Tag: wagon

By on May 16, 2016

1982 Dodge Aries Wagon in Colorado Wrecking Yard, LH front view - ©2016 Murilee Martin

Much as members of the Mopar Jihad don’t want to admit it, Chrysler took a bailout — in the form of government-backed loans — from Uncle Sam in 1979. This worked out pretty well for everyone involved, because the then-futuristic K-Cars that Chrysler developed out of desperation turned out to be both smash sales hits and the basis for most cars put out by Chrysler for the following decade.

The K Family Tree had many branches, but only the Dodge Aries, Plymouth Reliant, Chrysler LeBaron, and Dodge 400 were true K-Cars. You won’t see many of the original Ks these days, but the patient junkyard crawler will find a rare survivor now and then.

Here’s an early Aries wagon that I spotted in a Denver self-serve yard a couple of weeks ago. (Read More…)

By on May 9, 2016

1988 Volkswagen Fox Wagon in California Wrecking Yard, RH front view - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

In the 1970s, the Audi 80 was sold in the United States as the Audi Fox. In the following decade, Volkswagen decided to sell the Brazilian-made Volkswagen Gol as a Volkswagen Fox in the United States, presumably using the Fox name because it was so good.

The Fox was cheap and disposable and most were crushed before the end of the 1990s, so this ’88 wagon is an unusual find these days. (Read More…)

By on May 6, 2016

1989 Chevrolet Celebrity Station Wagon in Colorado Wrecking Yard, RH rear view - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

During the late 20th century, General Motors managed to get at least a couple of decades out of most of their platforms, but GM sold the Chevrolet Celebrity for just the 1982 through 1990 model years. Its A-body platform held on just through the 1996 model year. Celebrities sold very well, but broke often, depreciated in fall-off-a-cliff fashion, and few made it into the current century.

Here’s a rare Celebrity wagon I found yesterday in a Denver self-service yard. (Read More…)

By on April 4, 2016

2016 Audi A3 Sportback E-tron Exterior Front 3/4, Image: © 2016 Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars

Emissions legislation politics is a hairy subject at the company holiday party. But there are some unexpected benefits regardless of your take on California’s ZEV mandate or the EPA’s CAFE standards.

Without this legislation we may never have seen Audi’s smallest station wagon return to America. Yep, Audi’s first plug-in hybrid comes in the form of a small hatchback-cum-station-wagon. That means if you want an Audi plug-in, a compact wagon is in your future. If you want a compact wagon, you aren’t going to get one without a plug.

Fortunately, the Audi in question is the tasty new A3 Sportback E-tron.

(Read More…)

By on March 2, 2016

1991 Subaru Loyale front in Colorado junkyard - © 2016 Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars

I moved from California to Colorado in 2010, and the stereotype of the stony Subaru driver who snowboards/hikes/camps/rock-climbs, has some sort of retriever dog, and drinks super-hoppy craft beers turns out to be based on reality.

Everyone here drives Subarus — hell, even I have an Outback in the fleet — but we’re talking about the beat-to-hell, 15-to-30-year-old cars here, and not shiny new Crosstreks in the REI parking lot. Last week, I saw the perfect example of that type of Subaru in a Denver self-service yard: this rusty, crusty, 200,000-mile, Pleiades-badged Colorado veteran, which spent its long life driving to trailheads and brewpubs, is now set to donate its metals to the global commodities markets. (Read More…)

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.

(Read More…)

By on January 14, 2016

C 250 diamantsilber cranberryrot/schwarz AMG

* But not the U.S. — at least, not yet.

Add the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Wagon to the list of vehicles available in Canada and not the United States. Mercedes-Benz Canada announced Thursday it would begin selling the long-roof version of the C-Class this year. To add insult to injury, it will be a diesel with all-wheel drive — and that’s it.

Mercedes did not disclose what shades of brown will be available.

The previous-generation C-Class wagon was not available in Canada or the United States.

(Read More…)

By on January 13, 2016

06 - 1994 Audi 100 Wagon in Denver junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

We examined part of the endgame of the Audi 5000 debacle in the United States with a junked 1990 Audi 100 Quattro sedan in Denver. Having banished the toxic Audi 5000 name, Audi called these cars Audi 100s until everyone was thoroughly confused, then renamed it the A6, which they still use today.

Here’s a sort of unusual example I saw at a Denver yard a month ago: the final year of the Audi 100 name in the United States, and it’s a wagon. (Read More…)

By on January 7, 2016

92-95_Buick_LeSabre

TTAC Commentator Matador writes:

Dear Sajeev/Sanjeev,

I own two cars (and two older pickup trucks): a 1995 LeSabre with 223,000 miles and a 2001 Audi A6 Avant with 165,000 miles on the clock. I drive 80-100 miles per day for work. Between work and personal miles, I drive about 45,000 miles per year. The trucks aren’t daily driven too often and are only used when I need to move something that won’t fit in the wagon. Gas isn’t that cheap!

The Buick isn’t going anywhere. It was my first car and I am a firm believer that you don’t sell your first. I would like to drive it a little less, though, keeping it for special occasions. Since the Audi is my main car, the Buick only receives about 35 percent of my overall miles. I love the way that the Buick handles and I am a huge fan of the 3800’s reliability.

I would really like a Buick wagon, but the Century wagon doesn’t appeal to me at all and the Roadmaster is out of my price range (I could have two Rivieras for the price of a decent Roadmaster wagon). I’m not partial to any brand, or against any brand, though I do find Hondas kind of boring.

(Read More…)

By on December 8, 2015

002_KOERU_image_blackHI-RES

Settling the debate between whether Mazda’s Koeru concept from Frankfurt was a new CX-5 or CX-9 (or CX-7?),  CEO Masamichi Kogai told Automotive News that the answer may be “none of the above,” apparently.

On Monday, Kogai said that the Koeru could get the green light as a sporty crossover, sold alongside the CX-5 as a wagon-esque crossover aimed “to generate more driving pleasure,” Kogai told Automotive News.

Media reports on Tuesday likened the lower, fastback, five-door Mazda wagon to a possible Subaru Outback competitor, which completely forgets what an Outback looks like today.

(Read More…)

By on November 16, 2015

16 - 1982 Mercury Marquis Wagon in California junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

In 1983, Ford decided to put the Mercury Marquis on the new-ish Fox Platform, while the Grand Marquis remained on the Panther Platform (where it would stay until the bitter end). Confused? Hey, at least the Marquis/Grand Marquis split wasn’t as puzzling as, say, the Toyota Corolla Tercel (which was unrelated to the Corolla) or the Nissan Stanza Wagon (which was only slightly related to the other US-market Stanzas).

Here’s a faded but generally solid ’83 Marquis woodie wagon I saw in Northern California in August. (Read More…)

By on November 11, 2015

1983 Volvo 240 GLT Turbo

It seems we have a theme this week on the Digestible Collectible/Crapwagon Outtake beat. IT’S SWEDEN WEEK! Throw back some akvavit, heat up some meatballs, plug in an ABBA 8-track, and let’s look at another sweet Scandinavian hotrod of the ’80s.

No, I really didn’t plan this. I don’t think I can come up with another Swedish car for Friday anyhow, unless someone can find me a barn-find Koenigsegg, or perhaps a couple BILLY bookcases powered by a Husqvarna chainsaw engine. I have been looking for a clean Volvo wagon to feature for some time, as I have occasional fond memories of the 745 I briefly owned before my wife attempted to set a Great Lakes record in the conrod toss.

If you’re keeping score at home, that’s two of my cars my dearest has obliterated via external combustion.

(Read More…)

By on October 28, 2015

2006 Dodge Magnum SRT8

As I continue the search for the family hauler that is less emasculating than the minivan I currently drive, my eye wanders to hot wagons. Like the Subaru I featured a few weeks ago, a quick wagon looks a bit more “menacing” on the road than a bloated van. It’s likely much more rewarding to drive to boot.

Besides a better drive, other senses can be engaged; for many enthusiasts, a great engine note can trigger primal urges. The sound of a proper #Murican V8 tops the list for many. Personally, I can’t help but turn my head anytime an uncorked HEMI, Coyote, or LS drives by.

That leads us to today’s subject: the 2006 Dodge Magnum SRT8.

(Read More…)

By on October 22, 2015

28 - 1982 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser in Colorado junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

Jerry Garcia died more than 20 years ago, but Grateful Dead-themed stickers will be showing up on junkyard vehicles as long as junkyards exist.

In this series so far, we’ve seen several Steal Your Face-ized junkyard inmates, including this ’68 GMC pickup, this Ford Probe that no doubt had Kansas Highway Patrol sniff-dogs straining against the Colorado border in their eagerness to make an easy bust, and this stereotype-reinforcing ’83 VW Vanagon.

Now we’ve got this Malaise Era Olds wagon from the first year of the GM G-body. (Read More…)

By on October 20, 2015

volvo-v90-china-1

Car companies should know better than to send detailed drawings of unreleased cars to Chinese toymakers. 

Because they don’t, here is the new Volvo V90 wagon in toy-car form. The wagon, which appeared on CarNewsChina, appears to take several cues from our newly favorite Swedish car, the XC90.

The wagon sports headlights from the XC90 as well as the front fascia from Alex Dykes’ favorite new car.

(Read More…)

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