The Ford Squire was one of the most popular vehicles in America in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, says Bobby Price, who owns a fully restored custom 1955 wagon. However, after 41 years, the iconic Country Squire finally succumbed to the modern day SUV. Here, the Nashville-based car collector discusses the history and demise of Ford’s third longest running nameplate.
Q: The Squire is known for its iconic woodgrain trim. How long were these “woodies” in production?
Bobby Price: The Ford Country Squire was produced from 1950 until 1990. It was released in seven generations, though only the first generation, built between 1950 – 1951, contained actual wood panels. Subsequent models of the station wagon were manufactured with simulated wood or vinyl decals.
Q: What other wood trimmed station wagons did Ford manufacture?
Bobby Price: The Ford brand released other variations of the Squire before 1986. Additionally, Ford’s Edsel and Lincoln-Mercury divisions had iterations of the Squire called the Bermuda and Colony Park, respectively.
Q: Why do you think these vehicles were so popular?
Bobby Price: Prior to the release of the Ford Squire, many vehicles manufactured by Ford, Chrysler, and Plymouth, were built with ingrained wood trim. The Ford Squire quickly outsold other wood trim vehicles because it was cheaper to manufacture and therefore less expensive.
Q: When did Ford completely switched to fiberglass trim?
Bobby Price: The wooden panels on the Squire were replaced in 1951. However, the vehicles kept real wood trim around the tailgate and sides throughout the middle of 1953 when these details were replaced with more durable fiberglass.
Q: Why are 1960s model Fords referred to in Australia as “Tank Fords”?
Bobby Price: In 1959, Ford moved the production of the Squire to Australia. However, it was never sold in that country. The third-generation of Ford Squire is known Down Under as the Tank Ford because they were considerably larger by comparison than the regionally popular Ford Cortina.
Q: What does the prefix “LTD” indicate on 1969 and newer models of the Ford Squire?
Bobby Price: LTD was added to the Country Squire in 1969, indicating that the vehicle was premium in its class.
Q: Why did Ford stop production in 1990?
Bobby Price: In the 1980s, the full-size SUV became the go-to mode of transportation for families across the United States. Most carmakers, including Ford, completely suspended production of wagon-type vehicles by 1990.