Nostalgic Owners Show Off Their Station Wagons

DEARBORN (WWJ) – More than 40 “classic” cars will be on display in Dearborn beginning tonight, but it’s not your average car.

The American Station Wagon Owners Association is holding a rally Friday evening and Saturday to show off the vehicles, which have become popular among collectors. Tom Cleary is President of the Association.

“There’s just a nostalgia factor. So many baby boomers grew up with them,” Cleary said.

“They were discontinued when the hideous mini-van came out and the ungainly SUV, and so there’s a nostalgia for the car that they can’t buy anymore and they don’t see anymore. And that’s where a lot of them spent a lot of their childhood.”

Although Cleary said the cars were unappreciated at the time, right now they are making a comeback.

“Since we started the club in ’96, we were the lepers of the party with the car clubs. Now, we are featured on Hemmings Magazine for the last 12 issues as America’s most collected vehicle.”

Cleary said the cars are a big hit in Europe because they love full-sized American cars with big V8 engines.

So what’s his favorite station wagon memory?

“My mom took 11 of us boys out in the station wagon without seatbelts to Hines Park when we were growing up. I mean, it was just a go-to vehicle for having a good time with a lot of your friends, throwing stuff out the back window, you know, just hanging out with your siblings or your friends,” Cleary said.

More than 40 wagons will be on display Friday evening at the Red Roof Inn on Michigan Avenue and 9 am to 3 pm Saturday at Oxford Lanes on Telegraph.

Do you have a favorite station wagon memory? Leave us your thoughts below.


  • Charlene

    Ours was a 1957 Pontiac two-toned (dark gray and white) wagon our mom named George. Mom was active in 4-H and PTA, and George was invaluable for hauling everything. And when we had company and ran out of beds in the house, our dad would put down the backseat, line the backend with boat cushions, and George would turn into a wonderful place for my sister and me to spend the night!

  • Jim

    I once got 21 high school kids, myself included in the number, in a ’61 Chevy wagon 6 cylinder automatic after a basketball game. It wasn’t exactly uncrowded.

    • Charlene

      That is an IMPRESSIVE statistic, Jim!

  • Dave

    Our station wagon is a 1960 Mercury Commuter nine passager four door hardtop. The best thing is I still have it. My dad and mom bought the merc brand new and it still looks like it just came off the show room floor. The wagon is ALL original except for tires ,one brakeline, radiator hoses and only 24,000 miles on it. The reason they bought the wagon was they have eight children.( Not enough time for all the stories.) Before my dad passed away he gave me the wagon. I take the wagon to car shows and dedicate it in memory of our dad. When I drive the merc I can still spend time with dad even if he’s not here.

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