Steel Wagons

Last week I drove my son back to James Madison University, which is about 10 hours from where we live just outside of Boston, Massachusetts.
In a couple of days my wife will drive my daughter back to McGill University, which is about a 6 hour drive.
And after the kids are both gone, we will be heading north to Acadia National Park, which is also about a 6 hour drive, for a week of hiking etc. We just hope that the rain from Katrina is gone by the time we get there.
We both drive good ol’ wagons of steel. These fine modern mechanized marvels replace the old Prairie Schooners as the way to get you and your stuff from one end of the country to the other.
Here’s the “Silver Hair” – my good ‘ol 2000 SAAB 95 Wagon
Is there room enough for two teenagers? With all their stuff? No, but there was room enough for one, and I made it down and back just fine. There is certainly enough room for two adults and all the stuff we need for a week.
Back when my brother was living on Vashon, near Seattle, Wagons of Steel was pretty much just a magazine and some T-Shirts. Now much of the site is dedicated to the racing adventures of the Wagons of Steel namesake, a tuned up 1964 Plymouth Savoy Station Wagon.
I have some sympathy for these Mopar nuts becuase my first car was a red ’64 Dart four-door with the classic slant 6 and push button transmission.
You could not kill the slant 6, although I certainly tried. I replaced the head gasket on it once and I made the mistake of scraping out all the accumulated carbon in the cylinder heads, changing the engine wear characteristics. Not long after that I stomped the gas to downshift and the rings blew. But I drove all the way back from Antioch College with it that way, anyway, leaving a thick column of smoke all the way back to my home in Connecticut, a 12 hour drive.
Now I am also the proud owner of a ’65 Barracuda, well protected in the basement of my mother’s barn, as you can see in the photo below.
The 65 Barracuda is in a safe place
Now all I need is the IONA stock to go up to, say $100, and we can get this beast back out on the road!


One response to “Steel Wagons

  1. I guess you don’t need any security devices to protect the Barracuda 😉