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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

1977 Ford LTD Country Squire: Suburban luxury from the Wagonmaster

What says 1960s-70s upper-middle class suburbia better than the Ford Country Squire? Before minivans, before SUVs, and before crossovers, these were the ne plus ultra family hauler for upwardly mobile moms. Sure, you could get a plain vanilla Ford wagon, a Country Sedan-later on, just the plain LTD wagon ...
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/klockau-classics/1977-ford-ltd-country-squire-suburban-luxury-...
47 REPLIES 47
HoustonNurse
Intermediate Driver

I remember my uncle buying this exact car. He strutted around.... prouder than heck. "And it's got the biggest, thirstiest engine you can get! Who cares about gas mileage when you got this?" Those were the days..... 4 kids in every sport known..... and it was amazingly comfortable and powerful for the time..... He even sneaked in the occasional burnout.... that 460 was no slouch.
Swamibob
Technician

I dig it! Love old wagons, especially the wood sided wagons. Thank you Thomas!
MeJ
Advanced Driver

Sorry it's not big enough...
Punk
Advanced Driver

Love these wagons. My mom got her first Country Squire in 1960, a black beauty, when I was one year old. She traded it in for another, white this time, in 1965. Both of course had the wood decals on the sides and the fiberglass wood trim as well as the facing seats in the rear that I often rode in as the youngest at the time. Her last one was a fabulous red one in 1969 with the cluster dashboard and the tailgate that opened down or to the side even with the window up.To a ten year old I thought it was magic. Then there was the oversized V8. My mom always fancied herself a hot rod driver and frequently raced 911s off the line at traffic lights. I don't know whether the other drivers were racing but she often bragged that she never lost. In 1973 mom got an Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, with the window that went up into the roof instead of down. That was some boat too, but that's a different story.
Jons_Galaxie
Pit Crew

Indestructible 460 / C6 / 9" rear. Love all the room!
DaveB
Detailer

Any idea how may high school kids can fit in an 81 LTD Country Squire station wagon? I may also know how many fit in a 77 Ford Econoline 12 passenger van when the 3rd row seat is out. Ahhh High school flashbacks... 😃
There's something about these older wagons... Maybe Nostaglia, but I want one.
SAG
Technician

I might be able to recall how many 3rd graders you could fit in a "Mini Minor" Ha
SAG
Technician

that is a _ British - Morris, Mini
of course
Smilodon
Instructor

Wagons are vastly superior to any of their modern "replacements" for attending the Drive In Movies. Back in to get the right angle, drop the gate & windows, break out the sleeping bags & pillows, then "let's all go to the lobby..." God I miss the '60's/'70's. Mercury's Colony Park just as cool as the Squire, not as common. Dad's '57 Nomad good, too, and tres cool.
PRScott
Instructor

Never quite understood the appeal of fake wood sides on a car. Wouldn't you want fake wooden wagon wheel hubcaps to complete the picture?
WeisPanzer
Intermediate Driver

Well, it was a thing back then, similar to "fake chrome" nowadays. TONS of cars today, including $100K Escalades, M-B S560s, most Lexus and Acura models and many, many more, have plastic trim with a shiny mirror finish that... well, it 'looks' like chrome... but isn't "CHROME". And for pretty much the same reasons, cars back then had fake wood.
Engmuzza
New Driver

It's not actually fake chrome, it's real chrome. In automotive they typically use ABS plastic and this is then coated in copper and nickel plating as would be done on say a zinc die casting in an old school car. Then they chrome plate over that. So chrome plating of plastic is actually real chrome plating.

Zephyr
Instructor

If you compare a wagon with woodgrain decals to one that is just painted you can see that the wood siding improves the appearance tremendously. The downside was that replacing the decals was so expense that a older wagon could be totalled out just by scratching all the decals with a nail.
Rider79
Technician

Cool car! Pretty colour, too!
Orict0015668
Intermediate Driver

The forefather of the Ultra rare Crown Vic wagon option, the Family Truckster!
Gene_M
Detailer

My dad replaced his 1969 Country Squire with this very model with the 460 engine, fully loaded. I loved that wagon and wish I had it today, just for show.
FloridaMarty
Instructor

Love the old wagons! I Had a 51 Ford country squire, now I have a 53 Dodge Suburban wagon, too bad the values have shot up so high, it's preventing more people from participating. Kinda funny, what was once NOT cool, is viewed as very cool today, I guess surfing had something to do with that.
golfnut53083
Intermediate Driver

As owners of a Ford dealership from '63 to '80 and in a family of 4 kids 2 dogs and a cat we seemed to always have a Country Squire in the driveway. My brother and I always claimed the "way back" (as it was known). This allowed us the most distance from "the man" and allowed us to get away with lots of shenanigans!
Smilodon
Instructor

Say it's not so! Not the shenanigans! I believe giant wagons were the reason for the "Don't make me stop this car!" threat, as no parent save Reed Richards could smack a kid in the way back. Hey- doesn't this make classic wagons "Way Back Machines"? (Points if you get that reference)
SJ
Technician

Vinyl Roof? Wow never seen one. There were so many wagons like this growing up. Parents owned several over the years.
GC
Intermediate Driver

Loved those Ford wagons. My Dad bought a new 64 Country Squire (or was it a Country Sedan since it didn't have the fake wood trim?). I remember the family poring over the brochure and picking out exterior color (silversmoke grey), interior (red), engine size (352 w/4bbl and dual exhaust) before placing the factory order then waiting impatiently for it to arrive. Great car. Very fond memories.
DanielBazin
New Driver

Good read Tom!
This is where Ford went from Station Wagon to Estate Wagon.
It just entered another league.
I love that family friendly green gentle giant.
PontiacFireBird
New Driver

Had one for a while. 7miles per gallon 400 ci with air shocks and frame hitch. Fitted out
to pull a horse trailer. It was gifted to me by a fellow who was an accountant. I imagine he took a good deduction on his income tax.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

Every 70's option you could ask for in a shade of green that would make Kermit blush. I admit, most 70's wagons with wood paneling are not my thing, I like the 60's ones a bit better, especially before they got smogged and super slow.

SAG
Technician

the "teal green w/woodgrain Land yacht" was the 'spoofed car' for Chevy Chase's movie "Vacation".
They were over the top for: powerful motors & passenger seating.
I remember them from riding in the 'rear seat' at the tail, facing to the rear.
TG
Technician

My buddy had a 74 Lincoln with the shag carpeting and it used to crack me up every time I saw it
ChiefPontiac86
New Driver

I really like the Pinto wagon in the back of the ad. Pretty cool.
firebreather
Pit Crew

My First Car was a 1973 Pinto Squire. Bought it brand new on June 16, 1973
while still in college. All options including extra cost Ginger Glow paint with
Ginger interior. And the 4 speed manual which was a lot of fun to drive even
with manual steering. Power steering was not available on Pintos in '73.
Bought it new for $3500 and sold it in 1979 for $4000 with 28,000 miles.
Always kept it under a car cover which kept it clean with no fade to the
"wood" paneling. My next car was a 1977 4Spd. Trans Am. Still have it today.
Smilodon
Instructor

In the mid '80's I had a '77 Pinto "Cruisin' Wagon", which was the standard wagon with sedan delivery windowless sides- save for a small domed custom van type bubble near the back of each side. No fake wood, but you could get tricolor graphic vanlike stripes. I built up the 2.3, put in a better clutch and lightweight flywheel, and painted it a stripeless dark blue metallic. Kidney hole slot mags and staggered tires finished the job. Great Lil car for a single guy, and the bonus? Back in at the correct angle, and you could lie flat on your back to watch the movie reflected in the window of the raised one piece tail hatch. Miss that one, too.
JGeske
Instructor

"225.6 inches long (121-inch wheelbase) and 79.9 inches wide" is such an impressive number. For context, a 2022 F150 SuperCrew with 5.5' bed is 231.7 inches long and the same 79.9" wide. This thing is literally the size of a half ton pickup.

Also, I continue to be puzzled by the fact that, given Honda copied the magic tailgate with the Ridgeline (and that it is a feature that even Ridgeline haters acknowledge is more useful than the gimmick tailgates the others offer), Ford doesn't do a magic tailgate on the F150.
Smilodon
Instructor

And you were tinglingly aware of all those 79.9 inches- and the jutting battering ram bumpers- in every parking situation!
Revellcraft02
Intermediate Driver

I found out, long ago…
BSDriver
Pit Crew

Picture #4 shows one feature/option I wish modern cars had — fender cornering lights that illuminate when the turn signal is activated
js100
Detailer

My wife's new Chrysler Pacifica has a low speed feature, that automatically turns on the same side fog / corner lamp when the wheel is turning that direction (only at low speeds), no signal needed. Great for parking and low speed turns. I guess it's part of the automatic high-beam system, as I was surprised by the feature (where the heck is that illumination coming from?) first time I drove it at night. Not mentioned in the owners manual, but it's there, sorta like what Boeing did on the Max.
DaveA
Instructor

My wife’s Forester and my Bronco Sport both have similar features.
Zephyr
Instructor

My first company car was a 76 or so Pinto station wagon with wood siding, roof rack, the first AM/FM stereo radio I had ever seen, and painted the exact shade of dark copper as the wagon in the article. Station wagons were an idea that should never have gone away - fold down the rear seats and you had the equivalent of a pickup with a camper shell, good for hauling stuff home from the hardware store or sleeping in while camping.
spark123
Detailer

Plus you still had a trunk on top of that!
spark123
Detailer

And you could fit a 4' x 8' sheet of plywood in the back with the tailgate up!
More than you can say for any SUV
Lash
Intermediate Driver

Special heat treated siding that didn't melt when the car exploded in a rear end collision.
Smilodon
Instructor

That was only the sedans and hatchbacks- the wagons were an entirely different animal in the rear.
Azcarz
New Driver

Silver 1976. Other than the 460 12 mpg at 75mph, one of the best cars I ever owned. Pulled a trailer, hauled kids and dogs. Drove pretty well for the size, alas, graduated to a Suburban. Have had several of them, still have 3 in the fleet.
MichaelG1967
Intermediate Driver

Here is my “mid-priced” version of the Country Squire. It’s a 1973 Country Sedan. They stopped using the “Country Sedan” after 1974. It was based on the Galaxie 500 trim level. 164B2889-DEE3-4012-A7D1-ECA1745D9A2B.jpeg

Boeingpilot
Intermediate Driver

We had a 72 Country Squire. At 16 that was my ride when Dad wasn’t using it. What a tank
McKinney
New Driver

I remember when I hated these big station wagons....I was a teenager at the time and they seemed uncool to me. Decades later - I now get excited to see one on the road.....Such nostalgic icons they are.
coop
Intermediate Driver

We had a Country Squire Wgn that exact color (1st pic), but an earlier model, maybe a 1967. It replaced our 1962 Country Squire Wgn, dark blue w. 390 ci, engine. That '62 I loved and remember fondly. I took my Penna. driver's license test in the '62. And got my first (and only) speeding ticket with it, about a year later.

TimK
Detailer

I had a 77 Mercury Cougar Villager. It was painted Bright Saddle Metallic with Saddle interior. Beautiful car in my opinion and a pleasure to drive with reasonable performance for a 4000 lb car. Especially with that color the (fake) wood grain sides gave it a richness. The only drawback was the actual mileage; 12 mpg combination city & highway and 14mpg highway. Funny thing though, when the speed limit was raised from 55mph to 65 mph the highway mileage increased by 2 mpg. This engine also loved the 10% ethanol giving it 2mpg better than regular with none. Forget the MTBE poison that the EPA demanded gasoline contain in lieu of ethanol until it was found to be a carcinogen. Not only did that stuff hurt mileage in every car I had when it was put in gasoline but many cars would not start when temperatures dropped below 10 deg F.
Smilodon
Instructor

Bought a loaded Squire from a coworker's grandparents in '98- original, 103xxx mile old folk owners!- in a metallic gold, which suited the fake wood. The cavernous interior was a colour best described as "diaper diarrhea", but everything worked. Gramps used it to tow his little pop-up camper with aluminum skiff atop when hauling the grandkids to their lake place, there was still beach sand and a little kid flipflop in the rear seat well when I got it home. It was a torque monster, two black stripes at will, and as thirsty as your average container ship; the larger tank wasn't really enough. Tank like durable, too- leaving a car show, I was sharply rear-ended by one of those fartcan exhaust, 747 winged, lowered plastic aero, "look at me I'm a real racecar!" abominations. Phone more important than driving, donchakno. My rear plate lost some paint and was wrinkled, and the trailer ball lost some rust, both plate lamps survived. The entire aftermarket front of the "racecar" disintegrated, the hood folded in thirds, all the front lights were destroyed- best of all the hitch&ball penetrated the AC condenser, radiator, and severely damaged the moron's aftermarket header. Lesson learned? Put the phone away! I miss the old boat, but was offered so much for the drivetrain I had to sell. More $$$ for the GTO, anyway. Sigh.