The Colony Park was a line of luxury full-size station wagons the Mercury division produced from 1957 to 1991 in six different generations. This was the perfect car for suburban America, fulfilling the need for big, comfy cruisers.
The best generation was between 1969 and 1978 featuring the biggest models with engines ranging from 351 to 460 V8. In those days, the Colony Park had hidden front lights, wood grain panels on the side, and a long list of optional extras. And most car enthusiasts considered the Colony Park as the Lincoln among station wagons.
In the mid-70s, station wagons were limited to suburban families and small businesses. But the Cadillac marketing team thought it would be cool to offer a super-luxury long roof. They based it on their biggest and most expensive model, the Fleetwood, and cash in on the extravagant body style and unusual combination.
They named the finished product the Castilian. It was a massive station wagon they built on Cadillac’s biggest platform, which they equipped with their biggest 500 CID V8 engine. Customers could order those limited production models through a Cadillac dealer. However, CoachWorks LTD built and delivered them to their customers.
In the late ’50s, Chevrolet presented the Corvair, a revolutionary compact car with a rear-mounted, air-cooled, flat-six engine. This was a big step for Chevrolet since Corvairs were the total opposite of other cars from the company. They featured a different concept, technology, and design.
Chevrolet presented the Corvair in few different body styles, but one of the most popular was the station wagon. It wowed customers with its big front trunk and room for six passengers, It even had some respectable space in the back.
Always flirting with bankruptcy, AMC was forced to explore the limits of conventional car classes and present new concepts to stay profitable. And one of those experiments was the Eagle. It was a passenger car with Jeep-derived all-wheel drive and great off-road capabilities in the form of a wagon.
The result was a surprisingly capable vehicle with the comfort and luxury of a sedan. Yet it had compact dimensions and relatively low weight, giving it great off-road characteristics. The Eagle was one of the first crossover models in the world. It is only today you can see how important and influential this car was for automotive history.
For decades, Studebaker was a popular economy car choice, but after World War II, things started to change. In fact, the popularity of the company started to fade, and eventually, the “Stude” was forced to close its doors in 1966. But before that, the company produced one interesting wagon.
The Studebaker Lark Wagon was a compact economy model with cute styling and a wide arrange of engines. Today, people have forgotten the Lark. However, not only was it one of the first compact cars from a domestic car company, it was one of the most successful cars for a while. It also had a unique sliding roof.
One of the coolest American station wagons is definitely the late ’50s Pontiac Bonneville Safari. Interestingly, Pontiac always named its long roof models “Safari” and made them special compared to other similar GM products. One of the things that made the 1959 Bonneville Safari so desirable is the 389 V8 with 300 HP. It transformed this family cruiser into a proper station wagon muscle car.
These family cruisers are the 20 best American station wagons they ever made. If you’re looking for a comfy and spacious vehicle, one of these will fill the bill. Some are classics while others have been lost in automotive history, but they all made their mark.