A station wagon, also called an estate car, estate wagon, or simply wagon or estate, is an automotive body-style variant of a sedan/saloon with its roof extended rearward over a shared passenger/cargo volume with access at the back via a third or fifth door (the liftgate or tailgate), instead of a trunk/boot lid.
The Willys Jeep Station Wagon, Jeep Utility Wagon and Jeep Panel Delivery are automobiles produced by Willys and Kaiser Jeep in the United States from 1946 to 1964, with production in Argentina and Brazil continuing until 1970 and 1977 respectively.
The station wagon, or estate, is a variant of sedan. The difference between station wagons and regular sedans is that the station wagon has no trunk, plus the roofs are extended backwards over a shared passenger or cargo volume with access in the back. Station wagons have been mostly replaced by minivans/MPVs, SUVs, and crossovers.
- Popularity in North America
- Around The World
- Tailgate Evolution
- Safety Equipment
- See Also
Station wagon and wagon are the common names in American, Canadian, New Zealand, Australian and African English, while estate car and estate are common in the rest of the English-speaking world. Both names recall the car's role as a shuttle, with storage space for baggage, between country estates and train stations. Having shared antecedents with the British shooting-brake (originally a wooden-bodied vehicle used to carry shooting parties with their equipment and game), station wagons have been marketed as breaks, using the French term (which is sometimes given fully as break de chasse, literally "hunting break)." Early U.S. models often had exposed wooden bodies and were therefore called woodies. Manufacturers may designate station wagons across various model lines with a proprietary nameplate. Examples include "Estate" (Mercedes-Benz, Chevrolets with the fake-wood option), "Avant" (Audi), "Touring" (BMW), "Tourer" and...
The first station wagons were a product of the age of train travel. They were originally called "depot hacks" because they worked around train depots as hacks (short for hackney carriage, an old name for taxis). They also came to be known as "carryalls" and "suburbans". Before the 1930s, manufacturers assembled the framing of passenger compartments of passenger vehicles in hardwood. In automobiles, the framing was sheathed in steel and coated wi...
In 1935, General Motors introduced an eight-seat Chevrolet Suburbanwith an all-steel station-wagon body, based on the commercial Chevrolet truck-chassis. After World War II, automobile production resumed, with prewar tooling. New advances in production techniques made all-steel station wagon bodies more practical, eliminating the cost, noise, and maintenance associated with wood bodies. The first factory-built all-steel station wagon in North America was...
Traditionally, full-sized American station wagons were configured for six or nine passengers. The basic arrangement for seating six was three passengers in the front and three passengers in the rear, all on bench-type seats; to accommodate nine, a third bench seat was installed in the rear cargo area, over the rear axle. Through 1956, all wagons had the third row facing forward, but Chrysler's 1957 models had a roof too low to permit a forward-facing seat installe...
Since the 1970s, sales of station wagons in the United States and Canada dropped for several reasons. The 1973 oil crisis was a turning point against the "traditional classic American station wagon—with its acres of fake woodgrain siding, sticky vinyl bench seats and lazy-revving V-8 engine", which have been described as "wallowing land arks". The 1983 film National Lampoon's Vacation parodied the styling cues of 1970s station wagons with its garish Wagon Queen Family Truckster. In 1984 Chrysler introduced the Chrysler minivans derived from the K platform. While the K platform was also used for the Plymouth Reliant and Dodge Aries station wagon models, the minivan would soon eclipse them in popularity. Since minivans and SUVs are classified as light trucks under US CAFE standards, manufacturers had a strong incentive to market those vehicles over station wagons, which are classified as cars. Station wagons have remained...
European manufacturers often built two-door station wagons in the post-war period for the compact class, a practice that continued at Ford (amongst others) with its EscortMark III well into the 1980s. By that time, manufacturers developed four-door models. In Europe, these vehicles remain popular and in volume production, although minivans (known in Europe as MPVs—multi-purpose vehicles) and the like have expanded into this market segment. As in North America, early station wagons were aftermarket conversions and had their new bodywork built with a wooden frame, sometimes with wooden panels, sometimes steel. Station wagons were the originators of fold down seats to accommodate passengers or cargo. Station wagons are generally called estate cars or simply estates in the United Kingdom. The term shooting-brake, a term for an original hunting vehicle, came to be known synonymously with station wagonand were...
Many modern station wagons have an upward-swinging, full-width, full-height rear door supported on gas springs— often where the rear window can swing up independently. Historically, wagons have employed numerous designs: 1. Split gate: The earliest common style was an upward-swinging window combined with a downward swinging tailgate. Both were manually operated. This configuration generally prevailed from the earliest origins of the wagon bodystyle in the 1920s through the 1940s. It remained in use through 1960 on several models offered by Ford, including the 1957-58 Del Rio two-door wagon. This style was later adopted on aftermarket camper shells for pickup trucks, seeing that pickup trucks already had a bottom half tailgate as an OEM feature. 2. Retractable window:In the early 1950s, tailgates with hand-cranked roll-down rear windows began to appear. Later in the decade, electric power was applied to the tailgate window—it could be operated from...
Some station wagons are fitted with additional front-facing or rear-facing seats, along with safety belts, to enable passengers to be carried safely in the cargo area. Cargo barriers may be used to prevent unsecured cargo from causing injuries in the event of sudden deceleration, collision, or a rollover.Gunnell, John, ed. (1987). The Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946–1975. Krause Publications. ISBN 978-0-87341-096-0.Kimes, Beverly R.; Clark, Henry A. (1996). The Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805–1945. Krause Publications. ISBN 978-0-87341-428-9.Narus, Donald J. (1977). The Great American Woodies and Wagons. Crestline Publications. ISBN 978-0-912612-13-3.Brown, Arch (April 1997). "Natural History: The 'Woody' Station Wagon Story — Part I". Collectible Automobile. 13(6): 26–41.
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The Ford Country Squire (later the Ford LTD Country Squire) is a series of station wagons that was assembled by American automaker Ford. The premium station wagon of the Ford division, the Country Squire was distinguished by its external woodgrain trim. From the 1950 to 1991 model years, eight generations of the Country Squire were produced.
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