A Wagonload of Fun!

Dad's 1960 Ford station wagon and camper paved the way to many great memories.

Camper trailer - 1960 Ford station wagon and camperCourtesy Dan Wever
Dan’s mom peeks out of the camper.

I’ll always remember my dad’s favourite car back when we were kids in the ’60s. There were five of us, so a 1960 Ford station wagon was the ideal car to own back then! I can remember many adventures us kids had in that station wagon. Seat belts weren’t mandatory then, so we had the pleasure of jumping around in the back, which of course drove Mom and Dad crazy!

One year, my dad decided to buy a camper and we gave family camping a try. It was pretty cramped inside that tiny camper, but thankfully the back of the station wagon made a great bed for a few little ones.

My dad sure got his money’s worth when he was only charged $5 to get in at the drive-in with the station wagon fully loaded up with kids. I think he set a record one time when we had eight screaming kids in there!

I can remember one trip we took to Washington, D.C., and I thought it was really cool that we had all that space to climb around in en route! Our parents’ travelling companions were following us in their own, smaller car, so during one leg of the journey, my dad had the not-so-brilliant idea to let their two girls travel with us. Suddenly, my personal space got a lot smaller, as these two sisters, who were about the same age as me, eight or nine, nagged me to play Barbies with them. Boy, was I glad I had extra room to jump into in the back and hide under a blanket!

1960 Ford station wagon - Dad at summer cap-outCourtesy Dan Wever
Dan’s dad in his leader’s uniform after driving his “pack” to a summer camp-out.

Dad was a Cub Scout leader, and was well known by our whole group for providing entertaining transportation to and from outings and camping trips. He mounted a roof rack on top of the station wagon to pack extra camping gear, tents and supplies, so I don’t think the gas mileage was very good, but it was a very efficient way to move plenty of passengers and cargo in one trip.

All things must end of course, and eventually the old 1960 Ford station wagon had a date with the junkyard. The last mile she had in her was when my dad decided to haul a load of sand in the back and the gas tank broke free from its mounting brackets.

Yes, this truly is the stuff memories are made of—thanks, Dad!

Next, read the incredible story of how one man missed out on his dream car as a teenager, but found it parked in his driveway 25 years later.

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Originally Published in Our Canada