Ford Woody Wagon
Despite being a two-door wagon, we hesitate to call the Nomad a shooting brake. The long side windows, aft of the doors resulted in a clean design that was painfully attractive. Engine options at the time included 265 cubic inch and 283 cubic inch V8s, but you can bet folks have put some monster big blocks under the hood through the years. It is the ultimate grocery-getter-turned-hot-rod.
Ford Ranch Wagon
The Nomad gets a lot of love but Ford had its own 2-door wagon. Not to be confused with the Ranchero (Ford’s El Camino rival), the Ranch Wagon enjoyed the styling language of the 1950s Country Squire. Something about the 1959 Ranch Wagon looks like it would be right at home parked in a motel in 50’s Daytona beach.
Hurst-Olds Vista Cruiser
One of the most revered Oldsmobiles is the Hurst-Olds 442, and for one year, a wagon version was made. In 1972, Hurst was given the honor of creating pace cars and safety cars for the 56th Indianapolis 500. The race also required some medical transport vehicles and press transports. So Hurst graced the Vista Cruiser with its 300-hp, 455 cubic inch V8, 3.23 posi, myriad modifications…and solidified its spot as one of the coolest muscle car-wagons of all time
Audi RS2 Avant
These days, a handful of automakers build very cool, high performance wagons. The Germans do this really well, and one of the O.G. speed wagons was the RS2 Avant. It was a joint venture between Porsche and Audi, and featured a turbocharged inline-5 sending power through a 6-speed manual transmission to Quattro all-wheel-drive. It was all tuned and assembled by Porsche, and had a claimed 0-30 time of 1.5 seconds—faster than a McLaren F1
Volvo 850 R-Wagon
The 850 wagon could be considered the pinnacle of Swedish style. The boxiness, the wagon-ness, is the Volvo many ‘90s kids grew up riding in the back of. But not all 850 wagons had the vaunted R package, with the turbocharged inline-5, making 240-hp. It was set off with unique visual tweaks, including a high rear spoiler and (massive-for-the-day) 170-inch wheels.
How does a Buick land-barge with wood paneling sound as a daily driver? Well, what if I told you that Manatee-of-the-road had the 5.7-liter LT1 V8 from the Chevrolet Corvette. It was an old-school car, using iron heads and analog gauges (the ‘Vette had digital readouts and aluminum heads). Because the B-body wagon was a close cousin to the Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser, it even had the Olds’s second-row sunroof–a nod to the original Vista Cruiser of the ‘60s and ‘70s.
Audi Allroad Quattro
While several models on this list were wagons trying to be sportscars, the Allroad is a wagon trying to be an SUV. It featured a twin-turbo V6 that made 247 horsepower, but the real hardware came in the form advanced air suspension that could change its ride height for highway or trail driving. Matched with the Torsen-based Quattro permanent all-wheel drive, and the Allroad was a wagon that can go off road better than many new crossovers.
Ferrari 456 GT Venice
From 1992 to 1997, the 456 was Ferrari’s V12 touring car, prioritizing comfort over performance, but the GT Venice takes that notion to a whole new level. Seven of these cars were custom ordered by the Sultan of Brunei’s brother, Prince Jefri, but only six were purchased. It is rumored that each car cost $1.5 million.
Cadillac CTS-V Wagon
A living fossil is an animal that should, by the laws of evolution, not exist. With its supercharged, 555-hp LSA V8, magnetic ride control, and impractical proportions, the the CTS-V Sport Wagon is such an unlikely car. It came out of the ashes of the bailout-era GM, and we will probably never see production cars as bonkers as it again.