When I was a kid, my uncle use to drive a 1959 Ford Country Sedan which is basically a station wagon Galaxie. It was a 2 toner, red and white and I just enjoy riding that car. I even remember sitting on its hood without denting it. It was one hard shell. But what’s interesting with that car is that every time it parks, people flock around, not because they were interested in it, but you’ll notice a look of concern in their faces. They wonder who just died in their town, thinking that that big car was a hearse. And I guess it was the fate of that Ford anyway when the time came to let it go.
Morbidly funny, but old American station wagons in the Philippines were actually used as hearses. In my high school which happens to operate as hospital as well, everyone knew that when an old American station wagon is parked outside, it is waiting to pick up…..well, a has been. Of course there were those real Cadillac hearses for those willing to pay more and leave in style.
It was unfortunate. I’m a sucker for old American wagons but just the thought of its reputation back in the Philippines gives me jitters when I think of acquiring one. But I love these cars; in fact I intentionally look for them in car shows. I like them stock, I like them hot rodded, and particularly nuts over a 1958 Rambler Wagon.
In this side of the shore however, old wagons were treated differently. Almost everyone has a story to tell about a station wagon they once had. They were the SUVs of the yesteryears. They were the family cars and had left so much memories of fighting young siblings, long road trips, technology-free travels and large cargo spaces enough for kids to play snakes and ladders while camping. They were the “hand me down” cars when a teenager starts driving, and were almost a necessity for a growing American family to own one.
With people switching over to modern SUVs as family “cars”, modern wagons are in the brink of extinction. Sure there are a few left out there, but people would rather buy the “sportier” and more useful truck-chassied SUVs.
So if you find an old American Wagon….buy it, restore it…they’ll be the coolest car around and potentially will become the next “big thing” in terms of value. If you’re from the Philippines however, be sure to check if there is a back seat and no bloody used blanket lying around before buying or restoring one. Unless of course you are one of those brave souls with a macabre sense of humor who thinks The Ring is one funny movie 🙂 Happy Lumang Oto motoring!