Inspired by Luxury Yachts, Station Wagons Were Once the Height of Mid-20th-Century Design

Before the Minivan and SUV, American Families Rode in a Vehicle Fashioned for Comfort and Room for All

Today SUVs clog American roads, but in the middle of the 20th century, the station wagon ruled supreme. Built for growing postwar families—with a distinctive nod toward style and luxury—the iconic car with the “wayback” democratized driving for families across the United States.

In dozens of photographs assembled in the self-published Looking Backward: America’s Love Affair With the Station Wagon, Southern California-based co-authors John Jordan and Will Bodine recall the days when wagons were targeted mainly to the wealthy (the Buick Special Estate Wagon of 1941 had interior woodwork “worthy …

Living in a Modern Way

When California Designed the Future

GIs in World War II were urged to consider what their post-war home should be like.

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Home is where most Angelenos wanted to live when World War II ended, in a …