By on February 29, 2016

1967 Pontiac Stageway Airporter

When I think of limousines, I think of high school and those classmates, who actually had dates to prom, enjoying a hired Lincoln or Cadillac. Dateless Chris worked on prom night, slinging hot doughnuts to hungry stoners and peace officers alike. I can perhaps stretch my perception of a limo to the lengthened sport utilities so often seen lately, as I’m sure body-on-frame trucks are easier to lengthen than unibody front-drive sedans.

However, if I see a stretched Porsche Macan hauling sweaty teens this May, I’ll likely throw my keyboard in disgust.

I struggle to imagine the typical use of today’s featured ride — a 1967 Pontiac Stageway Airporter. Horny high-schoolers in the “Summer of Love” were unlikely to enjoy four bench seats, though the station wagon cargo area could yield results.

I’m sure the answer to this cars purpose is in its name — Airporter — a ’60s shuttle bus for the jet age. I love the massive rooftop luggage rack, and wonder how much weight it could support as a parade float. Another option is as a professional car for funerals, so grieving family can take one last ride with the deceased.

1967 Pontiac Stageway Airporter pricesheet

I love that this eBay seller has included the original list price sheet. This 12-passenger wagon would have cost $8,000 when new, but only offered seatbelts for two front-seat occupants. Each additional belt was $8.12. The rear air conditioner was another $709.63.

The Armbruster-Stageway company is still building professional cars in Arkansas, primarily based on the customary Cadillac rather than some dead brand. Thank goodness for that, as nobody wants their loved one’s casket loaded into a stretched Pontiac G6.

Chris Tonn is a broke classic car enthusiast that writes about old cars, since he can’t afford to buy them. Commiserate with him on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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71 Comments on “Crapwagon Outtake: 1967 Pontiac Stageway Airporter...”


  • avatar
    Chets Jalopy

    Nothing says awesome like a nine-door wagon!

    • 0 avatar
      kefkafloyd

      How about a nine-door Suburban, or Checker Cab? They did exist!

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      They were awesome! I got to ride in one of these very same vehicles 1969-1972 that provided shuttle service between New Orleans Int’l airport and Keesler AFB, MS near Biloxi.

      The taller versions I rode in on different occasions were stretched IHC TravelAlls.

  • avatar
    swaghole

    Oh hell yes!

  • avatar
    MrGrieves

    Dude, I’m there with you. Prom night for me was spent bagging groceries and stacking empty returnable soda bottles on the loading dock.

    Dateless prom refugees of the world, unite!

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      *raises hand*

      never went to a school dance.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        I went to one. A bunch of us decided to slide chairs around in the hallway until we got yelled at.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I went junior year (drove the 5000, of course) and then realized that prom is fraking lame and a giant waste of my hard-earned $5.25/hr cashiering at Kroger, so I didn’t go senior year.

        We were not allowed to:
        -Take a limo, all had to meet at high school and ride a BUS to prom. Not a charter coach, a yellow BUS.
        -Eat beforehand while dressed nicely, as we had to meet at the high school at around 6:00 to take the bus.
        -Leave early
        -Go anywhere but the main dance hall or the restroom.

        Lame.

      • 0 avatar
        Moparmann

        @ JimZ: Me neither!

    • 0 avatar
      zamoti

      I went only because I felt that missing it would have been something that I would regret. Having gone, I regret that I went. At least I won’t regret that I may have regretted not going.

      • 0 avatar
        Willyam

        Yeah, I’m with you, but I was a very slow learner. Huge high-school (600 per class). Went to Junior, Senior, and my freshman year of college. The third strike happened because a good friend was taking his younger girlfriend, her bff was cute AND dateless and they needed a bench player. I was gullible enough to think she might be into me. Newsflash: no.

        The car-related part: My friend, who was blessed with model genetics AND wealthy legal-eagle parents, was trying to impress this particular girl. His father got great joy out of the ultimate dick move – bringing his classic 911 out of the garage as a surprise for them to drive to the actual Prom. This after I had just driven all four of us back from dinner 35 miles away. My particular classic being a malaise-era disco-coupe, the overheated motor refused to start. The look on my date’s face as she said, and I kid you not, “but I want to ride in a Porsche too…” was awful. Friend’s mom drove us to the dance in the family wagon, following the royal couple’s red baron at a non-embarrassing distance. The night really did not improve after that.

        John Hughes could have borrowed this from me if I had had the idea to mail him a letter. At least it made for good stories.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          That dude is/was an ass. You don’t make half the people in the group feel like sh!t by providing a car which seats 50% of the party to your kid. Ugh.

          Maybe he’s dead now.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Also skipped prom but did Homecoming that year, it was lame but I got to drive Dad’s then brand new Saturn SL… which was the same one I later drove for seven years many moons later.

    • 0 avatar
      MattPete

      Instead, I went to a punk show (“Bloo Shrooms”?) and had someone throw up on my car. I bet I had more fun than if I had gone to prom.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I went to the Senior Formal, no “prom” for my snooty eastern suburb. Ride was a chauffeured black W126 380SEL. SOOO much classier than a limo. :-)

      But I cheated – car and driver were friends of the family – didn’t cost me a cent! He wore a very nice suit and gave my date and I the full treatment.

      I can remember riding in a few of these stretched station wagons going to the airport as a kid in the 70s.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    “However, if I see a stretched Porsche Macan hauling sweaty teens this May, I’ll likely throw my keyboard in disgust.”

    Too plebian, needs to be a stretched Cayenne.

    As to our subject car – I hope it has the 455 to haul all of that around. I’m amazed what rear air conditioning cost as an option compared to the overall cost of the car.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The 455 wasn’t out yet. The highest displacement Pontiac offered was 428ci.

      The screenshot Chris has shows 325hp listed so that is the 400-4bbl that was standard in the THM-equipped Bonneville and optional on the other large cars.

    • 0 avatar
      mason

      The 428 was the only big block available through Pontiac in this year. The 455 wasn’t available until 69-70.

      The build sheet States 325HP so I’m guessing it has the 400.

      • 0 avatar
        Chris Tonn

        ‘Twas Krispy Kreme Doughnuts..the first KK in Columbus. I know the heathens from New England shorten the spelling for the inferior Dunkin.

        Of course, as this is a Canadian joint, I must praise the almighty Tims.

        When in doubt about junkfood, trust the fatass auto journalist.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    Indeed, as it’s name implies, it was used in a manner such as we’d use an Sprinter/Transit/Express/E350 today.

    Imagine it in white, with the Pan Am Globe or the United “shield” logo on the side. The flight crew (including the flight attendants) for your 707 were picked-up from their downtown hotel where they had spent the last 3 days on layover. Driven right up to the side of their shiny new jet, no security then as they were trusted professionals. They climb up the boarding stairs and begin their duties,more than likely with a cigarette dangling from their lips. The airline probably owned the hotel(or had an interest in it), the Airporter and paid the guy driving it.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Now you make me want to buy this, and paint it white, and give it Pan Am period markings, and smoke a pack of Camels inside to make the aroma more authentic.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Those were the days when air travel was regulated so pricing was sufficient to make that possible….Oh the glory days of that monopolized airline services…

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        Yeah, it’s nearly 30 years past Deregulation and we’re back to nearly the same amount of carriers and a lot less service, with much more hassle. But we’ve started to get some service back, but only because fuel is cheap and everyone is used to paying the fees they charge for everything now.

        I know the base fare is much less than it was when this Airporter and its kind were shuffling crews from the hotel to the airport, but we’ve lost so much else too. Just the Wiki for Pan Am is sad.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          if you want at least the in the air portion of the good old days, you can have it. Simply buy nothing but first class tickets. Or fly enough to get upgraded all the time like I do. And the F tickets will STILL be cheaper than coach was in the 60’s, adjusted for inflation.

          TSA Pre-Check makes security no more hassle than it was in the mid-90s as well (often less hassle since you have a dedicated line). $85 every 5 years to be airline independent for that. Extra $15 gets you Global Entry as well.

          The good old days were REALLY expensive. A lot more crashes back then too – a lot of very hard learned lessons in the airline industry.

          • 0 avatar
            gearhead77

            I sit at the pointy end with a window seat and a yoke, so I’m usually good.And when I do ride in back, it’s generally for free or on my carrier. When I do pay money to fly, it’s usually Southwest or Delta, as they have the best products out there in the domestic US and usually the most convenient schedules for me (i.e. less connections)

            But I remember traveling as a kid even in the mid 80’s and early 90’s, remembering it as a much better experience. And we flew standby since Dad was an A&P for Usairways. The airlines hadn’t thrown it all away yet, though we were all glad to see smoking go away. You used to find most of the non-revs in the smoking section since that’s where the empty seats were!

            I remember my Dad having to dress in a suit to even travel as a standby, a policy which Airways kept until the late 90’s. Now, it’s a sea of PJ’s and flip-flops, people welded to their device of choice from one end to the other. But it does make delaying a flight easier to deal with. People mutter an expletive, then go back to their phone/tablet/etc.

            There were more crashes because safety and CRM (crew resource management) weren’t a thing. Most of the safety stuff we fly with ( Traffic Collision and Advoidance System- TCAS) and GPWS (Ground Proximity Warning System) came about from very high profile accidents.

            CRM took the “Captain is God” out of the industry(at least in the US) and made it more of a democratic situation. OK, not everyone thinks that way, but it’s gave everyone more power to say something if they didn’t like it. Think of Dean Martin in the original Airport movie, there were lots of guys like that. (BTW, rest in peace, George Petroni, aka George Kennedy)

            I could rant forever, but I know that the day in which this Airporter ran crews to the airport in are long gone and won’t be back. And borrowing from APaGttH, I’d love to have one and paint in old United or Pan Am colors( or Americans AstroJet theme), take it to car shows with the requisite Pan Am luggage on the roof,etc.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Heyy, a pilot. I will ask you a pilot question I’ve always wondered.

            When you fly as a passenger, do you really pay attention and judge the pilot’s landing skills? Or have you flown so much that you don’t give a f* and just enjoy being on a plane without having to drive it?

            I think if I were a pilot, I’d sit there and think “Hmm well that was garbage, they didn’t adjust the ___ _(technical bits) ___ _ properly.”

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I’ve been flying 100K+ a year for a living for 20 years. All short-haul domestic, lucky me. 120-150 hops a year. It really isn’t THAT much different now than it was back then, other than the planes are more crowded and you don’t get food in the back (the food is coming back). It is cheaper now than even then though – especially for business travellers. No more Saturday stays to get a decent fare, though sometimes you still get reamed. The 4-5 years after 9/11 sucked donkey balls, but things have gotten much better in the past 4-5 years. Some things are WAY better, like the bigger regional jets – quick on and off, big windows, no worse seats/often better than in the big jets in coach, and no middle seats!

            I have two uncles who are pilots, ex-Air Force, now commercial. ROUGH way to make a living in the commercial sphere. Soo much boom and bust. Luckily I got bit by the car bug and not the airplane bug.

            So do you fly for United or American (or one of the regionals)? I fly American these days because it is the best option from my home base. United is dead to me. I was an extraordinarily happy NorthWest frequent flier until the merger with Delta. Delta cut back on service to my city so much they were unusable, but have added back enough to almost make me want to switch back, though I despise connecting at ATL. But Exec Platinum on American is not a bad place to be, any level less kind of sucks compared to Delta. I actually LOVE Southwest, but they don’t go enough places to be usable for me, and no F. I fly too darned much to deal with coach more than VERY occasionally. Spoiled, I know.

            I hear you on the general state of travelers. I make a point to dress neatly, if casually. I don’t have to wear beyond business casual for my job. I do try to pay attention to the crew during the safety briefing (which is hard when you could give it better than 80% of them, but it is only polite), but other than that, yup, my nose is in my Nexus 7 from takeoff to touchdown. I try to go out of my way to be nice to cabin crew, they have a pretty thankless job.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            He’s probably filling out a report card.

            LANDING: A
            TAKEOFF: B
            TURBULENCE: C-
            PILOT BANTER: D+
            STEWARDESS ATTRACTIVENESS: C

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            D+

            “Hello and welcome to Atlanta Hartsfield Latoya Jackson International, where the temperature is ehh – humid, and it’s 2:25. You don’t care, you’re just changing planes. Delta cares, kay bye.”

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            My favorite ever announcement from the pointy end of the plane -“Welcome aboard Northwest Airlines Fight XYZ to Minneapolis St Paul. We know you have a choice of bankrupt carriers, and thank you for choosing ours! Please sit back and enjoy the flight!” On a flight from Rochester MN to Minneapolis, sometime just after 9/11, at the butt-crack of dawn on a good old NWA DC-9-30.

            Half the plane was rolling with laughter, the cabin crew looked mortified. Or maybe it was fossilized, as the mainline gals on NWA back in the day generally were shall we say, experienced… The lead F/A was right next to me – she did a facepalm and muttered “I can’t believe he said that” under her breath. I was just rolling… I sure miss that airline. And “Diesel 9s”. And Mesaba RJ-85s. Sigh.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            “We know you have a choice in air travel, and… wait, you really don’t now, do you? So, OK, take care and stuff. Buh-bye”

          • 0 avatar
            gearhead77

            Corey, my sense of aircraft movement is rather refined, as are many pilots. Stuff that most people don’t notice, I do. Most of us try to be very smooth with the airplane, but many aren’t and I can tell. And , much like being in a car, I’d always rather drive than be a passenger.

            So yes, I do judge the landing, but never harshly. Every landing is different and much like baseball players get into a batting slump, you can get into a landing slump. And in certain conditions, such as a gusty, windy day or with poor visibility, you are better off ” planting” the thing and getting it stopped. And some aircraft are stiff legged and hard to get a decent landing from. So many factors go into any flight and the only thing we get remembered for is the landing.

            I hate when guys (and gals) use the “canned” announcements and don’t put anything into it. And then they keep talking. And I try like hell to not say “sit back, relax and enjoy the flight”. Ugh.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Haha, good perspective to learn – thanks! Every pilot I’ve ever heard except one has uttered that lame line. Just one of them made some sarcastic joke instead, which had the whole cabin laughing.

          • 0 avatar
            gearhead77

            Business travelers generally know how to travel, especially one who travels a lot like you, krhodes. No one likes being delayed, having maintenance issues or delaying for weather (or all in the same day). But the flight crew doesn’t like it either, especially if it causes me to miss my flight home at the end of 6 days.

            Regular travelers understand this, it’s the once a year travelers that think we’re out to get them. We aren’t. My job is like yours, except I don’t go home at the end of the day. I just want to get through it with the least amount of hassle and go to the hotel at the other end.

            I do fly a turboprop for a regional for United, short hops is all I do (shortest is 20 minutes). And the “big RJ” you refer to is the Embraer 170-175. And I agree, it’s a great airplane as far as being a passenger is concerned. It’s like Embraer took all the awfulness (short and narrow cabin, tiny overheads,loud) that the Embraer 145 had and fixed it!

            United is dead to a lot of people, though they are trying to fix that now. The crooked ex-CEO was money hungry and power hungry and really destroyed the carriers morale and those who work for it.

            Flying to make a living is a challenge, the whole industry has been broken for a long time. But it’s what I always wanted to do. I hope to make it to a major carrier ( Southwest, JetBlue) or a legacy carrier(United, American) at least by the time I retire.

            I was bitten by the flying bug AND the car bug. These are very expensive bugs. Safe travels to you all, on the ground or in the air.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    This will be hard for you to top Chris, wow just wow not sure what to say about this thing.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Isn’t this the car in Dog Day Afternoon?

  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    This example is nearly identical to the ones that would be seen parked in front of most Milton Hershey School homes back in the ’70s.

    • 0 avatar
      snakebit

      Right. The Hershey School had a number of ‘airporters’, usually Chevrolets of the early 1960s, but a few Pontiacs, and they used them in lieu of big yellow school busses, for picking up students in their placed homes and also to ferry them to extra curricular events away from the campus.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    slinging hot doughnuts

    You spell that weird. Donuts!

    • 0 avatar
      mason

      Spelling is the proper spelling

      LOL. Meant to say Doughnut is the proper spelling

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      IMO, “donut” and “doughnut” are both correct when referring to the food, but only “donut” when referring to the stunt. I don’t know why I feel that way, or how I came to that conclusion.

    • 0 avatar
      Chris Tonn

      Wow..my response ended up in the wrong place.

      ‘Twas Krispy Kreme Doughnuts..the first KK in Columbus. I know the heathens from New England shorten the spelling for the inferior Dunkin.

      Of course, as this is a Canadian joint, I must praise the almighty Tims.

      When in doubt about junkfood, trust the fatass auto journalist.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        KK > DD, erry day. DD coffee is tolerable, but McD’s has better flavor and is cheaper anyway (and I don’t have to go out of my way to get it like DD).

        Also, DD donuts are fracking gross. Something about the flavor they always have is very… off. Kroger has superior donuts as well. When I was in LA I went to an “awesome donut place” where they cost $3.00 each, and they were inferior to Kroger donuts. But they don’t -have- that store there, so they’re blind.

        We have Tim’s here now (north of city only), but I’ve not had it in the states. Had it in Canada, coffee and donut was alright but nothing amaze.

        Warm KK!

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          LOL – you obviously don’t live in New England. There is one McDonald’s in my city of 18K people, but FOUR DD’s – and probably ten more within a 10 mile radius. though I think they should rename themselves to Crappy Coffee, because their donuts suck now that they don’t make them in the stores anymore. If there was a Krispy Kreme near me I would weigh 400lbs+.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            At least you don’t like their donuts! I remember when DD was first here back in the early ’90s, and all they had were those Popems donut holes, and coffee. I think THOSE were actually good.

            They had a little tiny store in a strip mall, couple doors down from a gas station. I think they made the donuts in store.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    It would be impossible to pick up funeral procession members with dignity in a gold Pontiac, or even first class airline passengers for that matter.

    No, it must be a stretched Olds Vista Cruiser.

  • avatar
    jmo

    “The rear air conditioner was another $709.63.”

    That’s $5,032.27 in today’s money.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      It is also a bit less than 10% of the overall purchase price. YIKES! Imagine air conditioning being an extra $1500 on your $20,000 sedan.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I can’t imagine one being used for airline use where they wouldn’t opt for the rear AC. You’d have fifteen very angry and dressed up people sweating before they got to the terminal.

        • 0 avatar
          gearhead77

          AC wasn’t as commonplace as it is today, so it wouldn’t be the faux pas it would be now. There are still older folks who don’t like air, even when it’s tropically warm.

          My folks had an 84 Econoline conversion without rear air. It took forever for the back to cool down and by then the front seat people were freezing. This thing would have been awful!

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          I guarantee that none of them in Maine had A/C at all back in the day. It was rare for anything less than luxury cars until it became standard across the board in the ’90’s/’00’s.

          I still have only ever set foot in two houses in Maine that had central air, and one of them is owned by the owner of a HVAC company.

          Personally, I put enough window units in my house (and garage) every year to be able to hang meat in any room.

      • 0 avatar
        SP

        It pretty much already is; it just comes standard now so you can’t avoid it.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Pretty sure it was something like $6-700 on my grandparent’s ’82 Subaru GL that became my first car. I think was ~$6.5K base price. Dealer installed. A/C was spendy in those days too.

  • avatar
    snakebit

    I did go to senior prom, because all of the dudes in my circle of high school friends wanted to go, so I asked the sister of one of them who went to another school but didn’t have prom that weekend. We took my one-month-old ’65 Mustang, the other guys borrowed their parents cars and went.

    I still don’t understand the reasoning behind a group hiring a 50 foot long Hummer or Chrysler 300 stretch, unless that group wanted to take a sidetrip to some dark, deserted spot to make out(or more)on the trip home. Otherwise, nothing in the least bit classy about these barges, to me. We had a lot of leeway in school to do what we wanted, and we had no transportation limitations the last year. The only instance when the school wanted us to travel together was to go to the all-night party at Disneyland (9pm-5am the next day). They didn’t want us driving home tired.

  • avatar

    Wow. Ernie Boch Jr had a Subaru Forester limo about this long, which I saw sometime in the late ’00s. (For those outside of Boston, a major car dealer here.)

  • avatar
    Slave2anMG

    Those of us Of A Certain Age will remember these “Airport Limo” beasts…the ones I recall seeing most in the metro NYC area were stretched Checker Marathon wagons. About 15 yards long with a turning circle just a bit better than that of the USS Missouri….

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    There is a silver one up for sale also – a ’66.

    What are the odds!


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