Tripping the Road Fantastic

Soon you may be heading off on a thanksgiving vacation. The trip may be short or it may be long. Unless your relations live next door, however, you will have to make that journey in an automobile. These days that will likely mean a minivan or small European "touring wagon" (which Chrysler attempted to call its Pacifica with no luck).

Alas, I can remember a time when my family made the journey in something closer to a submarine replete with paisley patterned vinyl seats. It was a bright yellow Pontiac Safari wagon. I truly believe it was the closest my parents ever came to experiencing the 60s. Yet for me those Thanksgiving rides always seemed like some kind of trip.

For starters, the Pontiac Safari (and its GM cousins) was the largest station wagon ever built. I found a reference that confirms this:

"Most of the truly huge station wagons seem to have
been built before 1982 ( in fact up until 1978). The station wagons with the greatest interior volume
(passenger volume plus cargo volume) would seem to be the 1971-1976 full-size GM
wagons with approximately 184 cubic feet of volume. Other leading wagons are the
1974-1977 Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Polara/Monaco (177 cubic feet), and the 1969-1978 full-size Ford and Mercury station wagons (169 cubic feet).

Yet the preponderance of information suggests that the largest
station wagons of all time were the 1971-1976 Buick Estate, Oldsmobile Custom
Cruiser , and Pontiac Safari."

Now I realize my timing is a little off. We owned a 1971 Pontiac Safari which would have placed my family trips safely out of the 60s. Still there was something about this wagon that made me lose my head.

Was it all that space?

Was it my sister spitting blue meanies (she kept blue scratch paper that she would chew up into little gross little projectiles) or scratching my forearms (still have scars) with her face flushed as red as Enzo at the racetrack?

Or was it a little voice inside of me that said, "Someday Chris you will design things for a living. So know right now that these seats belong in a bathroom or a really ugly house. And cars, little boy, are never supposed to be yellow."

That must have been it. Car seats were just NOT supposed to match the formica on the kitchen counter. And my sister be dammed.






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