The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Dan Hay, May 7, 2021.
54 Ranch Wagon holds 6.
Or the older body style (55-59) Task Force!!!!
Or go weird, some are fairly cheap, but hard to find parts for........and sometime awesomely ugly .
60s Pontiac or Olds Wagon, even some Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth wagons can be cheap.
Dodge A108 Van
Ford Econline Van (early 60s)
IF you want to go real cheap then off brand late 60s/early 70s.
My country squire seats 8
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Studebaker Lark's aren't hard to find, small, but roomy, good looking station wagons too.
Here are a couple of suggestions with more than enough room. I believe the Chevy Suburban ran when parked.
I second the woodie wagon vote...
Howsabout a late 50s to mid 60s IH CarryAll // TravelAll ? There big, roomy and built like the proverbial brick shit house. A tweek to the drive train and you've got a people moving farm implement!! I know that Harvesters aren't really hot rod material but you never know. Mitch
A burb or nine passenger wagon is going to give the young ones the most elbow room. Solves the the who has to sit between mom and dad too unless Mom gives up shotgun and sits in the middle.
I'm going to say don't buy and orphan or some rig you just flat cannot buy parts for. Early 60's burbs have great aftermarket support 61/64 Chevy full size has good aftermarket support. Some of those great looking mid 50's early 60's wagons like the Olds 88 or 98 or Buick Caballero don't have very extensive support systems in the aftermarket. Those being my two favorite wagons of all time.
Since your kids are young and tiny, I'll go a slightly different route and suggest a 62-65 Chevy II 3 seater. Still plenty of room for the fam, but not a full size tank. Easier to maneuver around, a bit better on gas and performance.
Parts available galore, including trim, suspension upgrades (dropped spindles, discs), upholstery kits. Easy to work on.
I'd keep it straightforward and simple;
Drop the front 3"/rear 2"
Interior; A/C, Dynamat, upgraded foam for the seats
1962 - 65 wagons would be the best price - options and condition to look for - finding nice suburban's are a little harder and more pricey. Good luck with the search !
I had the same drama... too many kids for a car with bucket seats. Did a few (soul destroying) years with a Toyota minivan. Then built my avatar .
Aussie '62 GM Holden wagon. Bench front and rear. Rear bench folds all the way forward to make the cargo area into one large flat surface from tailgate to front bench (kinda like a 4-door delivery rather than a wagon). Needed a bit more mumbo, so the 75HP I6 traded places with a 400HP 327.
Carries the kids, great to grab large stuff from the hardware store, putts around in city traffic OK, drags a car trailer or box trailer and pulls a 14.3s quarter. Nice balance.
Keep the coupe, put the kids in a Mullens. End of problem!
64 chevy 108 van. 350 sbc, automatic.
You have excellent taste sir!
Any of these.
1951-1954 Packard sedan. That straight 8 will run forever & cruise all day at 70 mph. Comfortable too.
Dad drove them till when he got a 58 Lincoln which would "hold em all" too.
Any time a family grows large, there is always a problem with transportation. Our neighbor used to have a 1967 big GMC Suburban for transportation. They had two daughters, but it was for the neighborhood child care service that the family provided. She was an institution in our locale. Luckily, it was less than a block to their house.
Across the street, it was the school bus pick up and in front of her driveway, it was the drop off point. That made it wonderful for early morning child care until the big yellow bus rolled in to its pick up/drop off spot.
But, that Suburban was used when the bus broke down, school pickups had to be made, etc. It was one big honking station wagon, with windows all around. Inside, it was like being in a tall building looking at the people way down below. Stock height was still higher than most cars and trucks.
After the kids grew up, there was still the neighborhood rush going strong. The Suburban played its role.
As far as room, it had so much of it that a family of 6 could fit everything for a camping trip and beach activities. But, for us that big, roomy inside area was heaven, but a little too large for our small two car garage. They had to raise the normal size garage door to get the big Suburban to fit inside of the garage.
Jump up 25 years later and while shopping in a neighborhood store, I saw a very cool Suburban parked in the lot a few cars over from my car. It was a Satin Black, had enough modifications to make it a mild custom, and did not look like the giant Suburban that we were used to seeing in our neighborhood.
I looked inside and there was plenty of room for all things camping, beach activities and mountain ski trips. But, the racks on top were old style 60s green racks for surfboards. Besides, it is a beach community and most have some sort of relationship with the ocean and surf. It was bigger than a small sedan delivery, but not as large as that modern day Suburban.
My wife said that the old Suburban in our old neighborhood was a giant of a form of transportation. She said that this satin black finished 1950 Suburban was more our style. Yes we had a cool looking 1940 Ford Sedan Delivery, but we sold it due to a nasty blind spot in the right rear passenger side rear panel. This Suburban had windows all around giving the occupants a tall 360 degree greenhouse.
Most of the early Suburbans do look the same. As far as power, an SBC motor would fit right in and look tiny inside the motor compartment. Here is a 1950 GMC Suburban from South OC in So Cal. It is usually seen cruising around the South OC beach areas. They do hold a lot of stuff, beach stuff or otherwise, including kids.
1950 GMC Suburban
If you go the Suburban route, you could get the interior out of a newer one and have the folding seats and seat belts.
You will need a couple of child car seats for a few years that take up quite a bit of room. I would think you need something with 3 seats. When I was young there was 3 of us kids in the back seat, on a long trip it was like a wrestling free for all back there...lol. And that was back in the "spare the rod and spoil the kid " days.
It doesn't need to be a station wagon, it just needs seating space for two adults and four kids. The biggest issue will be room for the child seats necessary for the younger ones.
Maybe one of these...
Your timing is perfect as I have plans to put my 66 Suburban project in someone elses name, it could be yours.
Some assembly required.
A friend told me that when she was a kid, the family car was a '68 Camaro. Her parents drove that car with three teenage kids in the back seat. She hated that car.
LOL... there was a short period of time when we owned two cars; a '67 Cougar and a '70 Mustang fastback. Both bucket seat cars, and our four kids were between 11 and 14... Given a choice, the kids would pick the Cougar as it was positively roomy in the back seat compared to the Mustang... but it was still liking having four cats in a bag when we went anywhere together. A wagon was in our immediate future...
The three-seat wagons aren't easy to find or inexpensive when you do if they're not trashed. Truthfully, any full-size car from the late '50s up would probably do just as well.
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