Gunners Garage

NOT A STATION WAGON LOVER

Sorry. I am not a station wagon lover. I have owned four station wagons in my life. The first one was a ’53 Chevy 210. One day I saw a man putting it in his garage and stopped to ask if it was for sale. It wasn’t. But a year or so later, he called me ready to sell. When I went back to his house he told me he needed $150 for the car. Then his wife gave him one of “those looks” and he reduced the price to $75. I kind of liked the car, until it slipped its parking brake, rolled down a hill and hit a telephone pole. I sold it before moving to Wisconsin in 1978. Later, during a trip back home to Staten Island, N.Y., the wagon pulled up next to me. Someone had fixed it with a new front clip, but I still hated it because of the problems it caused me. After moving to Wisconsin, I bought a ’70 Pontiac Catalina Safari wagon with a 400-cid V-8 and posi. It turned out to be a gas-sucking Bondo bucket. Later, we saw a sale on new Pinto wagons and went to buy one, but found out all we could afford was a used Pacer wagon. Big mistake! The exhaust system deteriorated every six months and the carpets started smoldering on one long trip. It was not a good car. My last wagon was an ’84 Suburban. After years of driving the Old Cars Weekly Suburbans, I thought I’d like one of my own. I didn’t. The truck had a great body, but the 350 V-8 was all worn out. It pulled oil into the air cleaner and smoke would wisp out from under the hood. It also spit out thick, black exhaust smoke every time we punched it hard. And it was like a long metal tunnel that made every squeak and rattle sound louder than it was. So, I am not a station wagon fan. To me, a station wagon isn’t a collector car unless it’s a woodie.   

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