If you were a kid in the 1970′s you probaly have fond memories of sliding around a big vinyl bench seat as your Dad made a turn in a 19 foot long tank known as the American Station Wagon. My Mom could pilot her 1972 Buick Estate Wagon, puff a cig, tune the AM radio and smack me and my sister at the same time all. The big behemoth wagons of the 60′s and 70′s had great names like the Mercury Park Lane, Buick Estate, Oldsmobile Customer Cruiser and Ford Country Squire.
Ford more than likely called it the “Country” Squire because it was the size of a small “Country”. By 1971 GM was selling alot of Mommy Movers. When they re-styled their large car platform the Station Wagons followed by being bigger and better. In the days of 35 cent gas driving a 6000lb War Wagon was a sign of a happy family. The grandest of these massive Station Wagons was the 1971 Oldsmobile Customer Cruiser. Kind of like a 98 Regency with fake wood on the side the Cruiser was a whopping 18 feet long.
The only engine was the gas stations best friend the mighty 455 Rocket V8. With it’s front and rear bench seat, a rear facing back seat you could cram 8 rug rats and the family dog in it for a trip to Wally World. This Road Barge was about the open road. Handling was not an option but with 3 tons of mass it was like steering the Titanic. One groovy feature was the Clam Shell Tailgate. With just the twist of the key or dash button you could make the tailgate glide into the floor while the glass slid into the roof. Except for the Boattail Riviera perhaps the last cool thing GM did in the 1970′s. Never could understand how the same people that made the Clam Shell Tailgate made the uber bomb Chevy Citation. Oh sure you have some cool little wagons from Japan and Europe but a real station wagon should be the size of a Condo. That is why the best station wagon of all time is the 1971 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser. With it’s stump pulling 455 Rocket V8 and two block long turning circle it leaves a carbon footprint bigger than the state of Idaho. So hail the Big Bahama Momma of Station Wagons.. The 1971 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser.
Watch This Great Video Of A 1971 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser and It’s Clam Shell “Glide-A-Way Tailgate