By on May 30, 2013

02 - 1977 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWe saw a 1976 Country Squire Junkyard Find yesterday, after going seven months since seeing this ’75 Country Squire, but this Denver yard has given us back-to-back (actually, tailgate-to-tailgate) Malaise Era Country Squires. Today’s find is in far better shape than yesterday’s (which is both cool and saddening), so let’s check it out!
11 - 1977 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin1977 was the second-to-last year of the extra-huge LTD Country Squire, and the factory shipping weight of this machine was a mighty 4,674 pounds. That’s 554 pounds more than the 2013 ZL1 Camaro, so you know we’re talking about a pretty hefty car here.
10 - 1977 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 400M V8 in this car didn’t make a lot of power by 21st-century standards (if I look up the horsepower number for the ’77 400, we’ll all get depressed), but the torque was sufficient to haul a family of nine in comfort. Note the high-altitude spec on this sticker.
20 - 1977 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinLooks like this car was sold in Denver, and— 36 years later— it will die in Denver.
06 - 1977 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt’s in pretty decent shape overall; no rust, most of the upholstery looks pretty good.
17 - 1977 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinManual windows, Ford Aeronutronic AM radio, and hideaway headlights. Not exactly luxurious by current standards, but these cars were very comfy on long road trips. Anyway, Blondie sounds best on AM.
13 - 1977 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWith scrap cars going for $240/ton, this car was worth more as parts and steel than as a street-driven vehicle. How many remain?

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

90 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1977 Ford LTD Country Squire...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Oh, yes, so much better shape…and the harvest gold is much more tasteful then the avocado green

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I found it easier to lay down in one of these than sit-up, how could someone build such a big heavy car with so little headroom?

    This one at least has some nice colors on it though.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Little head room?… How tall are you?

      • 0 avatar

        these cars weren’t that tall inside. My ’77 Chevelle which is dwarfed by this wagon, is itself lower and shorter to the ground than most new cars, a new Taurus towers over it.

        These truly are of the Lower Longer Wider school of design.

        Even my friends ’71 Chevelle convertible he and I both have a hard time seeing out of it at 6’2″ the windshield header is about right where we have to look through. My ’77 sedan is better, but still is a bit thin on headroom.

        • 0 avatar
          Summicron

          +1

          I’m only 6’1″ and I remember easily waxing the roof of my ’77 Malibu wagon. Could reach well beyond the midline.

          Never had a problem with headroom, though, or with the modern curse of mirror-in-face.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      I was 6’1 at that point and very skinny, getting in was hard but sitting in the car was a chore since my head did brush the roof here and there, and my knees were close to the dash.

      But even if I did fit I’ve sat in smaller (and older) cars that were far better in terms of headroom and legroom, my main point is that these wagons lack interior space compared to their exteriors size.

      That being said I don’t have much respect for these cars, poor quality, too big, and too inefficient.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Gotta love that Aeronutronic radio.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    When I was a kid, these were used as “school bus”. 15-20 children on board was common.

    I have yet to see a longer land yacht than those LTDs. And LTDs in Venezuela usually had power windows.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    A beast that would haul the whole family to Wally World. No wonder the 1977 GM B-bodys were such a revelation, followed by the 1979 Panther Platform, it must have seemed to some Americans that their world was truly ending.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      …it was worse, not only because of the size but style and quality took a serious nosedive when American autos went on their “diet”

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        The ’78 Great Downsizing was a shocker. But IMHO GM made quite a handsome job of it.

        • 0 avatar
          dolorean

          Agreed. GM’s 6th Gen, B-Body was quite the profound statement for the time. They seemed so much more compact than the 5th Gen but still roomy and retained a V8 with much improved fuel economy. Power was adequate, this was a cruiser and it wasn’t long before the Po-Po started rolling in them.

          I was barely seven when my step-father brought home one an Impala Coupe. I forget the year, but remember it had a large bubble window in the rear where I could lay out and watch the sky while on long road trips (safety standards were a bit lax back when. Don’t get me started about the beer fridge and wet bar in the back of my Grandfather’s Lincoln Continental Mark IV).

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Don’t get me started about the beer fridge and wet bar in the back of my Grandfather’s Lincoln Continental Mark IV”

            Epic

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Epic

            EPIC. There’s that word again. Why are things so epic?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Quite simply because having a wet bar in any car, let alone something as classy (and random) as the Conti Mark IV, is a lifelong dream of mine.

  • avatar
    mechimike

    Damn shame about this one. That interior looks absolutely pristine. I know exactly how this car’s life story went:

    1977 (Year I was born) Couple walk into Rosen-Novak Ford, buy this car brand new. They’ve owned Fords all their lives, and probably traded in a Squire of mid-60′s vintage.

    Years go by…the family of 5 or 6 grows up, gradually moves away, goes to college, gets married, etc. COuple gets older, but takes immaculate care of the old Ford. It sees pretty limited use, mostly errands around town, burning off a tank of unleaded every week or two.

    Eventually, Dad dies. Followed a few short years later by mom’s passing. The estate has to be settled. The kids are all grown up, with kids of their own, and minivans. They all wax nostalgic about the wagon they spent their youth in, but they all live in McMansions with HOAs, and none have the time or knowledge to deal with an old car, or the space to keep it. So they do the easiest thing they can: Call the scrapper.

    How simple would it have been to drop a newer mod motor and an EO4D into this thing and truck on into the 21rst century?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Born in 1977 also.

      There are times I wish I could wave a magic wand and give every mid 70s to late 80s non performance car an upgrade to a modern fuel injected V8 and 4-speed auto.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        +1 to this. I’d love to get my first car back, an 81 Regal V6 and drop a Gen 3 3800 in it instead of the smogged out carbed 3.8 it was saddled with. Or my 84 Eldorado with a Northstar in it, or maybe the 4.9

      • 0 avatar
        Athos Nobile

        “an upgrade to a modern fuel injected V8 and 4-speed auto”

        There are 5-6 speed autos out there already. Make sure you put a beefier diff back there.

        I’d love a 89 Caprice with an LS3+6A/T. Or a 77 T/A (gotta love the screaming chicken) with the LS3 and a TR6060. Or a mid 70′s Corvette with a Coyote V8. Or a long box sky blue C-10 with a 5.3 4 A/T.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          There is no beefier diff that what is already in this car the famed Ford 9″.

          • 0 avatar

            I think the Dana 60 used in some Mopars was beefier, but probably actually overkill for a car.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Yeah the Semi Floating D60 used in Hemi Mopars and 1/2 ton International Travelall and pickups, is pretty beefy but it lacks the 3rd pinion support bearing of the 9″ so it is a toss up. The D60 also weighs as much as a 70′s era Honda. I do have one of those Semi-floating Travelall D60′s in my parts stash.

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            Love that 9″ Ford pumpkin. Probably the best thing you could say about a Mustang II 302 V8 was it’s power was laid out through one of these bullet-proof gems. I have one still on my ’95 Cobra Hardtop Convertible and the beauty of it is, its so easy to add extra HP without straining the rear end.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            The Mustang II with the 302 got a 8″ rear not a 9″, not quite as strong but way more than strong enough for a small block.

            The Fox bodies eventually got the 8.8″ rear totally unrelated to the 9″. The 8.8″ is an integral rear end instead of a drop out like the 8″ and 9″. They are pretty strong but w/o that third pinion bearing they are still pretty far short of the legendary 9″.

          • 0 avatar
            AFX

            “I do have one of those Semi-floating Travelall D60′s in my parts stash.”

            A semi-floating Travelall D60 sounds like something Ted Kennedy might’ve ordered.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          My insane dream is to fill an old “shoebox” Caprice with a twin turbo LS engine and go around embarrassing Mustangs and Camaros.

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      It was well cared for to the end apparently. Yesterday’s car was worn out. This one looks like it could still go if someone wanted it to.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      It wouldn’t be too bad if you had a complete donor vehicle with motor, trans and wiring harness. I’d probably just go straight for an electronic gauge cluster instead of messing around with gears and cables. The rest would be just fabbing up mounts, linkages and stripping out the harness.

      I really want to do that with a ’69 Country Squire or Colony Park, nothing fancy, maybe just a 5.4L 2V with a 4R70 like what’s in my ’03 F150. Make it do all the same towing duties but in wagon style.

    • 0 avatar
      Crabspirits

      Pretty much exactly what I was thinking for a story. No time here at work to write them much anymore.

      These days, it would be easier and cheaper to convert these old mills to modern fuel injection and ignition, using an aftermarket EMS system. I have no problem with the power output really as it sits. It just needs a little help in the driveability and fuel economy aspect. Putting some hot rod LSX or Terminator in one of these porkers is silly, it will never be fast. Might as well embrace what it’s good at.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      What would all you engine swappers do about the suspension? The suspensions on these cars were inadequate for the 150hp V8s they were built with. Bumping that up to 3 or 400 horsepower would only make things worse. There’s a reason Ford had to reengineer every suspension part on the Panthers before they quit building them.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        I would probably re-joint and bushing the existing suspension, and put air-bags in the back. My ideal swap in a wagon like this wouldn’t be a monster power mill, but a modern gas truck powertrain (although if money was no object, a 7.3L Powerstroke swap would be pretty bad ass). I’d leave the brakes as-is as many of these things already had fairly big 4 wheel discs.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        It’s not like there isn’t plenty of room under a big old body on frame car for new suspension bits.

        But of course, if no company makes new performance bits, well…problem.

    • 0 avatar
      Piston Slap Yo Mama

      Re. modernizing the drive-train: my ’72 Country Squire gets 9mpg. It gets this figure crawling stoplight to stoplight or floating down the interstate. Nine. Miles. Per. Gallon. I wasn’t naive, the previous owner practically made me sign a waiver acknowledging what I was getting into, still the reality stings at the pump.

      Options afaik for my 400ci black hole are: MSD aftermarket FI http://atomicefi.com/ but at $2500 it’s pricey. Further research reveals a range of MPG improvements, but nothing for another 400ci installation.

      A modern engine / overdrive transmission transplant. I’m a total Ford noob and don’t know which modern mills are the best options. Diesel would be nice. This is entirety of my modern Ford lore. If anyone with experience on this cares to weigh in, please do so. I’m all ears.

      On a totally different note – I just subsidized the cost of my shaggin’ wagon by renting it to the set of an in production horror movie directed by Bert I Gordon of MST3K fame. It would seem my hooptie had a starring role. Got it back in great shape and can’t wait to see it on the big / small screen(s).

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        You can do the EFI route for a whole lot less than $2500. Lots of people install GM TBI with most of the parts sourced from the wrecking yard or E-bay. Occasionally a complete system less Ford frame mount fuel pump is around $250. Add that fuel pump, an adapter to mount the TBI and a burner for the chip to dial in the tune and you are out the door for ~$500. That will be good for somewhere between 1-2 MPG. The bellhousing is the same as a 460 so the OD trans and a standalone computer to run it will net another couple of MPG. Or just find the proper mounts from a 460 powered car and drop in a complete engine and OD trans from a 95 F250/350. That should put you in the 13~15 MPG range.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        You just got this MiSTie very excited, I can’t believe Mr B.I.G is still alive, let alone directing, as he was born in 1922! The film is evidently going to be called “Secrets of a Psychopath” due out for 2014 unless IMDB is inaccurate.

  • avatar
    skor

    “With scrap cars going for $240/ton, this car was worth more as parts and steel than as a street-driven vehicle.”

    When I was a kid, scrap prices were so low, you had to pay the junkman to haul away an old wreck….which was great if you were a car hacker, because there was junk to be found all over the place for relatively cheap.

    As for that 400 mill, it was derived from the 351M(modified), not the 351 Windsor or the 351 Cleavland. The 351M was developed as a smog motor, the 400 was a 351M with a longer stroke. As Murilee has noted, the stock HP rating on these engines was abysmal…158Hp. The long stroke did provide enough twist to get these behemoth wagons to lurch forward in a Titanic-like fashion. The engine was a weird blend of big block and small block mated to emission style heads. As installed, think of them as gasoline engines that believed they were diesels.

    Because there were lots of 429 and 460 engines to be had back in the day, no one paid any attention to the 400 until recently. With the supply of Ford’s old big blocks depleted in auto bone-yards these days, the 400 has finally been asked to the prom. Ford made a lot of these engines all through the 70s and into the early 80s….they can still be had in junkyards for next to nothing. Getting a streetable 400HP out of these mills is relatively easy. A few years ago Hot Rod Mag built up a 400 that put out 500HP and 600lb-ft

  • avatar
    DM335

    It’s amazing how relative sizes change through the years. It was not considered excessive for a family to have a Country Squire in 1977, although many people now consider a Suburban to be the pinnacle of excess. This Country Squire is 3 inches longer and nearly an inch wider than a current Suburban. Of course, vehicle height and the size of mirrors sticking out add to the bulk of the Suburban.

    I wonder how much longer it will be until woodgrain panels come back in style.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    We had a somewhat older version. It had few charms and many problems. My favorite “feature” was the way it dieseled on after you switched it off. It’s enthusiasm for running after you’d shut it off was matched by its reluctance to start and, very often, hesitation when you wanted to accelerate from a stop. The Ford dealer made a bundle on service.

    The bottom of the doors and much of the back fenders had rusted away within 5 years. The “wayback” seats faced side-to-side and amounted to criminal negligence in design. The solid front bench meant that tall people should not ride up front when a short person was driving.

    It did have considerable capacity, though. You could take 8 people somewhere in relative comfort or slide the classic 4X8 sheet into it and then close the tailgate. When it was in the mood,, the 351 had considerable power.

    All in all, I greatly prefer my modern minivan.

    • 0 avatar

      LOL yes… I forgot about that issue of short driver in my ’77 Chevelle, I let my GF drive it and she had to scoot the seat up quite a bit (she’s 5’2″, I’m 6’2″) I sit in the passenger side and realized very quickly that I should have rode in the back seat with its acres of legroom now.

      • 0 avatar
        nrd515

        My sister and I shared a ’71 Cutlass for a while, and one day, I open the door, and the seat was all the way forward, as she usually put it. She’s short, AND a “close driver”. It’s a power seat, so I push the lever to move it back. Nothing happens. Great! I had an exam at school, and nothing else was available, so I drove it with the seat like that. That was a long drive to school and back. The next morning, I told her that I was taking it to the dealer to get fixed. I was hoping she would volunteer to take it in for me, but she didn’t. A couple of hours later, I came home, and just to mess with her, I disconnected the harness with the seat all the way back, where I normally put it. She had someplace to go to after dinner, and she was enraged (She was enraged a lot back then)when she came home. Her boyfriend reconnected the harness after she had driven across town with her feet barely touching the pedals. When she came home, she punched me several times in the back, the last one hit my shoulder blade, hurting her hand, so I consider it a “win”, even though it hurt quite a bit. For as small as she was, 98 pounds, she punched amazingly hard.

    • 0 avatar
      mankyman

      I’ll second that. My friend’s Colony Park would diesel as well as backfire. You never knew when the damm thing was going to stop. The seats in the back were truely terrifying, totally unsafe and suitable only for young children.

  • avatar
    CobraJet

    Funny how Ford began to use some GM parts back in the mid to late 70′s. This one has the GM “Frigidaire” 6 cyl rotary air conditioning compressor. Quite a bit smoother operating than the old 2 cyl York.
    The ’76 from yesterday had a GM power steering pump.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      General Motors, as the name would imply, was much much more than just a maker of passenger cars and trucks at the time.

      Whereas at one time Ford purchased hydramatics from GM, today GM and Ford worked together on a 6-speed automatic.

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        “General Motors, as the name would imply, was much much more than just a maker of passenger cars and trucks at the time.”

        Walked into a rural customer’s basement once to find a huge, dark green furnace with “Frigidaire by GM” on a side panel. Google images shows pretty modern looking ones, too.

    • 0 avatar
      LTDScott

      It’s sort of a GM compressor – that’s an A6 made by Frigidaire, Harrison, Delco, or Delphi, depending on year. At points in its history, it would have been made by GM, but later ones had no GM involvement. A company in Ohio still makes them for ag/equipment use.

      They’re heavy suckers, weighing in at like 30 lbs. There are new aftermarket aluminum replacements.

      • 0 avatar

        Those A6 compressors are heavy, and rob a ton of power. On my ’77 Chevelle you really notice when it’s on, mileage drops from 15mpg to 12 with the A/C on.

        The compressor has enough capacity to cool a small house, and will quickly get the interior of my car down from say 130 degrees in the summer to about 80 in 3 minutes. Give it 10 and a steady speed and it’ll start getting the car down into the mid 50s all the while blowing 36 degree air out the vents.

        I have on a long trip once in the summer, gotten the interior of the car, not the outlet temp, but in the back seat area, down to 45 degrees just for giggles. Not only did I have fog on the outside of the glass on all the windows, but you open the door and wisps of condensation could be seen coming out of the car, getting out of the car into 105 degree heat was a bit of a change..

        • 0 avatar
          west-coaster

          I’ve often maintained that if you really wanted to stay cool in a hot climate like the Southwest starting in about the late 1960s, the ultimate a/c car was either an El Camimo or a Ranchero.

          Think about it. The same system that was able to cool a sedan or station wagaon could make the much smaller cabin of a trucklet a veritable meat locker in no time.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      GM divisions supplied all the manufacturers back in the day. Besides that Saginaw PS pump Ford used Saginaw steering boxes, the one from yesterday was also equipped with a Quadrajet when it left the factory. Chrysler, AMC and International all used Saginaw steering columns. Everyone except Ford used at least some Packard Electric and later Delphi wiring connectors, terminals or switches. Rochester Products emission control devices made it into many US made cars and quite a few around the world. Harrison/Fridgidaire AC stuff was also used by Europeans. Delco-Remey starters and alternators also got around even Ford used DR starters on the 400 for a few years when they couldn’t keep up with production of their own. The MT series of starters was and still is also heavily used by large trucks and equipment, though now they are just Remey and are no longer owned by GM. Besides making about half of the cars in the US at one point they made it possible for most of the cars to be on the road.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    Nice enough to save, and would make a great tow vehicle for my 1977 16ft Camper :(

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    As a teenager, I remember the land yachts of the 70s quite well. The big wagons were kid haulers and grocery getters. Not many of these survived in the Northeast US because they started rusting on the train from Detroit. After five years of feeding, and the tin worm had begun to lighten the bulk of the massive body.
    Lee Iaococa laid waste to the all wagons and particularly the big wagons in 1984 when Chrysler introduced the minivan.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    What’s sad is these cars just aren’t on the road anymore because of gas prices. You’re going to see a whole era of cool 70′s iron disappear in a few short years. Almost no one is willing to put money into restoring much from 73-79, or even drive it daily.

    When gas was under $1 a gallon, you still saw a beautiful variety of cars on the road, but with a future of $4+ gasoline, everything is going to be jellybean blobs with 4 bangers, even old beaters.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    I grew up when big wagons were the American norm ~ in fact , up into the 1970′s Film Crews often used 9 passenger American Wagons to get around .

    I well remember when Ford introduced the ” Sway-A-Way ” two way tailgate , it set the Wagon World on it’s ear . 1965 (I think) .

    I think my favorite old Wagon was my ’62 Ford Ranch Wagon , that was the base model , V-8 and that was it ~ no power anything , just the crappy two speed ” Ford-O-Matic ” slushbox .

    It ran well though .

    I’m not Ford fanboi but these were good cars back when I was servicing them .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      It was called the “Magic Door Gate”.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      I remember that feature on our wagon. It did make getting in and out of the wayback less undignified for adults (kids didn’t care) and it was an improvement when opening the back in the rain.

      Even as a teen, I remember looking at the tailgate when my Dad bought it and thinking it had to be trouble-prone. But I was wrong; when that lump was sent to the scrap heap, that was one of the things that still worked.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    As a case of when life gives you lemons, make lemonade – I remember the Ford advertising on these when GM downsized their full-size cars in 1977. They aggressively touted the “road-hugging weight” of their cars that were still “full-sized”. They also ran a series of ads with owner interviews that claimed they were getting over 20 mpg from their full-size Fords in daily driving, hence there was absolutely no need to down-size to the small GM rivals.

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      20 mpg in a beast like this with a 400ci V8 and a three speed? Ford is lucky the FTC never went after them with that claim.

      Modern full size vehicles have trouble hitting that number, even with modern aerodynamics, fuel injection, overdrive transmissions, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        86er

        20+ mpg (imperial, mind you) was realistic for these 70s full-sizers.

        But that’s only my recollection with the sedans; the wagons were heavier.

        • 0 avatar
          bill mcgee

          The seventies was an era of a lot of ridiculous mileage claims in advertising but IIRC Ford was perhaps the worst offender. One long running ad campaign during the early seventies gas crisis involved some mileage test where LTDs were driven from Vegas to Los Angeles and how they averaged 18 m.p.g. which resulted in complaints about Ford’s duplicity because it was downhill elevation all the way to sea level in L.A. Another cheesy Ford ad campaign of the time was their response to G.M.’s newly downsized ’77 full size models , where Ford trumpeted its new “trim size ” LTD ll ” , which was just the prior year’s barely facelifted Torino , as a competitor for G.M’s full sized models .

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      Henry Ford II was notoriously suspicious of the virtues of smaller cars – he tolerated them in Europe and other markets where small had just always been the rule, but was very skeptical of bringing the concept to the US.

      Ford didn’t start work on their downsizing program until a few years after GM’s development got underway, so they were 2 years later to market and half-assed it as well (the Panthers had terrible space efficiency and ride quality compared to GM’s B-Bodies, which were very well thought out), and it took a lot of prodding and arm-twisting on the part of other Ford executives to get him around to that.

      For a while, I think Ford really did think that their business model was smarter, that GM’s downsized fullsize models would flop, and Ford would come out the smarter of the two and suck up all the big car business for themselves. Lincoln’s ads of the time were especially smug, advertising themselves as the only luxury brand that didn’t compromise on luxury in the name of economy.

      Lincoln, at least, got the last laugh eventually. By 1980, they had matched Cadillac’s first-round downsizing, but unlike Cadillac, they sensibly stopped there and cleaned up when GM wound up going one step too far in the mid 1980s.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I agree with this analysis save the Continental, in both Fox body and Taurus variety it was much smaller and was most likely intended to compete with Cadillac… the Fox against the Gen 1 Seville (although much too late for the reasons you gave), and the Taurus against the FWD Cadillacs and to a lesser extent the Japanese.

        I would also add that with the exception of the 351 which I believe was still an option in MY80, Lincoln continued to use the reliable Windsor 5.0 in every model until 1987, and then only FWD Conti changed drivetrains. This must have been especially helpful since Cadillac was a complete mess until 1988/9, and by then had probably shed half its marketshare.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    My Dad had a nearly decade older 1969 Ford Custom wagon. 302 that consistently got 20 MPGs on the highway. Evidence of its hauling prowess was the very tall/long 6 cyl 90 horse Mercury outboard outboard reclining in the back in its shipping box.

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      The 60′s cars got better mileage than the 70s versions because they ran higher compression and spark advance. By the 70s compression was reduced, engines were strangled with cats, primitive EGR, air pumps, etc. The cars also got heavier as more safety gear was required. I don’t think my 77 T-Bird with the 302 could crack 20mpg on the highway.

  • avatar
    mpresley

    I liked the days when a knob on the dash was actually connected to something behind the dash.

  • avatar
    AFX

    How in the heck did a wagon this big make it to the junkyard ?. Don’t they have demolition derbies in denver ?!.

    The only way to improve the gas mileage of a beast like this is with modern technology, preferably a Sawzall and a dumpster.

    Another thing I wanted to point out is that it was probably cars like these that caused the oil crisis in the 70′s. Just think of how many barrels of petrochemicals it took to create all that fake wood plastic trim, not to mention the acres of vinyl on the inside.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I think that’s a good point to make since it illustrates the mentality of designers (and the country at large) at the time. However I would argue both oil crises were brought on by geopolitical events years in the making, they both just happened to strike when US society was overly dependent on OPEC exports.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    The side facing rear seats on these as well as on other full sized Fords and Mercs wagons were quite unique, functional and great for kids. Also the power mini-vent option made the Country Squire or Grand Marquis the Lincoln Continental/Town Car of wagons.

  • avatar
    paulkirkland

    I used to own one of those, been half kinda looking for about 10 years ago, got more serious 2 years ago. I would seriously consider buying this car and restoring it to it’s former ‘glory’ (my first car, in 1988, license plate was BATLWAGN. We got hit by a bus, barely a scratch on the bumper (or us, I think it did $10,000 damage to the bus…. Looks like someone dropped something kinda heavy on the front left, we can fix that. I have sent a request to the author, but I don’t know if they’ll actually get the message. If anyone knows where this car is, or who I can call to talk to about it, that would be awesome, without question. Thanks in advance. pk, paulkirkland@triad.rr.com / text 336-689-8919.

  • avatar
    mypoint02

    Look at how big that damn AC compressor is. Now look at how small the front rotors are for this 4700 pound behemoth. Different priorities back then!

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    WOW, old cars were space-inefficient. Loads of room for the engine and groceries, lousy room for the passengers, despite the car overall being enormous, and small cabin windows making things seem even more cramped. I thought this kind of idiotic packaging was through…then I drove the current Taurus.

  • avatar
    Allan850glt

    The LTD Wagoooon. These things were everywhere when I was a little kid. My parents considered themselves far too cool to buy something like this but there were a few of ‘em in our family. In the early ’80s my aunt intentionally ruined her ’76 Aspen Wagon that she disliked, well because it was a wagon. Pretty much to punish her, my uncle brought home a ’78 LTD Wagon. Not a Squire, a regular LTD wagon in YELLOW with little rust spots popping through all over the body. It really looked like a freakin’ banana! Brown interior in burn your butt pleather. Guzzler 460 and full power but I remember it had electrical gremlins with the four power door windows. No rear facing seats, just the big cargo bay that me and my cousin used to sit and play in while we went on trips to Canada or The Southern Tier. He made her drive that huge thing through Buffalo like five years while he had Montes and Blazers. LOL. It was one ugly POS but she couldn’t kill it!


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India