Car Collector's Corner: 1966 Rambler Station Wagon – A Family Heritage Car Makes a Comeback

J Sutherland
by J Sutherland
car collector s corner 1966 rambler station wagon a family heritage car makes a

Don Hogenson led a different life before he became a family man. He was a professional football player with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League. Then he embarked on a career as a professional wrestler.

That all changed when his family got bigger.

Enter this 1966 Rambler American station wagon.

At that point in his life, Don was a car salesman. In those days, you didn’t use company demos for personal business. Don spotted this Rambler with a mere 114 miles on the clock. It was perfect for an upcoming vacation.

The car made sense for the trip until, as Don explained, “we were going on holidays and I couldn’t take a demo, I bought it, parked it and a half hour later cops were there after a guy had an epileptic seizure. Lost my holidays that year, because I told them I wanted all new parts.”

A year later the car was back to normal although Don admits that “the back corner has 4 pounds of lead on it.”

After that, there were no more disasters with the little wagon. As Don related, “ I drove it for twenty years pretty much anytime I didn’t have a demo car. I hauled kids everywhere in it and my daughter used it as a wedding car.”

There were a few skirmishes with the car though as Don recalled, “my kid and 2 other brats decided to break the windshield and I wore myself out trying to catch them as they ran around the car…disadvantages of a wagon.”

Eventually, the little Rambler became less of a factor for the Hogenson family, and it wasn’t driven for 15 years. Last year Don’s son decided to take the family wagon back to its former glory.

The car was really solid mechanically as Don explained, “I had to redo the brakes because they were seized, needed a new windshield, motor wasn’t touched.”

The car was a fairly lengthy project, and Don tried to stay away from his beloved Rambler during that period. Don admits, that he cried when he saw it. That speaks volumes about his inner car guy and his attachment to the little wagon because Don is not an overtly emotional guy in person.

Now,the Rambler gets a daily workout. Don can be seen all over town behind the wheel of his 46-year-old car. He admits “that I’d sooner drive this than my 2004 Camry because of the sentimental value, but it will never see another winter.”

His only regret is the lack of power steering. Don said it was easier to drive in 1966 when he was much younger and still had youth on his side.

Other than that, this 1966 Rambler station wagon is home for good as part of the Hogenson family heritage.

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2 of 18 comments
  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on May 08, 2012

    Am I the only one who looks at the picture with the tailgate down and sees hints of Chevy Suburban in the two-tone and taillights?

  • Gannet Gannet on May 09, 2012

    Beautiful! And those Rambler wagons had fold-down front seats. Brings back fond memories from high school. :)

  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)
  • Luke42 When I moved from Virginia to Illinois, the lack of vehicle safety inspections was a big deal to me. I thought it would be a big change.However, nobody drives around in an unsafe car when they have the money to get their car fixed and driving safely.Also, Virginia's inspection regimine only meant that a car was safe to drive one day a year.Having lived with and without automotive safety inspections, my confusion is that they don't really matter that much.What does matter is preventing poverty in your state, and Illinois' generally pro-union political climate does more for automotive safety (by ensuring fair wages for tradespeople) than ticketing poor people for not having enough money to maintain their cars.
  • ToolGuy When you are pulled over for speeding, whether you are given a ticket or not should depend on how attractive you are.Source: My sister 😉
  • Kcflyer What Toyota needs is a true full size body on frame suv to compete with the Expedition and Suburban and their badge engineered brethren. The new sequoia and LX are too compromised in capacity by their off road capabilities that most buyers will never use.