There's no doubt Chrysler wagons are riding a popularity wave. The gnarliest of the lot are the plain Janes sporting hot V8s and trick drivetrains that look stock from the outside yet blow the panels off unsuspecting stoplight challengers. But even in their most sedate form, we view restored wagons in an entirely different light today than we did merely a decade ago.

Face it-in an age when true people-haulers are limited to massive SUVs, there's a certain charm in old-timey vehicles large enough to carry a baseball team.

Al Standil of Winnipeg, Manitoba, is no stranger to the Mopar scene. With four Road Runner convertibles and three Dart Swingers in his stalls, he knows his way around Pentastar iron. He also loves wagons, so when he spied this '69 Plymouth sitting pretty in the car corral at the '99 Mopar Nationals, he "just had to have it."

The nine-passenger Satellite was dressed to the nines in its factory form. It was also in excellent condition. With the exception of some previous repair work in the left front fender, the car was close to perfect for its age. Much of this condition, no doubt, could be credited to its California heritage. It also causes Al to wonder . . . The Brady Bunch wagon was identical to this one. Al has no historical documentation on this particular car, but the question does arise-is this the one?

Although the car was in great shape, Al decided to treat it to a complete restoration. Ivan's Auto Body handled the shell makeover (which included a new front left fender) and application of the Honey Gold Metallic topcoat. Inside, Otto's Upholstery took a turn at bringing the interior to like-new condition. This involved matching new front-seat covers to the rear seats, installing six-way buckets and a buddy seat, and refurbishing the upper panels, headliner, and other appointments (a task performed by Tim Hiebert of Markstan Auto). For the powertrain, Kevin King installed a '69 340 engine and automatic tranny. Additionally, the wagon sports air conditioning, cruise control, a woodgrain steering wheel, and Magnum wheels.

As you can imagine, this Sport Satellite is built for one thing only-driving; it's a task Al regularly appoints to his '69 wagon. When we last caught up with Al at the 2000 Mopar Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, the two were halfway through a 2,800-mile round-trip adventure.

Of course, highway hauling is what these wagons do best.