagons as well, with cars like Impreza STI Sport Wagon being some of the most well known. What's not to like about packing all of the high performance goodies from the sedan into a spacious wagon?
A little lesser known is the Toyota Corolla BZ Touring Wagon, powered by the high winding 20-valve 4AGE that AE86 guys love.
Honda meanwhile offered twin cam VTEC power in the Accord Wagon SIR. With 200 naturally aspirated ponies, it was a pretty engaging ride.
You've seen a few Nissan Stageas on the site this month, and I couldn't leave it out here. This was the closest you could get to having a Skyline GTR wagon, with the rare Autech version virtually being a GTR wagon.
One of my favorite wagons (or cars in general) to this day – the W211 Mercedes E Class AMG. Should I ever become fabulously rich, my wife would have to deal with driving one of these every day.
Another one of the Japanese greats – the STI version of the Subaru Legacy Wagon. It's not hard to see why the Legacy Wagon is such a popular platform in Japan.
The station wagon, done Italian style. The 159 Sportwagon has all of the uniqueness you'd expect from an Alfa Romeo.
BMW has been making great wagons for years, with the 3-series longroof being the most popular.
One of the most insane wagons ever – the V10-powered E61 M5 Touring. You have to love any car maker that builds automobiles like this.
How about Japan's craziest wagon? The Evolution 9 Wagon has to be near the top of that list.
During the last decade, Chrysler decided to bring back the full size American wagon with the Dodge Magnum. The hottest version of the Magnum was the Hemi-powered SRT8. Sadly, the Magnum has already been discontinued…
There's no way I could leave Audi out here. Just a take a look at the RS6 Avant – the fact that it has 580hp is just a bonus.
We can't leave out our Australian friends either. Holden has been building serious muscle wagons for a while – here's the HSV Tourer. Perfect for hooning with a gang of your mates.
Since I started with a great American wagon, I suppose I'll finish with one. The brand new 556hp supercharged Cadillac CTS-V Wagon. If someone had told me 10 or 12 years ago, that there'd be a Cadddy Wagon with over 550hp, I would have laughed.
So, there's a quick look back at the history of the enthusiast wagon. Did I leave anything out? Let me know.