There was a time when rocking a wagon wasn’t considered all that cool. I mean, they were associated with hauling groceries or the kids to some noisy function, but along the way people figured out that wagons could arguably be the coolest hot rod platform out there.
Bold statement? Damn right it is—but hear me out. Most wagons retain the classic lines of the coupes they were based upon, and they generally come in at a lower price point. Sure, they’re heavier, but that’s nothing a little more power can’t fix. Where they kick the snot out of cars is in terms of practicality.
Want to hit the track but don’t have a trailer? Well, you’re in luck, because wagons are made for hauling stuff. That could be kids, dogs, coolers, and chairs, or it could be drag slicks and tools.
Participants on the HOT ROD Power Tour, presented by eBay Motors and Driven by Continental Tire, figured out years ago that a wagon is a great vehicle to spend a week in, driving through numerous states. Well, today wagons are downright popular, and while they don’t carry the same bargain-basement pricing (then again, what does?) they’re still relative bargains, and having built a few we can say they’re just as much fun as any car.
Hundreds of wagons were scattered throughout the 2022 HOT ROD Power Tour, and they came in all shapes and sizes. There were examples that were completely restored and others with just the right amount of God-made patina. Of course, many were LS-swapped, but for Power Tour the combination of hauling capacity and LS fuel economy (and performance) is a hard combination to argue with, especially with 5-buck-a-gallon gas. Any way you look at it, wagons rocked the tour, so let’s take a look at some of the coolest ones we spotted at the 5-day rolling car show.
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Photos By Wes Allison, Heidi Elzas, Renz Dimaandal
Watch the Full Episode! Winter Road Trip in a Topless Deuce Roadster
On season 3, episode 2 of HOT ROD Unlimited, Thom Taylor drives a channeled, topless Deuce roadster in the dead of winter from Nashville to Los Angeles, encountering what you would expect in the middle of winter: ice, rain, cold, frost—did we mention cold?? Watch the roadster slip, slide and spin 2,000 miles as Thom takes Interstate 40 through eight states and 70 degrees of temperature change, taking breaks for burnouts, breakdowns, bad weather and junkyards. Sign up for a free trial to MotorTrend+ and start streaming every episode of HOT ROD Unlimited today!