Manufacturers are highly unlikely to replicate your Buicks rear window. I would follow db4690’s advice. If your Buick has no rust problems the expense of just keeping it would be less than replacing it.
try and find a low mile wagon from ariz/texas/cali. the internet has to be a good tool to find these things. my neighbor had a roadmaster wagon for 10yr and drove it every day. till 3-4yrs ago he replaced it with a mercury marauder. we live on a hill and everyday he would start car and zoom up hill at full throttle with no warm up time. till he thru a rod in the mercury. he drives his wifes avalon now.
I keep hoping at least one manufacturer of a more reasonably priced wagon than a BMW sports wagon will replicate my Buick wagon’s opening rear window…but in the meantime, you are right, trying to keep it running so far has been less than replacing it, particularly with something I really do not want.
Manufacturers are going to produce what they think they can sell and configure it for the most profitability. Let’s face it, those of us who grew up with true station wagons are dying off. The younger generations have no memory of the benefits of true station wagons and seek entirely different attributes… and their numbers are growing as ours dwindle.
In addition, crash standards have dramatically changed and Unibodies didn’t exist when we were young. Those things have changed the size and configuration of multi-passenger vehicles. Those old wagons that my dad drove would crush like a beer can in an accident. And they often did.
One other option would be a small pickup like the GMC Canyon, put a shell on the bed that has a flip up window. As far as the height, there are steps that go into the hitch receiver and, I don’t know if GM offers this but some trucks have optional steps for the side of the box.
Actually, this might eliminate the steps if the kayak can fit inside the truck bed.
Hi…and thanks again for more suggestions. I really never have been a truck lover…altho at times i enjoyed using my father’s. Even then i never wanted one for myself, and at this advanced point in my life, don’t see myself changing over to something that never appealed in first place…plus, my sea kayak is too long to carry inside a truck bed…some co-paddlers do this in their large trucks but the boat hangs out and over truck’s end. Plus where do dogs and luggage go when a kayak is taking up the entire truck bed? When my wagon is my only vehicle for travel and hauling (my other car is a '74 super beetle😁) a truck for all my needs eoukd not be practical. Appears i have to continue holding my breath Big Blue lasts my lifetime or until another wagon is created to satisfy my active lifestyle. Thanks for all replies, comments, suggestions, etc…now if only someone who has any pull with a station wagon manufacturer like VW, Toyota, Honda, Suburu, even Buick (who is coming out with a wagon but this time, for some thoughtless reason, not one with their former handy independently opening rear window) can convince them how important, different and great selling feature such a rear window would be, that would be great. Suburu always advertises their car as being perfect for adventure and sports but bet no one in the plant tied down a kayak or loaded a bike and then realized they again had to untie/unload the car in order to get something out of the back of the car. If it had an opening rear window, problem solved plus then, in my opinion, it would be perfect for such sports.
Gads, how “unsafe” is a rear opening window? The very expensive BMW has one as do some of todsy’s SUV’s
I just do not buy the claim the window would make the wagon less safe …particularly with all the other safety features in today’s vehicles.
No, manufacturers sit in ivory towers and listen to each other, or the courts if necessary…and they do not ask consumers questions or even bother listening to conversations like this on CarTalk!!!
Actually they sit in their offices and try to figure out how to make a profit, and it seems like opening windows must cost too much or weigh too much or some such reason. Over the years the technology of windows that open and can be adjusted to regulate airflow has died. We used to have vent windows in the front and back doors along with the larger windows that went up and down. Your Buick and several others had vent windows at the far rear side windows, too. Now, nothing.
Maybe it’s because air conditioning is standard equipment now? Maybe most people prefer to drive with the windows closed? Who knows. But over the years the complex adjustment of windows in cars has disappeared, with hardly a comment.
Some station wagons had rear doors with an unframed power window and two different handles, so you could open the door to the side or flop it down like a tailgate. That’s gone too. Now you get a hatch that rises up and hits you in the face. You can be sure that’s cheaper to manufacture, and lighter, too. Seems to be selling, though.
I guess the makers are telling you they are not interested in your problem.
I wonder if manufacturers discontinued the rear window that opens because exhaust fumes might be sucked in while the vehicle is in motion with the rear window open. That would be their excuse anyway.
I have often wondered if consumers’ tastes change and dictate what auto manufacturers produce or manufacturers develop their products and hope to change consumers’ tastes. I had a Ford Aerostar minivan and it worked well for my needs, but Ford dropped the Aerostar built on s truck chassis for the Windstar that was based on the Taurus chassis so I reluctantly bought the Windstar. When I was ready to replace the Windstar, Ford quit making minivans. I then bought a Chevrolet Uplander. When I was ready for another minivan, GM in its wisdom went out of the minivan business. I went to Toyota and am on my second Sienna. The Ford dealer tried to sell me an E-150 van, but it was too big for my needs. The Chevrolet tried to put me in a Traverse, but I need the sliding doors.
I sympathize with your problem. I would bet that there are others who would like a station wagon like the Buick Roadmaster.
My dad was pretty creative is solving problems. In 1958 we used to haul the duck boat on the top carriers of the 58 Chevy. So that he could load and unload the boat by himself, he used two essentially 2x2s, that hooked into the top carriers. That provided a ramp so that he could just slide the boat up or down from the roof. Just something to think about. Sometimes we need to improvise.
On the other hand I understand. I refuse to buy a new lawn mower because I can’t find one that fits my specifications in today’s world of manufacturing.
I don’t mean to offend you with anything that follows. I wanted to get that out of the way first. The auto manufacturers may well visit auto-centric sites like this one, but letting on that they do would change the dynamics of the conversation. As it is, we don’t color our discussions because we think an auto company is reading our posts. However, it is probably not the information they want. To get that, they have focus groups where they get the auto buying public into a group and ask specific questions they want answers to. You may have seen the GM commercials where real people (not actors) are effusive about whatever GM vehicle they are reviewing that day. That is a focus group. I believe that GM cherry-picks for a much larger group the comments they like, but I think there is another purpose to those groups besides the ads.
Don’t assume that anyone but you wants a station wagon. If a lot of they buying public wanted one, there would be a lot to choose from. The focus groups and vehicle sales numbers told them that people want large SUVs and full size trucks. I don’t like either of them, but they don’t build stuff just for me. I’m used to that and have no problem with it. Either adapt to what is available or continue to enjoy the Roadmaster you like.
Any time there is a big hole in the chassis it causes a weakness in it. Convertibles have extra stiffeners under the chassis to reduce the flexing that occurs because there is no integrated top. Pickup trucks have an unsafe weakness because the cab and cargo bed are attached to the frame but are independent. The auto manufacturers continue to build them because the are large and size helps absorb impacts without hurting the occupants. They also continue to build them because they sell so well.
Yeah I’ve done focus groups-not auto though. Depends on the people you pick and then you’ve got to be careful to hear what isn’t being said that may open up a whole new avenue of discussion. Then just like picking or influencing a jury. You don’t always get the right answer.
Kayaking is very popular around here. Almost everyone has those dedicated kayak roof racks that is very easy to load into and is self contained tie down system. Nothing but the rack is attached to the car and does not obstruct any door/window openings. They hold the kayak at an angle. just one example-
Looks like the people with the car in your photo picked up the popular dog option with that kayak rack.
TwinTurbo…thank you but no, that type of rack is very hard for short women to load alone. Two paddler friends have that style and always have to have to wait for help to unload or load. I usually help them get their kayak up and into the saddle before going back to slide my kayak up from the car’s resrend on to the rack…mine udually then is tied down before they are finished getting their’s ready. Too hard on shoulders after long paddles to lift the weight of a kayak up and positioned in the rack pictured. Thanks anyway
Interesting. There happen to be lots of retired women in organized groups kayaking spots I like to fish with the family and they all seem to love the rack system. Especially as it can be mounted on smaller cars. Few of them lift the entire kayak but rather slide it up there in a similar manner as you described. They’re loaded and gone in record time…
But OP said that system doesn’t work for her. She seems to know this for a fact
Maybe those other women you mentioned are taller, maybe they have stronger muscles, etc.
It’s like a bad back. Not everybody’s got the same bad back. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for somebody else. But I don’t want to get into that again . . .
I realize that. Just pointing out what I have witnessed over a number of years and maybe they weren’t using the same approach to load, had taller cars etc making it much harder to do. She did mention that they needed two people to hoist it up there while she just slid hers onto the roof. That’s how I see these ladies use their racks, put one end in the rack and slide it in there. Just some food for thought in case it makes any difference…I used to put a small rowboat on top of my SUV and it was a real bear to do. Then some guy watching me do it came over and suggested a different approach. Why didn’t I think of that? Much easier.
Perhaps an enterprising person could devise a kayak rack for the roof of a vehicle. It could have a.power winch in front and rollers so that the cable is hooked to the kayak, a pushed button switch is pressed and the winch pulls the kayak into place–sort of a similar idea to a.boat trailer except the kayak rides upside down.