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Station wagon

A station wagon (US and Australian usage) or estate car (UK usage) is a normal sedan car with an extended rear cargo area. Station wagons were a product of the age of train travel. They were designed to transport people and luggage from passenger trains to hotels and resorts. Most station wagons were modified sedan type car bodies and you could see the styling addition of the extended rear window over the normal automobile trunk area of the vehicle. Station wagons could be described as: an automobile having four wheels, four doors and a rear door with a window. Some people call this configuration a five door car. However minivans and SUVs have five doors also. The difference is the minivans and SUVs are classified as trucks. The station wagon is still a car with extra carrying capacity.

Many manufacturers of station wagons had their own systems of rear door openings. The Studebaker station wagon of the 1964 model year had a section of the roof open as well as the rear tail gate which folded down. This allowed it to carry tall objects that wouldn't fit otherwise. The Chevrolet station wagon had a rear window that would slide upwards into the roof as the tailgate dropped down. The later Pontiac Parisienne station wagon of the 1980s had a window that moved up and down in the rear tailgate by an electric motor that could be operated from the drivers seat as well as by the key in the rear door. This rear door was made to open downwards like a regular tailgate (if the window was also down) or like a regular door and swing outward from the curb side (whether the window was up or down.)

Station wagons are lower in profile than a mini van or SUV and thus have less air resistance when driving on the highway.

Many early station wagons were styled with woodgrain[?] panels along the sides and back of the vehicle to "enhance" the country styling. These are now called "woodies" in the United States. Station wagons were the originators of fold down seats to accommodate passengers or cargo.



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