Junkyard Find: 1976 Ford LTD Country Squire

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1976 ford ltd country squire

The perceived usefulness of full-sized station wagons of the Malaise Era dropped down to about zero when minivans and SUVs became mainstream family-hauler options in the late 1980s. You see a few wagon freaks restoring these things nowadays, but for every Country Squire that gets restored (or even preserved), a hundred others get sent to the knackers. Here’s a well-worn ’76 that I spotted in Denver a couple weeks back.

We saw a ’75 Country Squire in this series last fall, but big Detroit wagons have become very rare sights in junkyards during the last half-decade or so.

Growing up a Malaise Era kid, just about every family had a Country Squire or its GM or Chrysler counterpart; these cars were the Voyager and Explorer of their time. My family had a Chevy Beauville van instead (bought new for a Minnesota-to-California move), but the idea was the same: rear-wheel-drive, body-on-frame construction, big V8, kid-barf-proof cloth or vinyl interior.

This is the 460-cubic-inch big-block, good for 202 horsepower and 352 foot-pounds of torque… and about 9 MPG on the highway. Yes, the horsepower number is depressingly low, but torque was what mattered with these cars.

The faux-wood trim succumbed to the Colorado sun decades ago.

After 37 years, this car has been used up.

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  • Andy D Andy D on May 31, 2013

    My wife bought a '75 version of this LTD wagon. 460, C6, Puke (avacado) green with faux wood trim. When it died , it was replaced with a series of 5 Grand Wagoneers. Faux wood til the end.

  • Guy922 Guy922 on Feb 04, 2014

    Growing up in Northeast Denver(Montbello) in the 80's and 90's, I still saw a good amount of these cars on the blocks of the neighborhood. When I was really small, my parents had a 1976 Grand Marquis Sedan. I loved that car. Cant remember if it was some type of brougham sedan or not. I love your features M.M. Keep em coming.

  • Lorenzo This series is epic, but I now fear you'll never get to the gigantic Falcon/Dart/Nova comparison.
  • Chris P Bacon Ford and GM have decided that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Odds are Chrysler/Cerberus/FCA/Stellantis is next to join in. If any of the companies like Electrify America had been even close to Tesla in reliability, we wouldn't be here.
  • Inside Looking Out China will decide which EV charging protocol will become world wide standard.
  • Chris P Bacon I see no reference to Sweden or South Carolina. I hate to assume, but is this thing built in China? I can't help but wonder if EVs would be more affordable to the masses if they weren't all stuffed full of horsepower most drivers will never use. How much could the price be reduced if it had, say, 200hp. Combined with the instant torque of an EV, that really is plenty of power for the daily commuter, which is what this vehicle really is.
  • Ajla It's weird how Polestar apparently has better BEVs than Volvo. And this is the same price as a Pilot and Plus optioned Polestar 2 AWD.