Story continues below this advertisement
Ford and Chevy station wagons from the 1955-57 era are, relatively speaking, a dime a dozen compared to Mopar wagons from the same era. That’s why, when LA resident and Mopar Max reader John White sent us a passel of pics of his screaming yellow ’56 Dodge Sierra wagon, we wanted the story of the car. So we e-mailed him, asked him to send more photos and a little info, and when we got the additional photos and info about the car we were so impressed with the resto-mod Wagon, not to mention the fact that the vast majority of the work done on the car was done my John himself in his garage, that we decided the car was definitely worthy of being our feature car of the month.
One of the bonuses for gear heads that live in SoCal is the weather, especially in the desert area east of Los Angeles. It’s mostly hot and dry year round, and unless a car is crushed or cut up for scrap, it can sit outside under a Joshua Tree for decades without becoming another rusted out derelict beyond repair or restoration. Such was the case with John’s stunning Sierra.
He bought the Dodge in 1998 from a family living in the desert west of Los Angeles for just $600. It had been driven until 1988 when it retired to become a yard car and spent the next ten years sitting on the owners’ property. Despite living under the stars for a decade, when John put the cash down for it, the only real body damage to the ‘wagon when he found it was a bullet hole in the driver’s side fender, which in itself is a story we wish we could hear. Somewhat prosaically, John says he bought the Sierra because he thought the wagon would be a “bazillion times” better than any minivan on the road for pulling a boat when he took his family of four away on vacation.