MAY 2016 A FULL-SIZED 1969 DODGE MONACO WAGON TAKES CENTER STAGE

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The station wagon was a big part of baby boomer childhoods from a time when the cars were needed to haul more people during that post-war population explosion.

‘The station wagon reigned as a kid-hauler and was virtually unchallenged in that niche market until the dawn of the minivan in the early 80s.’

The station wagon was a practical answer to family transportation needs but these cars were never at the top of the cool ride list for any kid who rode in one.

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In fact, they were at the bottom of that list for any kid during the heyday of the station wagon.

The passage of time has been very kind to the unloved station wagon because the kids who rode in them have gotten much older and wiser over the years. A vintage wagon still around in 2016 has become a time machine back to their childhood days and this sentimental journey had bumped the prices on the surviving station wagons.

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A good vintage wagon now commands plenty of respect and dollars from a new group of born-again fans from the baby boomer generation. Peter Stoffels is the proud owner of a 1969 Dodge Monaco station wagon and he may be an outlier on wagon love because he “wasn’t really looking for a wagon” when he found his Monaco long roof.

He had a contact with a friend who had to sell the car and sent pictures of the wagon to Peter. The condition of the Monaco wagon sold Peter on the purchase and he “had to buy it“; in his words. The wagon is a full-sized car with a documented history through its four previous owners.

The Monaco was an upscale model from Dodge so Peter’s wagon has some added luxury features like power brakes, power steering, power seats and air conditioning. It does not have power windows or door locks but this wagon was a pricier choice for its original owner, who owned it from 1969 to 2003, and was most responsible for its excellent condition.

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The rear-facing seat at the back of the Monaco wagon would seem familiar to many baby boomers who spent time in this seat watching the highway retreat behind the car on family vacations. The 383 engine in the car was original and Peter said his wagon “can hustle”-when called upon- down the highway.

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Peter likes the Monaco line and also owns a 2-door hardtop version. He said the “big girls (station wagons) need love” and said he likes the car because it is “not an A body (Valiant/Dart compact models) physique”.

The previous owner searched for 20 years for a Monaco station wagon and made a few improvements on the car, including refurbished bright work (chrome), along with new carpets and dash. He also added a Monaco-correct luggage rack to the roof of the wagon.

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The station wagon’s upholstery was original and was a testimony to the original owner’s high standards of maintenance on the Monaco.

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Peter may not have been looking for a wagon when he discovered his 1969 Monaco, but he owns an excellent example of baby boomer automotive heritage and nostalgia in one classic automotive package.’

Jim Sutherland

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