1. Anne Wright says:

    This takes me back – yes, “way back”! We called the back of our humongous, lumbering station wagon the “way back” when I was growing up in South Dakota. No seat belts, far from supervising eyes (even facing away from our parents) and sticking our bare feet out the back window; sounds like crazy license today, but it was the norm, and we loved it! Thanks for the delicious, long-forgotten summer memory.

  2. laager says:

    I once rode in a “way back” in the mid 60s returning from two weeks at Summer camp. Their station-wagon had a seat that faced rearward. The first and only time in my life I’ve been car sick.

  3. Joel Marcus says:

    We called it the “back back,” and yes, it was the favorite place to sit because of the freedom from parental control that one enjoyed there. I’ve never heard “wayback” used for that special place, but I wonder if it’s related to the “Wayback Machine” on the “Mr. Peabody” segment of the Rocky & Bullwinkle//Rocky and His Friends TV show. Mr. Peabody was a brilliant talking dog (a beagle, as I recall) who had a professorial air and a pet boy, Sherman; together they would visit famous people in history, using their Wayback Machine…I just googled “Mister Peabody,” and learned that it’s actually spelled WABAC, which is supposed to be “a take-off on early computer acronyms such as UNIVAC and ENIAC.”

  4. dtisinger says:

    We’ve always used “way back” in my family. My mom’s family is from Wyoming via Indiana, and my dad’s family is from Wyoming via South Dakota. I’m currently in Minnesota.

  5. Faux Frenchie says:

    We called ours the “back back” as well. I don’t remember noticing what anyone else called it in the various places we lived growing up, so I don’t have any sense of where it came from.

  6. My family always call the back area of our Station Wagons, the “Wayback”. Similar to a previous poster, I also wondered if it had a Rocky & Bullwinkle connection. Originally, I grew up in the eastern part of New York State, adjacent to the Massachusetts border.

  7. We called that space in our station wagon the “way back” too. It was the 70’s, in Florida, but mom & dad were from eastern MA and western PA, respectively.

    And Grant & I were apparently living in parallel universes…my folks traded that station wagon in on a Pinto (yes, a red one!), and my mom was an Avon Lady. So when the three of us kids would pile in and do Avon runs with her, you wanted to be the one in the “way back”. Because that’s where the orders and “door bags” were, and all you had to do is hand them over the seat, while the others had to take them up to the houses. But mom made sure we took turns. So that was a real hot bargaining commodity between us kids — usually involving doing one person’s chores for their turn in the “way back”.

    Ahhh, memories!

  8. geekwif says:

    I grew up in South Dakota in the 70s and we always called the back of our station wagon the “way back”.

  9. sara k says:

    I grew up in central New York during the ’90s and my family used this term. We either had vans or SUVs, not many cars with trunks. That may be the reason for our use of “way back.”

  10. Peg Spencer says:

    Way back! Yes! I grew up in Arizona in the 1960’s and we called it the way back. But ours was a VW bug, not a station wagon. Still, we piled into it just as if it were a station wagon. Two parents and 4 little girls, with the lucky girl riding in the “way back.”

    (My parents were raised in the Eastern US, in Pennsylvania and the DC area)

  11. James Hibbert III says:

    When I was a kid in New Jersey in the late 60’s and early 70’s, we referred to the sunken storage area behind the back seat of our Volkswagen Bug as the ‘way back’. I was able to lie down in that space until I was about 6 or 7 years old when I outgrew it. It was perfect for sleeping when we were driving at night. This was back before there were seatbelt laws requiring everyone in the vehicle to be strapped in. The rear window was angled just right so you could look up towards the sky and look at the stars.

  12. tchellman says:

    Ha! We used “way back” in our family, too. It wasn’t necessarily for a station wagon either. If anything had a space behind the back seat, that was the way back. But to be honest, as a child, I always thought it had something to do with the WABAC machine from Rocky and Bullwinkle!!

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