Posts by: Jim Corbran

RealRides of WNY - 1963 Ford Ranchero

Day 3 of Compacts Week…As this 1963 Ford Rancheropoints out, not all early American compacts were sedans or station wagons. Or hardtops or convertibles, for that matter. The Ranchero was Ford’s car/pickup hybrid, introduced for 1957 and moved over to the Falcon platform when the compact debuted for model year 1960. When the ’57 made its first appearance, Chevy wasn’t able

RealRides of WNY - Henry J, c1953

Day 2 of Compacts Week…Before American compacts from Detroit started showing up in the late 1950s, there were a few others which tried (and failed) to get buyers to drive smaller, American-made cars. This Henry J, c1953, is one of them. Named after aluminum and real estate magnate/automotive executive Henry J. Kaiser, the Henry J was produced by Kaiser Motors as a companion to its larger Ka

RealRides of WNY - 1964 Corvair

Day 1 of Compacts Week…In the waning days of the Eisenhower administration, America’s Big Three manufacturers (GM, Ford, and Chrysler) all introduced compact-sized cars to combat the onslaught of foreign cars (which by the late 1950s had really caught on with the North American car-buying public), as well as that ofthe Rambler American & Studebaker Lark (a couple of compact home-g

RealRides of WNY - 1973 AMC Hornet

Day 7 of Wagon Week…This 1973 AMC Hornet Sportaboutmight have been one of the nicest styled station wagons of the era, IMO. Yes, its sloped rear roof might have cut down a bit on cargo space, but hey, it looked great! AMC interiors of the day also seemed to try a bit harder to look cool (bottom photo), and of course the obligatory fake woodgrain side panels were also offered. Standard power

RealRides of WNY - 1973 Volkswagen

Day 6 of Wagon Week…Station wagon? Perhaps, depending on who you ask. When this 1973 Volkswagenwas new, VW advertised is a the VW Station Wagon, or, in this iteration, the Campmobile— a version which they advertised as combining “…the best features of three cars and a house.”The house part might be obvious (VW explained it as “a vacation home”).But, thre

RealRides of WNY (on the road) - 1972 Citroën

Day 5 of Wagon Week…And now for something completely different — the 1972 Citroën Ami8. Depending on where you were at the time, it was either a Break(France), an Estate(Great Britain) or, here in the U.S., a Station Wagon— or at least it would have been had it ever been sold here. The predecessor to the Ami 8, the Ami 6, wassold here from 1963 to 1968, but Citroën onl

RealRides of WNY - 1963 Studebaker

Day 4 of Wagon Week…The all-new 1963 Studebaker Lark Wagonairewas unique in the American market with its sliding roof panel which could help owners accommodate… what? A small refrigerator? A potted palm? Or maybe, as was suggested in the brochure photo seen below, a safe place for the kids to stand when the parents park in the middle of a poison ivy patch, Lol… The Lark statio

RealRides of WNY - 1960 GMC Suburban

Day 3 of Wagon Week…Is this 1960 GMC Custom Suburbanreally a station wagon? Well, a full complement of side windows and three rows of seats would seem to say, yes. (It was also available as a panel van, sans all the windows save those in the doors.) Based on the GMC pickup, the Suburban (or Model 1001) was available with a choice of two different rear door configurations: the typical statio

RealRides of WNY - 1958 Chevrolet

Day 2 of Wagon Week…This 1958 Chevrolet Brookwoodwas seen last summer at the Kinsmen Show & Shinein Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Station wagons were a big thing in the late 1950s, fueled in part by the migration to suburbia and the need for a second car — or a larger first car — for many families. For 1958, Chevy, and the other GM wagons, still had the two-piece tailgate wi

RealRides of WNY - 1948 Buick Super

Day 1 of Wagon Week…This 1948 Buick Super Estate Wagonis from back in the day when New York State saw fit to register station wagons as Suburbans. In Buick-speak it was Model 59, and here’s how they described it in the brochure: “For white-tie occasions or country living, the car that changes quickly from playboy to workhorse. Beautifully finished in every detail.”It would