Carol Brady’s Wagon

Yes, yes, we finally found a car.

Dare I say we found THE CAR.

It was quite amazing actually.

Let me take you back to the original NYC trip so you can enjoy the full picture. When Mauricio picked us up from the airport we were dreaming about the perfect vehicle to take us across the country. If you know us you know we like to dream crazy dreams. You see, I used to be a Brady Bunch fan. Our family faithfully watched them every week. I remember wanting to send a letter of complaint to the station when they finally cancelled the show. So looking back on my american childhood I thought of the perfect car. The Brady Bunch wood veneer station wagon. Yeah, a Brady Bunch machine. The one that Greg and Marsha learned to drive in. The one they took to the Grand Canyon. We talked about how it would be a cruising machine. The quintesimal american holiday machine. Dad cruising down the spacious American freeway system in his comfortable sofa-like seat at the front. Of course, if we got such a vehicle it might become manditory to intersect with the infamous Route 66 or perhaps to cruise to the Grand Canyon. The dreaming continued. Yes, no modern vehicle for us – we want retro American experience. The stereotypical family wagon. So…. we thought to ourselves….. what outfits would we wear? Would Andrew need to wear a Mr. Brady button up shirt or a Richie Cunningham polo neck? Would I need a chiffon neck scarf?

Our hopes were dashed when we went to craigslist and found nothing that runs in our price range. We found a cheap van and almost got it but the brake line broke 5 minutes before we arrived to buy it. We were a bit disheartened and stopped looking. Thinking, could we afford a vehicle that could bring us across the states? Are buses really that bad? Sure things are quite compressed on the east coast but what about the rest of the country.

Finally, on Friday I was able to get beyond my discouragement and go back on Craigslist. This time I was searching Maryland for our dream car. Well, actually, at this point I was searching for anything running. I found a car auction on for the very next day just 10 minutes from the Sheng’s house. Being manly men that love cars, Andrew and Tony drove over to take a look at what would be available the next morning. Andrew found a station wagon just like the one we described on our drive from NYC to Poughkeepsie. He said, this is the one, this was “the Jones family getting across america machine”.

Andrew scoured the internet that night. Looking for ways to watch the scene from Twister that starred this 1987 Ford LTD Country Squire.

The morning of the auction Andrew got in his “Auction Zone”. Subtly pretending to look at the cars near our beloved wagon rather than the actual vehicle. Listening carefully and looking for smoke as they started it up to drive around. Casually walking around as they shifted the gears. It was a good one. Andrew waited til the opening bid went down to $300 and nobody bid against him. We figure that we were the only people present that were uncool enough to want this vehicle. I tell you I have never been to an auction like this. It was like some kind of a hip-hop video. Almost everybody was African American and they were so cool. Even their bidding had style. One man, I am supposing a dealer, leaned back at a distance and had a stylized arm movement that involved at least 6 distinct arm and hand movements. These people we very hip, or cool, or whatever the current word is to describe it. Way too cool to bid on our old Brady Bunch wagon.

After Andrew got the title. BTW the title included the previous owners death certificate. We now knew more about the previous owner than our new car. We drove down the street to get the plates and drove down street to see more hip-hop videos ready to commence. Yard after yard of cars each with their own fan club. Men randomly placed around and under the shiny icons. We went into a  small wooden house with file-cabinets full of license plates and in 20 minutes, no lie, we were driving our precious wood panel station wagon away.

Here she is. Our beautiful vintage wagon. I guess this is what a prayed over dollar can get you.

So, here is Andrew cruising down the freeways in style. With a bonnet/hood that goes on forever. Thinking to himself, “does this car have 127,000 miles on it or 27,000. It is sure in awefully good condition for 127,000 miles.”

BTW 1987 is a special year for us. It is the year of our beloved Maggie the overlander that is currently parked in Czech Republic. It is also the year me an Andrew got married so many, many years ago.

Time to Party. Here are the girls, dancing to the tunes of the retro music blaring from our stereo/cassette player. We be cruising in style now!!! Brady Bunch style.


  • tina nord on October 11, 2010

    Thats an Awesome “Woodie” you got there( what the old school surfers used in the 60s),Lol! I was looking for a way to hook U up w/a Hippie Bus!Hope yr enjoying the States 🙂

  • CLOADS on October 8, 2010

    A Jesus story for dinner tonight- i am thrilled with your good gift!

  • whitney on October 8, 2010


  • admin on October 7, 2010

    We think it really is only 27,000 miles. There is no sign of wear on the seats-including springs, armrests, pedals, steering wheel or on the whitewall tires. There is some peeling of the woodgrain on the trim but besides that it is perfect. So, we figure he has replaced all these things (kinda hard to do with armrests in the door) or didn’t drive it much. We will probably need to get a new battery (expected) and are keeping a close eye on hoses and belts as these just need age to break down.

    We also found out that the auctioneer was wrong about the engine. He said it was the big v8 but it is the smaller, more fuel efficient v8 and we should be getting 24-28 mpg on it. Not great but pretty good for a big old car.

  • cindz on October 7, 2010

    wow! cool! glad to hear it 🙂
    and i am loving seeing ur eldest daughter again – i arrived in houston last night 🙂 cxx

  • Sam Jones on October 7, 2010

    I suppose you’ll be wanting someone to take care of that while you’re away then…

  • jen mick on October 7, 2010

    car heaven! so pleased you guys got seriously the most rocking awesome delicious wagon ever! )yes, that the kind of wagon I dream of too… maybe we’ll come over and buy it from you when you’re done!) Blessings on your travels guys – I think of you every time I use the violet-ink fountain pen! xxxx

  • palletjackracer on October 6, 2010

    So, does it actually only have 27,000 miles? Or is it just in good condition for 127,000?

  • deanna on October 6, 2010

    That car SERIOUSLY had your name all over it!! It will surely take you far. Here’s to some “Sunshine Days”!

  • admin on October 5, 2010

    DUUUUUDE see we are stylin!

  • Pete on October 5, 2010

    Isn’t that Chevy Chase’s, aka Hank Griswald, car from “Family Vacation”.