Once upon a time in America, the Station Wagon once reigned as the ultimate Suburban Status Symbol. Costing more than convertibles for their extra utility, each manufacturer south of the top luxury brands scrambled and served up the finest confections they could possibly think of to the discerning growing families on cul-de-sacs nationwide.
Plymouth, once a provider of sensible small steel wagons in the early fifties had latched onto the faux pretense of wood paneling suburban good taste as 2 decades passed. The heavy influence of The Ford Country Squire made sure that image was part and parcel of most family conveyances. To deviate from this norm typically meant death to your Station Wagon business.
After chasing the latest design trends with their intermediates since 1965, Mopar was ready to mix and mingle with some more sexy, voluptuous curves for the burgeoning center of the Automotive market.
While the ultimate expression of their Fuselage logic worked best for the coupes, Highland Park found themselves in a similar dilemma to Studebaker 18 years earlier. The looks didn’t naturally translate to the more work-day, volume sedans and wagons as well as one might hope. One could say it was the equivalent of the hippie-chic Mother trying on more formal clothes among the other more conservative ladies at the Harper Valley P.T.A.
Typical for Plymouth, this resulted in some of the smaller returns in the intermediate station wagon totals during 1971. Nixon was president, the hangover from the sixties was slowly being buffered by Bufferin (or Quaaludes) and a new conformist Stepford Syndrome drove people to more conservative consumer choices.
The fact that this swoopy bodywork hid roots to the 1962 downsize debacle as Ford was making the switch to body on frame “intermediates” in similar fashion to the switch GM made in 1964 helped close the case. All of this futureminding design had so much that tied it to the immediate and starting to be distant past that the Satellite Regent, despite all the costume jewelry, made it ideal material for savvy bargaining.
Thankfully this leads to a refreshing rarity today. Few will know immediately what this Supersonic Station Wagon of The Seventies is exactly right off the bat. In a world filled with conformity then and now, such a eccentric way of going about the doldrums of American Life is a refreshing dose to the slog and slumber of consumerism.