Junkyard Gem: 1987 Pontiac Safari Station Wagon

The big faux-woodie wagon was in decline in the late 1980s, but Pontiac kept the faith.

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During the 1960s and 1970s, station wagons based on full-sized Detroit sedans were the default family haulers, and many of those Kingswood Estates and Country Squires and Ambassadors came with unapologetically phony woodgrain-printed exterior paneling and trim. By the late 1980s, however, few were snapping up such wagons, making this '87 Safari that I spotted in a Denver yard an interesting find.

Oldsmobile 307 engine in 1987 Pontiac Safari wagon

Power for this wagon came from a 307-cubic-inch Oldsmobile V8 making 140 horsepower. General Motors used this engine in Buicks, Oldsmobiles, Chevrolets, Pontiacs, and Cadillacs, finally discontinuing production for the 1990 model year.

Oldsmobile 307 engine in 1987 Pontiac Safari wagon

Was the "wood" convincing, even when new? Of course not, but it was a cherished American tradition.

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