The Origins and Evolution of the Station Wagon.
In the early 1900’s when trains dominated long distance travel in the U.S., the railway depot was a busy place. There became a growing need to transport people and cargo arriving on trains to hotels and businesses. “Depot hacks” were created to carry passengers and their baggage to and from the railway depots. Early versions resembled horse-drawn wagons, with multiple seats or benches for the passengers to sit on, and a canvas covering to help protect them from the elements.
As the horse was replaced by the internal combustion engine, self-powered depot hacks began to dominate transportation to and from train stations. The “station wagon” as it came to be called evolved from “depot hacks” just as “train depots” evolved to “train stations”.
Station wagon manufacturing was a big business, involving companies like Chevrolet, Ford and Pierce Arrow, among others. They provided the vehicle chassis and 3rd party companies were hired to custom configure the rear body of the vehicle, which was made of steel and wood. Growth in popularity of station wagons is commonly attributed to the availability of reliable chassis and innovative configuration ideas coming from the manufacturers and body builders (wood-framed stake bodies, jitneys, express bodies, delivery vans and depot hacks).
Station wagons began to split away from commercial delivery vehicles in the 1920’s. Over the years wagons became more comfortable with a steel roof, padded seats and eventually enclosed with windows. Commercial versions focused on cargo room, hauling and other delivery features. However, the use of wood in the construction of the passenger and cargo areas continued to be a common thread between the two vehicle types.
The 1950’s and 1960’s was the hay-day for mid-size and full-size station wagons. These cars were large and powerful and brought impressive styling to the station wagon market.
Over the next 40 years Chevrolet would bring many interesting wagons to market, including the Impala, Caprice, Vega, Monza, Celebrity, Cavalier and HHR. Then, the market for SUVs and minivans came roaring in. Models like the Astro Van and Venture Mini-Van. And SUVs like the Blazer, Trailblazer, Tahoe and Suburban. Consumers had unprecedented choices in people/cargo carrying vehicles.
Chevrolet’s extensive and impressive history of designing, manufacturing and selling station wagons, SUVs and crossovers continues today with the 2018 Chevy Traverse.
2018 Chevrolet Traverse
The 2018 Traverse is all new for 2018. Features include the following;
Comfortable - Seating for up to 8 people.
Spacious - This roomy midsize SUV offers best-in-class maximum cargo space of 98.2 cu. ft. and a hidden underfloor rear storage compartment to boot.
Performance - The standard 3.6L V6 engine allows for impressive power and available towing capability no matter your destination. Plus, the 9-speed automatic transmission offers the smooth shifting you want and the fuel economy you need.
Traction Mode Select - If Traverse is properly equipped, this convenient feature allows you to adjust your vehicle’s performance on challenging road surfaces with the simple turn of a dial. When properly equipped choose from FWD, 4X4/Snow, Off-Road, Tow/Haul.
Safety - Traverse takes safety seriously, especially when it comes to crash prevention. This smart SUV uses available cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radar to look out for potential hazards to help you avoid collisions before they happen.
Technology - Traverse helps keep you and your family connected and entertained every time you drive. An available built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi® connection for up to seven devices means the Internet comes along for the ride, almost anywhere you go.