Before there were crossovers, before there were SUVs, before there were minivans, there were station wagons. This is what the American family vehicle looked like circa 1970 or so. I’m not sure of the exact vintage of this wonderfully patinaed Plymouth Belvedere is. From the bumpers it’s pre-1972. Today the big things in family vehicles are storage compartments, infotainment for the kiddies and, of course, cup holders. Back in 1970, while the inside of the glove box lid might have had some indents for your coffee cup at the drive in, a major selling point in station wagons was tailgate technology. At first the rear doors on station wagons tilted down to open, just like the tailgates on pickup trucks. Then side hinged doors that made ingress and egress of the kiddies easier were offered. I believe it was Ford who first offered dual mode rear doors that could open either way and eventually all the American car companies offered station wagons with that feature. Finally, in the 1970s, GM made station wagons with clamshell rear doors that retracted down into the body. This very clean, all original, numbers matching, but not pristine, Belvedere wagon with a dual mode tailgate was on display at the WPC Club’s Great Lakes Region all Mopar car show and swap meet. WPC, of course, stands for Walter P. Chrysler.
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