Ford Country Squire

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Ford Country Squire

1982 Ford LTD Country Squire
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
Also calledFord LTD Country Squire
Production1950–1991
ClassFull-size station wagon
Body style2-door station wagon
4-door station wagon
LayoutFR layout
 
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Ford Country Squire

1982 Ford LTD Country Squire
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
Also calledFord LTD Country Squire
Production1950–1991
ClassFull-size station wagon
Body style2-door station wagon
4-door station wagon
LayoutFR layout

The Ford Country Squire is a full-size station wagon which was built by the Ford Motor Company in the United States from 1950 until 1991, encompassing seven model generations. It was the premium station wagon model in Ford's full-size car range throughout this period. The Country Squire was initially built as a full "woodie". After the mid-1950s the rear body was composed of fiberglass covered by a vinyl appliqué printed to simulate wood. Later versions featured an all-steel body and are best remembered for featuring body sides and a tailgate covered by simulated wood trim and panels, however the Country Squire could be purchased without them. Prior to 1974, full-size Ford station wagon models without simulated wood trim were marketed as the Ranch Wagon, Del Rio, Parklane and Country Sedan. Subsequently, all full-size Ford wagons were marketed under the Ford LTD name, including the LTD Country Squire.

The Country Squire was based on the Custom Deluxe series in 1950 & 1951, the Crestline from 1952 to 1954, the Fairlane from 1955 to 1958, the Galaxie from 1959 to 1966, and the LTD/LTD Crown Victoria from 1967 to 1991. Due to declining sales, Ford elected to exit the full-size station wagon market after 1991.

The Mercury Colony Park was the equivalent model sold by Ford's Mercury division from 1957 to 1991.

Contents

First generation (1950–1951)

First generation

1950 Ford Country Squire
Production1950–1951
Body style2-door station wagon
Platform1949 Ford
Engine
Wheelbase114 in (2,896 mm)
RelatedFord Custom Deluxe

The 1950 Ford model range included a station wagon which, at the time of its introduction, was marketed as part of the top-line Custom Deluxe trim.[1] In the following spring, Ford began promoting the wagon as the Country Squire, although that name did not appear anywhere on the car. Along with the name change came the addition of a fold-down middle-row seat.[1] Following the rest of the Ford lineup, the Country Squire was available with a standard 226 cid inline six-cylinder engine as or an optional V-8.[1]

The first generation Country Squire was a full "woodie". The frame, fenders and hood were made of steel and the rear of the car's body was made of wood.

1951 Ford Country Squire


Second generation (1952–1954)

Second generation

1954 Ford Country Squire
Also calledFord Country Sedan
Production1952–1954
Body style4-door station wagon
Platform1952 Ford
Engine
Wheelbase115 in (2,921 mm)
RelatedFord Crestline

In 1952, Ford expanded station wagons into a lineup separate from its newly redesigned sedans. The Country Squire was the top model, now available solely in a four-door configuration; it was the wagon counterpart of the Crestline series. Joining the Squire were the four-door Country Sedan (Customline) and the two-door Ranch Wagon (Mainline). The 239 Strato-Star V-8 was the only engine offered in the 1952 Country Squire.[2]

Unlike its predecessor, the 1952 Country Squire no longer was a true woodie; like the Country Sedan, it wore a full steel body. The woodgrain finish was now constructed by woodgrain transfers edged in real wood trim on the sides and tailgate.[2]


Third generation (1955–1959)

Third generation

1957 Ford Country Squire
Production1955–1958
Body style4-door station wagon
RelatedFord Fairlane
Edsel Bermuda
Edsel Villager
1955 Ford Country Squire

For the 1955 model year, Ford station wagons became a separate model range from the sedans, coupes, and convertibles. The woodgrained Country Squire was the top-of-the-line model, trimmed similar to the Fairlane. For the first time, all wood trim was simulated with vinyl decals.

In 1957, the chassis of all full-size Fords underwent a major redesign with an all-new frame to allow for lower bodies. While not shared with Mercury, much of the Country Squire wagon body would be used for the Edsel Villager and Bermuda station wagons.

Fourth generation (1960–1964)

Fourth generation

1960 Ford Country Squire
Model years1960–1964
Body style4-door station wagon
RelatedFord Galaxie
Ford Country Sedan
Mercury Commuter
Mercury Colony Park
Mercury Meteor
Mercury Monterey
Lincoln Continental

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 tailgate before the tailgate could be lowered


Fifth generation (1965–1968)

Fifth generation

1967 Ford Country Squire
Production1965–1968
Body style4-door station wagon
RelatedFord LTD
Mercury Colony Park
Ford Galaxie
Mercury Marquis
Lincoln Continental
Mercury Monterey

In 1966, all Ford wagons introduced the Magic Door Gate, engineered by Donald N. Frey,[3] which allowed the tailgate to flip down like a traditional tailgate or to open to the side as a swinging door. The Magic Door Gate was made possible through use of a traditional stationary hinge on the right, and combination of hinges along the door's left side which carried the weight of the gate as it swung outward when used as a door.

1968 Ford Country Squire

For 1968, the Country Squire wore “LTD” lettering above the grille but was still marketed as the “Ford Country Squire”.[4]

Sixth generation (1969–1978)

Sixth generation

1973 Ford LTD Country Squire
Model years1969–1978
Body style4-door station wagon
Engine302 cu in (4.9 L) Windsor V8
351 cu in (5.8 L) Windsor V8
390 cu in (6.4 L) FE V8
429 cu in (7.0 L) 385 V8
400 cu in (6.6 L) Cleveland V8
460 cu in (7.5 L) 385 V8
351 cu in (5.8 L) 351M/351 Cleveland V8
Transmission3-speed manual
3-speed FMX automatic
3-speed Ford C6 automatic
Wheelbase121.0 in (3,073 mm)
Length225.7 in (5,733 mm)
RelatedMercury Marquis
Mercury Monterey
Mercury Colony Park
Ford LTD
Ford Galaxie
Ford Custom

1969–1972

1969 Ford LTD Country Squire

For 1969 Ford's premium wagon was marketed as the Ford LTD Country Squire.[5] This was the first year of the sixth generation Country Squire, which rode on an exxtended 121.0 in (3,073 mm) wheelbase as compared to the previous generation and included as standard a 302 cubic inches (4.95 l) V8. In mid 1969, the 302 cubic inches (4.95 l) standard engine was phased out in favor of a new standard engine, the 351 cubic inches (5.75 l) V8. Optional engines included the 390 cubic inches (6.4 l) or the 429 cubic inches (7.03 l) V8. In 1971, Ford offered 400 cubic inches (6.6 l) V8 as an option. Country Squires from 1969 and 1970 used the same body panels and varied in terms of front grille and bumper, interior trim and other minor changes. The later two years of this generation saw an extensive revision of the exterior, having only the roof and tailgate in common with the 1969-1970 models. This generation was the first to use Ford's new "Three-Way Magic Doorgate," which could swing down as a tailgate, swing out as a door with the window down, or swing out as a door with the window up (not possible with 1966-1968 wagons).

The 1972 model year saw a drastic decrease in power ratings for all engines for three reasons. One was the new system of reporting SAE net horsepower rather than brake horsepower. The second was engine modifications resulting in drastically lower compression ratios and a new timing set that retarded ignition timing by 8 degrees. The third was the addition of more emissions controls. The big block 429 engine for example, saw a drop from 365 hp (272 kW) in 1971 to 212 hp (158 kW) in 1972. The 460, a stroked version of the 429, was now available in passenger cars. Previously it had only been offered in Ford trucks. The 1972 model was rated at 224 hp (167 kW) with an 8.5:1 compression ratio. Cylinder head design from the 1972 model year was poor and had many pre-ignition problems. The D2VE heads are considered among the worst cylinder heads ever offered with the 385 series engines. The design would be changed the following year.

Production figures:[citation needed]

1973–1978

1978 Ford LTD Country Squire

For 1973, the platform used by full-size Fords and Mercurys was restyled; the addition of 5 mph bumpers in the front in 1973, and in the rear in 1974, would make these the longest station wagons ever produced by Ford. With the Galaxie soon to be discontinued, the Country Squire was integrated into the LTD lineup. Additionally, a non-woodgrain LTD wagon was also sold; the Custom 500-trim Ranch Wagon was sold only for the fleet market. The standard engine on all other full-size ford sedans and wagons was the 351 cubic inches (5.75 l) V8. The Country Squire however, came standard with the Cleveland 400 cubic inches (6.6 l)M V8, while the 385 series 429 cubic inches (7.03 l), and 460 cubic inches (7.5 l) V8s were optional. Engines were again detuned. Despite an improved cylinder head design (D3VE), the 460 V8 was further detuned to a 8.0:1 compression ratio, and was rated at a measly 219 hp (163 kW). With manual transmissions being dropped from the lineup, the C6 3-speed automatic transmission was now the only transmission option for full-size Fords. The 429 and 460 V8s were a common option due to the especially sluggish performance of the detuned 400 engine that was now struggling to drive the Squires ever increasing weight.

The 1974 Model was nearly identical to the '73, with the addition of a hood ornament, 5MPH rear bumpers, and a transistorized ignition system. The 429 cubic inches (7.03 l) V8 was dropped from production, leaving the 460 cubic inches (7.5 l) as the only true big block in the Ford lineup. In 1975, Ford added hidden headlamps to the Country Squire (bringing it in line with the Mercury Colony Park and the new Grand Marquis); non-woodgrain wagons still wore exposed headlamps. 1975 models also began to use Catalytic converters in virtually all models, reducing emissions, but at the expense of even more power. By 1975, the Country Squire had reached a shipping weight of 4,845 pounds (2,198 kg). With all engine fluids and full tank of gas, the 1975 LTD Country Squire wagon weighed in well over 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg), making it one of the largest and heaviest passenger cars every produced by Ford. It is interesting to note that Full-size Ford wagons weighed in at slightly less than their counterparts from Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Chevrolet, Dodge and Chrysler during this time, making the behemoth Country Squire actually the lightest Full-size woodgrain-trim wagon available from a major manufacturer.

1975-1978 models were nearly identical, except for small differences in trim and emblems from year to year. As a move to increase fuel economy, the 351 cubic-inch V8 was reintroduced into the lineup in 1978.

Approximately 7,850,000 full-size Fords and Mercurys were sold over 1969-78.[6][7] This makes it the second best selling Ford automobile platform after the Ford Model T.

Seventh generation (1979–1991)

Seventh generation

1987 Ford LTD Country Squire
Production1979–1991
AssemblySt. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
Body style4-door station wagon
PlatformFord Panther platform
Engine4.9 L (302 cu in) 5.0 Windsor V8
5.8 L (351 cu in) 351 Windsor V8
Transmission4-speed AOD automatic (1980–1991)
Wheelbase114.3 in (2,903 mm)
Length
1979–1987

215.7 in (5,479 mm)

1988–1991
216 in (5,486 mm)
Width79.3 in (2,014 mm)
Height56.5 in (1,435 mm)
RelatedFord LTD
Ford LTD Crown Victoria
Lincoln Continental
Lincoln Town Car
Mercury Colony Park
Mercury Grand Marquis
Mercury Marquis

In 1979, Ford became the last American automaker to downsize its full-size car lines; the Panther platform became the basis for all full-size Fords, Mercurys, and Lincolns. Eleven inches shorter and nearly 1000 pounds lighter, the redesigned Country Squire retained the 8-passenger seating capability with only slightly reduced cargo capacity. The big-block 400 and 460 cubic-inch V8s were not included in the redesign, leaving the Country Squire with the 302 cubic inches (4.95 l) and 351 cubic inches (5.75 l) Windsor V8 engines.

The 1980s saw relatively few changes to the Country Squire. In 1983 the carbureted engine was replaced with fuel injection unit, identifiable by the large intake with the EFI 5.0 badge on top. In 1988, coinciding with the facelift of its LTD Crown Victoria counterpart, the Country Squire received a new front clip. Inside, new front seats with larger head restraints were added. For 1990, the dashboard was updated (for the first time since 1979) with the addition of a driver's side airbag; the outboard rear seats received 3-point seatbelts.


Discontinuation

After the mid-1980s introduction of minivans by Chrysler, Ford, and GM, sales of full-size station wagons began to decline. The primary reasons for the popularity of minivans were their superior cargo capacity and fuel economy despite taking up less garage space; by 1990, Ford's Aerostar had overtaken all competitors in sales with the exception of the Chrysler minivans. Although Ford redesigned the Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis in 1992, the station wagon bodystyle was discontinued. In addition, a 1992 full-size Ford wagon would have likely competed against the wagon version of the Ford Taurus, then on its way to becoming the best-selling car in the United States.

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 the upright position.

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.

References

  1. ^ a b c 1950 Ford Country Squire, auto.howstuffworks.com Retrieved on 4 December 2012
  2. ^ a b 1952 Ford Country Squire, auto.howstuffworks.com Retrieved on 4 December 2012
  3. ^ "The Thinker (Detroit Style)". TIME. April 21, 1967. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,843628,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  4. ^ Nineteen Sixty-Eight Ford sales brochure W363 (WO55 Revised) 12/67, page 21
  5. ^ Ford Wagons sales brochure 5029-8/68, page 12
  6. ^ Kowalke, Ron (1997). Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946–1975. Krause publications. ISBN 0-87341-521-3.
  7. ^ Flammang, James Standard Catalog of American Cars 1976–1999 3rd Edition (Iola, WI: Krause Publications, Inc 1999)

External links