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Wagons are either your thing or they're not. If this 1956 Chrysler
Windsor station wagon doesn't talk to you, well, move on. But if
you are digging this awesome '50s hauler, complete with a 331 V8
and pushbutton transmission, then stick around because vintage
wagons don't get much cooler.
The color is Desert Rose, and while it's technically '50s pink, it works extremely well here. Yeah, you've got to be secure in your masculinity to drive a pink station wagon, but if you're cruising in something from the 1950s, pastel is where it's at. The car was repainted at some point, but the paint is showing some age, so it has a very age-appropriate patina that could almost pass for original. For that reason alone, we love it. You'll note that there's no evidence of botched bodywork, all four doors and the tailgate fit quite nicely, and for a product of the 1950s, fit and finish are quite good. There's plenty of chrome, but the Windsor is a lot more stylish than the slab-sided Chevys and primitive Fords, with a very modern look that has a cool little kick-up in the rear doors so it resembles the Windsor coupes and sedans. Nice, right? The chrome and stainless trim is in good condition overall and it's complete, which is important on something this rare. Oh, yeah, it's got fins, too, which are cool chrome-tipped pieces that frame a set of very cool taillights. There's just no angle from which this car doesn't look great.
The black and white interior combines a bit of whimsy to make for a very stylish station wagon. Check out the plaid cloth seat inserts, the simulated wicker hand grips on the steering wheel, and the big, round gauge pods. Everything works except the radio and clock, which is typical, and it's nice to see both a power front seat and a set of power windows in this, which isn't unexpected in a high-end Chrysler. There's a huge amount of room inside (this is a bigger car than it first appears) and it's easy to imagine hitting the road for a two-week road trip in this land yacht. Someone has already spent a good amount of money inside because there aren't many things to complain about, from the nicely restored dash to the beautiful cargo bay with its polished rub strips and extra-long tailgate.
The power plant is 331 Spitfire, correct for the period. The engine bay is beautifully detailed and the engine runs superbly. A new fuel pump ensures that it fires up easily and the 4-barrel carburetor makes plenty of power to pull the full-sized wagon around with authority. Corporate silver engine enamel looks great in the pink engine bay and little details like the wiring, hose clamps, and air cleaner all make it look very authentic. Power steering makes it easy to handle and the push-button 3-speed automatic transmission works as it should, turning this into a car you can still drive every day. Dual exhaust gives this pink wagon a decidedly un-wagon-like voice and you can tell by the undercarriage that this car has always lived in a dry climate. Recent 235/75/15 whitewall radials are a great choice and the original hubcaps are simple and clean so the bodywork does the talking.
If you're a wagon guy, you're probably already picking up the phone. There's just no way this Chrysler will hang around for very long. Call now!