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The Forgotten Squire: The Ford Country Sedan

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

Yes, there were Catalina Safaris, Vista Cruisers and Sport Suburbans, but when anyone thinks of the classic American station wagon, thoughts drift to the Ford Country Squire. Less-remembered, however, is its not-as-deluxe brother, which didn't feature the stylish faux-wood so popular in the day. While the Squire is desirable as a reminder of '60s/'70s kitsch, the Sedan was actually a pretty great-looking car. Pictured here is a '68 example, and while the '62 Catalina Safari remains, in our mind, the ne plus ultra of vintage wagons, the Country Sedan was a well-balanced machine.


With solid, clean lines and muscle-invoking 390 badges, the rad multi-opening rear door/tailgate, the unobtrusive-though-purposeful red striping in the grille, and those cool-looking, yet subtle, vents in the rear pillar, the '68 Country Sedan was simply one of the finest-looking station wagons ever built. Our parents traded theirs for an '80 Mercury Colony Park, the Country Squire's upmarket fraternal twin, and in retrospect, they would've been better off dumping the four grand they spent on the Merc into the trusty old Ford. We still miss that car, with its prismatic "Fisherman's Wharf" and "Scotland" stickers in the driver's side rear window, applied alongside our father over the protestations of our mother. They evoked the dream of wide-open station-wagon travels, even if the car was only ever driven around Sacramento. If we had it today, it'd have a lot more of those stickers on it.

My '68 Country Sedan, Isabelle [Ford LTD Country Squire Fan Club]

Do The Electric Slide Up And Down: The 1973 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser Electric Tailgate [Internal]


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Even though it depicts the smaller Torino wagon rather than the far superior Country Squire, I've always liked Robert Bechtle's painting Alameda Gran Torino for its essential Ford-Wagon-ness. Always a highlight of any visit to the Oakland Museum.

Though I gotta give the early-70s Chrysler New Yorker wagon my absolute highest Wagon-O-Meter rating, due to the incredibly cool rubberized platforms on the rear bumper, apparently installed for the use of Secret Service agents.