Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Studebaker Wagonaire and GMC Envoy XUV: separated at birth?

Studebaker Wagonaire
I visited the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles this week and noticed this interesting '63 Wagonaire with a retractable roof, which reminded me of GMC's failed XUV about 10 years ago. What an odd idea...why would anyone need this feature? Click through for a few thoughts.

The Studebaker was only around from '63-'66. It was plagued with leaks and quality issues, but even more importantly, I can't imagine too many people wanted to pay extra for this peculiar sliding rear roof feature. Fast forward 40 years, and GMC offered the Envoy XUV with a power sliding rear was only around from '03-'05.

If you are a carpenter that needs to haul long pieces of lumber, you'll get a pickup truck. For the rest of the likely buyers--families--the tallest things they would haul would be a Christmas tree (put it on the roof, Mitt Romney-style) or Ikea furniture boxes (if they don't fit in the rear, have them delivered). What other tall things do normal people haul around?

Note to automakers: in another 40 years, please don't go through the trouble of reviving this concept again!

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