2. Volvo 850 R Wagon
Is there anything more boring in the automotive world than a boxy old Volvo station wagon? Probably not. It’s the typical suburban mom car from the ’90s with loads of space for the kids and their stuff. And it’s slow but dependable and dead boring to drive. You can say all that for a regular Volvo 850 Wagon, but the R version they introduced in 1996 is something completely different.
After the success of the T5 version of the 850 series that featured a turbocharged engine, Volvo decided to go a step further and introduce an all-out sleeper machine in the form of the 850 R. Under the hood, the 2.3-liter five-cylinder engine featured a bigger turbo, different intake system, and electronics, all of which resulted in a respectable 250 HP output.
Despite retaining the front-wheel drive, the Volvo 850 R Wagon still had a good acceleration time of 6.5 seconds to 60 mph and a top speed of almost 160 mph. For the mid-90s this was sports car territory. You can bet there were a lot of confused Porsche owners when those boring Volvo wagons passed them on the highway.
1. Chrysler Town and Country Wagon
By the late ’50s, almost all American manufacturers started producing station wagons across the range. With the rising popularity of this body style, car companies offered innovative details, equipment, and features to attract customers. Soon, those full-size models gained more luxury to add to the appeal.
And one of the most interesting models from the period is the 1959 Chrysler Town and Country Wagon. They built it on the full-size platform and powered it with the optional 413 Golden Lion V8 engine. Also, the Town and Country Wagon had an interesting seating configuration with third-row seats facing the tailgate.
Chrysler called the rear-facing seats, the “Observation Deck” and it had power sliding rear glass as an option. Features like this suggested that wagons were not only for family transport but for road trips to discover America through its newly built highways.
These are 30 of the sexiest and coolest station wagons ever built. Which one caught your eye? These cars prove that station wagons can be fast and attractive, too. And most car fans are hoping they’ll make a comeback soon.