1956 Chevrolet Handyman Wagon 210

Yakima, Washington | C.1956

Photo Credit: Paul Fuentes

Cars have always been a form of status throughout the world. The sleek Chevrolet Handyman Wagon 210 was an attractive and affordable car option for middle class families in the 1950s. Also known as the Chevrolet Two-Ten or simply the 210, it was the midrange third evolution of Chevrolet “station wagons” from 1953 to 1957.

The first station wagons were produced in the United States around 1910. Reflecting the original purpose of transporting people and luggage between country estates and train stations, the body style is called a “station wagon” in the U.S. and an “estate car” or “estate” in the United Kingdom. They also have been referred to as “carryalls” and “suburbans”.

Station wagons were initially considered commercial vehicles – rather than consumer automobiles – and the framing of the early station wagons was left unsheathed, due to the commercial nature of the vehicles. During the 1930s, car manufacturers began producing wagon models, and by the 1950s the wood rear bodywork had been replaced by an all-steel body.

As working families began seeking out these wagons, styling became increasingly important. First introduced in 1953, the 210 was produced until 1957. During its first two years, it was the best-selling Chevy model with a five-teeth grille and a large bowtie emblem. This made the wagons unmistakable but the value for the dollar made them a hit especially with budget-minded families.

Today, Chevy’s 210 models continue to have high appeal among collectors, although the Bel Air remains to be the most desirable model overall. However, 210s are still particularly sought after for their and design and comfort, especially the chrome trim and deluxe interior touches.

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