Wagons have always offered the fun of a car, the utility of an SUV and the style of a yacht in a single package. Here's our list of ten strange and awesome...and still inexpensive... vintage wagons.
Wagon: Peugeot 505 Turbo Wagon
Why It's Awesome: Turbo power, three rows of seats, manual transmission and RWD are the list of features not found on many affordable wagons in the U.S. Add in a wonderfully supine ride and it still seems European... in a good way.
Why It's Strange: With a face and proportions only a Francophile will love, when you see one on the road appreciate the driver's clear commitment (and desperation).
What It Goes For: $1,000 to $3,000
Wagon: Toyota Crown Wagon
Why It's Awesome: Older Crowns are not just attractive, manually-operated wagons. They're statements. It's a fist-in-the-air stating your opposition to all the boring crossovers coming out of Toyota.
Why It's Strange: Inspired by American family cruisers but with Japanese proportions and style, no one will ever mistake a Toyota Crown for a Fairlane.
What It Goes For: $3,000 to $4,000 (see this one on Bring-A-Trailer)
Wagon: Volvo 145
Why It's Awesome: As much as we love the 240-series, even we'll admit it's conventional. The 145 was the first of the "boxy" Volvos but still retains some curves, making it a head-turner today.
Why It's Strange: With ten windows, ginormous hatch and split front grille this wagon is still unavoidably Swedish.
What It Goes For: $500-$2000 (see this one on Craigslist)
Wagon: Subaru Loyale Turbo
Why It's Awesome: Before the WRX was the Loyale, still equipped with AWD turbo power but without a thousand pounds. It's a wonderful, tunable beater.
Why It's Strange: Proving awkward styling isn't a 21st century creation, the 80s-era Loyale covered in TURBO markings and sport-striping is an (often rusty) site to behold.
What It Goes For: Sub-$2,000
Photo Credit: Numbchuxconversions.com
Wagon: Mercedes 300TD W123
Why It's Awesome: With brawny, German styling and comfortable driving characteristics even by today's standards, the W123-series makes a great daily driver. The wagon version adds what feels like a mile of sheet metal.
Why It's Strange: Available only in diesel or turbodiesel form, it sounds like a tractor and drives almost as quickly. Many of the ones you'll find these days have been converted to bio/veggie diesel.
What It Goes For: $1,500 to $4,000
Photo Credit: CTBIODZL
Wagon: Buick Roadmaster Estate
Why It's Awesome: The popular name was resurrected by GM for this giant, RWD, roachmobile equipped with no less than the Corvette LT1 V8.
Why It's Strange: Is it the wood-paneling? The eight seats? The glass-covered Vista roof? The side-mounted hatch? Pick any of those.
What It Goes For: $2,500 to $4,500
Rarity: Very Low
Wagon: Honda Civic 4WD
Why It's Strange: As if real-time four-wheel drive in a compact wasn't rare enough, the rear of the wagon look as if it were tacked on from another vehicle.
What It Goes For: $500 to $2,500
Wagon: VW Quantum Syncro
Why It's Awesome: Sharing the underpinnings of an Audi 80 Quattro, including the 2.0-liter inline-five, it's a wolf in Volkswagen's clunky styling.
Why It's Strange: The most popular use of the Quantum these days is as a cheap, unique off-roader. It'll also see Lemons duty soon at the hands of a few crazy friends. More on that later.
What It Goes For: sub-$3000
Why It's Strange: The wood-paneling and white-walls give the impression of the gigantic Country Squires of yore, but it's actually quite small and maneuverable by 1980s standards.
What It Goes For: $2,000 to $3,000
Wagon: Studebaker Wagonaire
Why It's Awesome: It's definitely a Studebaker, with Lark-like styling and a special Daytona edition offering a high-performance V8 and four-on-the-floor.
Why It's Strange: Before the Envoy XUV's open roof, the Wagonaire featured a retractable roof designed to carry the larger objects of 60s consumer culture.
What It Goes For: $5,000 to $10,000