SUVs are the toast of the automobile industry these days. Even Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Lamborghini now each make one, and while fastbacks and notchbacks may be the norm today, it’s hard to ignore wagons if you’re a classic or modern classic car enthusiast.
Just as each of us have a certain liking towards particular body styles, sometimes, wagons on classic cars can be more appealing than sedans. In fact, long before the world caught the modern soft-roader SUV mania, almost every major manufacturer made wagons.
I like all kinds of estates – right from the classic Peugeot 504 to the supercar-rivalling Audi RS6.
A friend of mine recently bought a Mercedes-Benz W123 wagon with a huge tow hook fitted, and I think it looks absolutely cool! In fact, if you ask me, the estate body style actually goes better with the character of a W123 workhorse than a sedan.
For some reason, estates never did well in India, despite worthy efforts from some of the biggest players in our market namely Fiat, Tata Motors and even Maruti who failed to crack the formula.
Strangely though, estate body styles on classics and modern classic cars seem to be holding their values much higher than those of sedans and it is not hard to see why.
Firstly, rarity aside, I think wagons look great and have a sense of occasion that is missing in their sedan counterparts. Of course, they are more practical than sedans, even though you may not be too concerned with practicality when it comes to your hobby car. Yet, those Sunday morning drives with your family, and long weekend trips are way more fun in an estate.
Even Indian heritage classic cars in estate forms are getting extremely sought after. For example, prices demanded for the Hindustan Landmaster Traveller can be double than that of the regular sedan considering the dearth of these cars on sale in India. Even finding a nice example of a Sienna Weekend, Baleno Altura, or even a first-gen Skoda Octavia Wagon is getting difficult. I particularly liked the floating roof design on the Baleno Altura.
Another thing I like about classic and modern classic car estates is that they look even more appealing when fitted with period correct accessories like a caravan tow hook, luggage rails, and hey, you can even carry a small dinghy on the roof. Isn’t that awesome?
The old cube-shaped rather gawky-looking wagons may have fallen out of favour back in the day, and yet their distinct characters make them all the more appealing as classic cars today.
The next time you come across a wagon in a classic car classified, don’t think twice about the premium they demand.