FEATURE: 1961 Ford Country Squire Station Wagon
When it comes to family and cargo hauling, the full-size vehicle of choice has radically changed. Today, huge, sky-high lumbering SUVs are what most active moms and dads opt to load up before heading out for the summer beach vacation or that multi-store mall shopping trip. It wasn’t always that way – at one point in time, station wagons, like this 1961 Ford Country Squire, ruled the school pickup lanes and soccer field lots.
“I was drawn to it simply because of the time I grew up in – this was the predecessor to today’s SUVs,’ said Richard. “Anyone close to my age, a baby boomer, remembers growing up and having parents stick them in the back of one of these for the family trip – just like Clark Griswold. Spectators always just smile when they see this out as everyone in the neighborhood had one. The bigger the family the more common they were.”
“It had just been through a complete nut and bolt restoration and what most would call ‘over-restored’ – meaning it has features that it didn’t originally come with. Despite the excess nature of the build, it stills maintains the visual appeal that I was looking for.”
While the wagon had been a California-based cruiser, the man responsible for the over-the-top craftsmanship was located on the East Coast in Atlanta, Georgia.
“He completed all the work in his personal home garage, all the while caring for his dying mother. The build was simply a painstakingly process that resulted in just a pure number one car. I made sure to tell him that over and over – he really did a fine job.”
“It’s got that typical 1960’s feel – the steering is vague and very loose. It is equipped with radial tires so it doesn’t have that bias ply ‘wander’ that you’ll see in a lot of vintage cars. Overall, this is just one big boulevard cruiser that drives great.”
“We don’t have large station wagons like this anymore (except for a few European models, that just aren’t the same). That’s why I enjoy driving this one so much and showing it off – to remind people of how things once were and to bring back some happy childhood memories.”