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'Wagonmasters'
(DVD / NR / (2012) 2015 / PBS)

Overview: While today station wagons conjure images of faded family photos, bouffant hairstyles, and dated wooden siding, these once-fashionable vehicles were considered America's "workhorses on wheels, the quintessential image of the American dream.

DVD Verdict: The car that was once the quintessential image of the American Dream is all but dead - at least for most people. There are some, however, who still cling to the station wagon and what it represents in American culture.

'Wagonmasters,' a documentary film, offers glimpses into the lives of such wagon enthusiasts, and tells the story of the station wagon as it represents a changing America over the last one hundred years.

In 1996, the last full-size American wagons were discontinued, rendering the car all but obsolete for most people. Offering a glimpse into the lives of America's remaining station wagon enthusiasts, 'Wagonmasters' reconnects with this icon of Americana as its chapter in history comes to a close.

Let's be honest, if you grew up in the United States between 1955 and 1988 then the odds of your family having a station wagon were pretty damn good! They’re uniquely American and when developed, provided the baby-boomer generation with a form of transport in which they could haul the entire family from point A to point B comfortably.

Cast your minds back to the infamous, and beloved 'National Lampoon's Family Vacation' film where the entire Griswold family's cross-country drive, with all their junk, was in what was officially known at the time of construction as The Wagon Queen Family Truckster!

In 1984 however the reign of the station wagon came to an abrupt end when Chrysler released the worlds first minivan, the Town & Country. Manufacturers dropped wagon production like a hot coal and moved onto their own versions of the minivan and then on to the SUV.

It’s now almost 30 years since the first minivan hit the road and guess what, the long lost wagons are making a comeback. And so this 'Wagonmasters' documentary is perfectly timed to inform of us the new roll outs for the once-lost American station wagon.

Featuring interviews with collectors all across the country, as well as noted automotive historians, the film provides a wistful look back at the rise and fall of the beloved station wagon. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.wagonmastersthemovie.com

www.PBS.org





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