A full-size 1966 Plymouth Fury station wagon is a rare sight on today’s roads.
They were not the stuff of dreams in the 60s for young and impressionable future car guys that were summer vacation prisoners in them.
Locked into tight quarters with siblings over miles and miles of freeway hell in a station wagon leaned heavily into cruel and unusual punishment under the Geneva Convention rules governing prisoner treatment.
It happened every summer for millions of North Americans on vacation: cram the young Baby Boomers into a wagon and hit the open road. Consequently, many of us had a very poor attitude about the trusty station wagons from the 50s, 60s and 70s.
They lacked sex appeal and they were exactly the opposite of cool as a personal ride when we looked for our first cars. They were only cool on Superman’s Bizarro planet.
Wagons disappeared from the roads as an unloved and underappreciated part of automotive history, almost in a passenger pigeon sense. Both were once plentiful and one (passenger pigeons) has reached extinction, while the other (old station wagons) has been pushed right to the edge of the cliff.
So when I spotted this forlorn looking 1966 Plymouth wagon rusting in peace on rough-looking rural property, I took note of it. Actually it was an exciting moment for me- an emotion about the car that never crossed my mind when the car and I were both young.
The car appears to be intact enough for a second life in the right hands. While I am not in a position to dictate the future of this now-rare piece of automotive history, I have an opinion about the direction.
I want this lonely survivor from a bygone era to be returned to its original state as a kid-hauler from a time when cars and families were big. I don’t want to see it pimped, slammed, tubbed, or painted in black primer.
Here’s an old friend that needs to be loved and appreciated because it never was loved and appreciated by the kids that rolled in it. That was a big mistake on our part in the 60s.
These were the vehicles that got us to that legendary Summer Place that was immortalized in song. We didn’t appreciate the car or the journey at the time, but now we realize that we will never be able to recreate the magic of childhood, station wagons and summer vacations.
The ship has sailed for our childhood, but a car like the 1966 Plymouth station wagon can remind of us of that time and place-just as long as it isn’t butchered into a soul-less Franken-car by the next owner.
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