Monday April 1, 2019
5) Austin A60 Cambridge Countryman/Morris Oxford Series VI Traveller 1961- 1971
It would be fair to say that this BMC duo mainly appealed to drivers who were not especially interested in “Swinging London” and who regarded Edgar Lustgarten crime films as ‘too thrilling for words’. Some may have even that hoped the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who, Dave Clark Five and possibly Freddie & The Dreamers would all be exiled on the Falkland Islands one happy day. So, forget all about Carnaby Street - the “Farina” estate cars were thoroughly respectable, proudly conventional and, as may be seen from the illustration, rather stylish. And that was the ideal combination for thousands of motorists.
4) Vauxhall Victor FB 1961 - 1964
The FB is often overshadowed by its more flamboyant predecessor yet it is a handsome machine with faint overtones of a ’61 Oldsmobile. The launch price was £861 13s 1d (plus another £17 10s if you wanted a four-speed gearbox) and the Estate was later complemented by a De Luxe version with separate front seats, leather upholstery, a heater and “Screenclean” (i.e. windscreen washers) as standard. To enhance such a smart-looking vehicle (and your social prestige) the Vauxhall Accessories catalogue included an external sun visor (just £7 7s 6d), coat hooks at 3s 9d and fog lamps for £7 15s. Plus seat belts at £4 19s 6d each.
3) Singer Vogue I – IV 1961 – 1966
Or the estate car for the suburbanite who regarded his/herself a cut above the average Super Minx owner. The Hillman and the Singer were mechanically identical as well as sharing the same coachwork, but the latter came with quad headlamps (a first for a medium-sized British car) and enhanced interior trim. When Autocar evaluated a Series III in 1965, the price was £900 11s 3d, including reversing lights and reclining front seaters, and the writer thought it ‘perhaps the best Rootes model ever produced in its class’. And, possibly best of all, a Vogue station wagon also starred in this epic public information film -
2) Austin Mini Countryman/Morris Mini Traveller Mk. I 1960 – 1967
The estate version of the Mini (the early Austin models were known as “Seven”) was not just the first FWD station wagon encountered by many British drivers – a Citroën DS Safari was an expensive car for the managing director - they were one of the most stylish utility vehicles of the 1960s. The Countryman and Traveller equipped to De Luxe specification and a version sans wood decoration became available on the home market in 1962. However, the extra £22 was a bargain, given the sheer charm of the timber framing.
1) Ford Consul Cortina Super “Woody” Estate 1963 - 1965
When the Cortina Mk. I Estate debuted in March 1963 it was the first factory-built wagon with five doors to hail from Dagenham. The 1200 De Luxe cost £683, but for just £102 14s 2d more, there was the 1500 Super with its carpeted floor, its cigar lighter – and its Di-Noc plastic panelling. One of the main sales tools was it gave a Cortina the faint appearance of a ’62 Ford Country Squire and the material was actually imported from the USA, where it adorned several estate cars. Alas, it never proved especially popular on this side of the Atlantic even if a proud owner would tell that it had the advantage of being easier to clean than genuine wood…