Friday, April 18, 2008

15. The Station Wagon

It’s hard to imagine the white family of yesteryear pouring out of anything but a station wagon with full wood-grain siding, or getting your first hand-job on a trip to New Hampshire anyplace but in the aft, rear-facing seat of your girlfriend’s father’s station wagon.

Ah, the memories. And isn’t that what the station wagon was for? Wasn’t it just an oblong, four wheeled, wood-paneled time capsule for storing precious childhood memories like the annual trip to the shore, hauling that dead body wrapped in tarpaulin or your first solo drive to the corner store?

You bet your 1978 Plymouth Volare it was.

Alas, long about 1984, the spacious Renault Espace Minivan made its world debut. Station wagons were no match for its awesome styling and sheer people-moving capabilities. Its interior-room alone was enough to cripple the entire station wagon industry.

Today, only one station wagon remains—the ultra-snobberific white person-special known as the Volvo XC70.

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