Looking Backward: America’s Love Affair with the Station Wagon

Will Bodine and John Jordan. Jordan-Bodine, $24.95 (125p) ISBN 978-0-692-59420-9
Former publisher sales rep Bodine and photographer Jordan celebrate the glories of the station wagon in this affectionate, informative pictorial history. Long before the arrival of SUVs, Bodine notes, automakers seduced the American driver with the comfort and convenience of family-sized automobiles. The authors trace the emergence of the station wagon, initially inspired by horse-drawn carriages, to the 1941 Buick Special Estate Wagon and the Chrysler Town & Country, and follow its evolution through the post-WWII boom that saw the introduction of the Oldsmobile 88 Station Wagon and the Ford Country Squire. The authors celebrate the station wagon’s glory days—which they peg from 1955 to 1958—highlighting the 1955 Plymouth Savoy Suburban, 1957 Buick Century Caballero, and 1958 Edsel Bermuda. Bodine doesn’t shy away from pointing out design flaws of some of the cars, such as the first generation of the 1962 Chevrolet Convair Monza wagon, the handling of which was criticized by Ralph Nader in his book Unsafe at Any Speed. Sporting gorgeous color photographs on nearly every page, this well-researched tribute will charm nostalgic car enthusiasts. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 09/10/2018
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