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Are Wagons The Next Collector Cars?


2012 Acura TSX Wagon - Driven, July 2012

2012 Acura TSX Wagon - Driven, July 2012

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Classic car insurance and valuation specialists Hagerty made news last year by pointing out a surge in vintage SUV values, underscored by a Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser commanding nearly $90,000 at auction.  If these humble workhorses are in demand, we have to wonder if wagons can be far behind.

Some are already sought after, like antique woodies and 1955-57 Chevrolet Nomads.  Our speculation is with more recent models; the family trucksters we grew up with and new models alike.  As unpredictable as collector car trends are, these and other wagons may become high-dollar haulers.

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Audi 200 Avant by Wikimedia Commons user IFCAR

Audi 200 Avant by Wikimedia Commons user IFCAR

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Audi 200 20V Turbo Quattro Avant

We won’t delve into the whole 60 Minutes debacle from 1986 that very nearly killed Audi, but we will point out that in the company’s darkest days, they produced a car that’s among their best: 1991’s 200 20-valve Turbo Quattro.

This one-year, exceptionally rare package found its way into about 1,000 four-doors and just 200 or so Avant wagons.  It isn’t far removed from the sedans Audi ran to dominate SCCA Trans-Am’s 1986 season.  A twin-cam 20-valve turbo inline five-cylinder sends power to all four BBS wheels, stirred manually with a five-speed gearbox.  Maintaining it will present a challenge, but enjoying car will come easy.

1978 Ford LTD Country Squire wagon by Flickr user That Hartford Guy

1978 Ford LTD Country Squire wagon by Flickr user That Hartford Guy

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Ford Country Squire

James Bond was taken to Auric Goldfinger’s ranch in one.  Clark Griswold was hellbent to reach Wally World in one.  You can even race one in Forza video games.  From Hollywood to your hometown, Ford Country Squires spanned several decades and covered millions of miles, most of them resplendent with fake wood grain sides.

Any of the Big Three automakers had the acreage and tonnage to answer your need for a V-8 station wagon back in the day, but over time the big Fords have come to epitomize the era and could lead the way for collector values.  However bloated and crude they seem by today’s standards, they are a heapin’ helpin’ of American culture from the not-too-distant past.

2015 Volvo V60 Polestar

2015 Volvo V60 Polestar

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Volvo V60 Polestar

Volvo wagons have a cult coolness about them; whether Amazons, 240s, 850s or others.  The 1800ES two-door wagon of the early 1970s is a rare treat, as are surviving 850 Turbos and Rs from the 1990s.

Yet for all these established models, the 2015 V60 Polestar could be the one to watch.  Along with the S60 Polestar sedan, a mere 120 cars are expected in the US.  We can only hope that number will increase, but either way, the Swedes aren’t environmentally ignorant.  A 345-horsepower performance showpiece is great, though it can’t last forever.  Get it while you can.        

Citroen DS 20 by Flickr user marsupilami92

Citroen DS 20 by Flickr user marsupilami92

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Citroen DS

You may have heard horror stories of vintage French car reliability.  To put your mind at ease, the only parts you really have to worry about are those between the wheels and bumpers.

So why bother with a Citroen DS Wagon?  Without caving to usage of je ne sais quoi as an answer, suffice it to say they are rich in character—even among old European cars.  Models sent here from 1966-72 represented only a slice of the overall 1955-75 production, and were a milestone of automotive design and technology throughout.      


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