Back in 1957, if you wanted tons of interior space, you didn’t have to buy an SUV or a minivan. You could opt for this Chevrolet Bel Air Townsman, an inline six or V8 powered six-passenger station wagon that could be had with the silky smooth Turboglide transmission (a novel design consisting essentially of three torque converters lined up in series).
Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).
I wish I was around in the 50s because I’ve always been curious: roads, driveways, garages, and parking spots were all more narrow; how’d people drive these huge things without power steering and not collide all the damn time?