Patrick Paternie on US culture and station wagons:
The term station wagon has evolved from a G-rated to an X-rated word and back again among U.S. automotive marketers. But love it or call it a five-door sedan, the station wagon is the iconic American automobile.
Station wagons flourished along with the growth of two other definitive aspects of the modern American lifestyle, the suburbs and the interstate. The epitome of nuclear family-era transportation, a roomy, luxurious station wagon and a AAA TripTik was a recipe for family bonding and adventure before National Lampoon’s Vacation and the Griswolds turned it into a rolling-disaster movie script.
By the end of the 1950s station wagons accounted for nearly one of five new car sales. It was the aspirational vehicle of the period, as evidenced by the Country Squire’s status at the top of Ford’s lineup.