Ford Country Squire

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Ford Country Squire
1968 Ford Country Squire
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
ClassFull-size station wagon
Body style(s)5-door station wagon
LayoutFR layout
ManualsService Manual
First generation
1950 Ford Country Squire
RelatedLincoln Continental
Ford Customline
Second generation
1957 Ford Country Squire
RelatedEdsel Bermuda
Lincoln Continental
Ford Fairlane
Third generation
1960 Ford Country Squire
RelatedFord Galaxie
Mercury Monterey
Lincoln Continental
Fourth generation
1967 Ford Country Squire
RelatedFord LTD
Mercury Colony Park
Ford Galaxie
Mercury Marquis
Lincoln Continental
Mercury Monterey
Fifth generation
1969 prototypical Ford LTD Country Squire
RelatedFord LTD
Mercury Colony Park
Ford Galaxie
Mercury Marquis
Lincoln Continental
Sixth generation
1973 Ford LTD Country Squire
RelatedFord LTD
Mercury Colony Park
Ford Galaxie
Mercury Marquis
Lincoln Continental
Seventh generation
1988-1990 Ford LTD Country Squire
AssemblySt. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
PlatformFord Panther platform
Engine(s)5.0 L V8
Transmission(s)4-speed automatic
Wheelbase114.3 in (2903 mm)
Length216 in (5486 mm)
Width79.3 in (2014 mm)
Height56.5 in (1435 mm)
RelatedFord LTD
Mercury Colony Park
Ford LTD Crown Victoria
Mercury Grand Marquis
Lincoln Continental
Lincoln Town Car
Mercury Marquis

The Ford Country Squire was a full-size station wagon built by the Ford Motor Company from 1950 until 1991; it was based on the Ford full-size car line available in each year. The Country Squire was the premium station wagon in the Ford range (see also Mercury Colony Park), and always featured imitation-wood trim on the doors and tailgate. As a full-size wagon, it could carry up to 9 passengers with the unique side-facing seats which were fitted in the cargo area, as opposed to the usual rear-racing seat. The Country Squire was the iconic top of the line American family wagon, with similar "Squire" wagons as top of the line for other cars, including the Pinto in the Ford line up.

The Country Squire was based on the Custom DeLuxe series in 1950 and 1951, the Crestline from 1952 to 1954, the Fairlane from 1955 through 1958, Galaxie 1959 through 1966, and the LTD/LTD Crown Victoria from 1967 through 1991.

An unusual feature of 1979 to 1991 Country Squires is that when locked, a pull of the door handle will light up the keyhole, allowing one to find where to insert the key in the dark.

Real vs fake wood

Actual wood was used on the sides until the mid-1950s. From the mid 1950s onward, the framing of the wood was fiberglass and the remainder a plastic appliqué.

Unique options and features

With certain versions of the Country Squire one could install an AM/FM-Cassette stereo with a combined and fully-integrated Citizens' Band (CB) two-way radio, and replacement dual-purpose automatic antenna (with only one visible difference that the aerial mast was a larger diameter, and black-band at approximately half-way up). The radio would then have the appearance of an original equipment, factory radio.

Optional were opposing side-facing rear seats, which could be folded down to make a durable cargo surface. Available for use with the side-facing rear seats was a folding table with integrated magnetic checkers board. Magnets under the plastic checkers pieces would keep them from sliding on the board while the vehicle was in motion. Behind a rear fender well was a hidden, lockable compartment, not visible when the rear seat back was in an upward position.

End of the family wagon

1983 Ford Country Squire

When Ford was beginning its restyle of the full-size "Panther" platform in the late 1980s, demand for full-size wagons was on the wane. Instead of investing money in a separate body style for a new wagon, Ford decided to steer buyers towards its newly facelifed Ford Aerostar and Ford Taurus. Due to mixed reactions to their styling, full-sized GM B-body wagons would also be discontinued in the 1990s, with the Chevrolet Caprice and Buick Roadmaster being discontinued in 1996. Chrysler would re-introduce a full size wagon in the form of the Dodge Magnum which is sold in Europe under the Chrysler 300 Touring nameplate. The Ford Freestyle would re-introduce the 3-row wagon as a crossover design, sans fake wood sides. However, the light truck market chose the Ford Excursion as the "full size station wagon" but as an SUV as SUVs were station wagons on truck platforms.

Tailgate advances

Prior to 1961, all Ford wagons used a two-piece tailgate assembly that required the operator to lift the rear window up and locking it into place via a mechanical support, and then drop the tail gate down to fully access the rear compartment.

For the 1961 Ford adopted a tailgate assembly that used a self-storing window feature which could either be rolled down into the gate via crank on the outside of the gate, or by an electrical motor actuated by the key or an interior switch. A safety lockout measure required that the rear window had to be fully retracted into the gate before it could be lowered

In 1966, all Ford wagons introduced the Magic Door Gate which allowed the tailgate on the vehicle to function as a traditional tailgate that could be lowered, or a door that swung outward for easier access to seating area. The Magic Door Gate was made possible through a use of a traditional stationary hinge on the right, and combination of hinges along the door's right side which carried the weight of the gate as it swung outward when used as a door.

GM, Chrysler and AMC would adopt a similar configuration by the end of the 1960s. An advanced version of this was the 3-way tailgate which permitted opening the door sideways with the window up.

Movie and TV appearances

  • A white 1968 Country Squire is the second getaway vehicle used by the McCoys, Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw's characters, in the 1972 Sam Peckinpah film The Getaway.
  • In the movie Twister, Jason 'Preacher' Rowe drives a 1987 Country Squire, which is later thrown into a camper at the drive-in movie theater by a F4 twister.
  • A modified 1983 Ford Country Squire was featured in the John Hughes film National Lampoon's Vacation starring Chevy Chase. The vehicle was an olive shade of green known as "Metallic Pea", and was designed by the movie staff to look hideous. The wagon was named the "Wagon Queen Family Truckster".
  • In the TV Series Alice, the station wagon in the opening credits is a 1969 Ford Country Squire.
  • In the movie Mac and Me the 1983-1987 Country Squire appears as police cars used by the military police and as the car of Debbie and Countrey's mother as well.
  • On the TV show Family Matters, Eddie drives his father's 1988-1991 Country Squire through the family's living room when he panics after seeing a bread truck.
  • In the James Bond movie Goldfinger, Oddjob drives Bond from the airport to Goldfinger's Kentucky horse farm in a red 1964 Country Squire. Two of Goldfinger's Chinese henchmen cover Bond from the optional 3rd row seat.
  • One of the road trips in the movie Two for the Road (1967) takes place in a biege 1957 Country Squire.
  • In the movie The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), Erwin Weaver (Jack Weston) drives a maroon 1967 Country Squire, after Thomas Crown (Steve McQueen) tells him to buy the car and provides the money for it. Weston parks the car next to the bank and the exiting bank robbers throw the money bags into the car through the open tailgate window. A white 1967 Country Squire is used in the second bank robbery, at the end of the movie.
  • In the movie Scarface, Tony Montana and his gang members tail a taxi in a brown Country Squire.
  • In the 1974 CBS television series Apple's Way, the family vehicle is a 1974 Country Squire wagon in dark green with a woodgrain trim.

External links