The Ford Country Squire is a series of full-size station wagons that were assembled by American automaker Ford. Positioned as the top-level station wagon of the Ford division, the Country Squire was distinguished by woodgrain bodyside trim. From 1950 through the 1991 model years, eight generations of the Country Squire were produced. Following the discontinuation of Edsel Bermuda, Mercury marketed the Mercury Colony Park as a divisional counterpart of the Country Squire, sharing bodywork and trim while the Mercury was not available with a six cylinder engine and was more expensive due to the optional equipment on the Ford that was standard on the Mercury.
As part of the full-size Ford model range, the Country Squire was the top trim package station wagon counterpart of several model lines. For its first two generations, the Country Squire was based upon the Ford Custom Deluxe and the Ford Crestlinethat replaced it, along with the more modestly equipped Ford Country Sedan which was identical in dimensions except for the woodgrain appearance and minimal standard equipment. For its next three generations, the Country Squire was a distinct model range; initially sharing its trim with the Ford Fairlane, the Country Squire later adopted trim of the Ford Galaxie. For its final two generations, the Country Squire became a counterpart of Ford LTD and the Ford LTD Crown Victoria after its downsizing for the last generation, while sharing multiple passenger accommodation duties with the Ford Aerostar.
The Country Squire was discontinued as part of the development of the 1992 Ford Crown Victoria and passenger carrying duties were given to the Ford Windstar. The decline in full-size station wagon sales meant the Crown Victoria was exclusively a four-door sedan. The 41-year production run of the Country Squire is the third-longest of a Ford car nameplate in North America, surpassed only by the Ford Thunderbird and Ford Mustang which is to date still in production.
The term squire is a British term that refers to a village leader or a lord of the manor, which is also called a "squire", and the term was applied to members of the landed gentry. Designed by Eugene Gregorie and Ross Cousins, the Ford station wagon marked the first transition away from the full "woodie". In place of a complete wooden body aft of the firewall, the 1949 Ford station wagon was designed with a steel roof, rear fenders, and tailgate frame. Wood construction remained for the side bodywork and upper and lower tailgate (using mahogany plywood trimmed by maple or birch). Sharing its body with Mercury, the Ford station wagon was offered in Custom trim. To reduce noise and improve sealing, the station wagon was offered with two doors instead of four; however, three seats were used, allowing eight-passenger seating. For the 1950 model year, Ford renamed its model lines; initially, the station wagon was a Custom Deluxe with the all new "Country Squire" name introduced in early 1950. Several revisions were made for 1950 to improve functionality and capability. The second and third-row seats were redesigned, allowing their removal without tools. In another change, the Country Squire also received heavier-duty rear-suspension, wider tires, and a larger fuel tank over Ford sedans. Following its introduction, the Country Squire underwent several revisions distinct from Ford sedans. For 1950, the spare-tire cover was deleted; in April 1950, the lower tailgate was redesigned, changing from all-wood construction to steel construction (with wood trim). For 1951, the Country Squire retained the dashboard of the 1950 Ford (with the 1951 steering column). Following a redesign of the Ford model line for the 1952 model year, the second generation of the Country Squire was introduced, marking several major changes to the model line. While sharing much of its body (though not its wheelbase) with the newly introduced Mercury Monterey, only the Country Squire featured wood paneling as standard. In a wider revision for 1952, Ford introduced station wagon counterparts for each of its sedan lines; the Country Squire was the equivalent of the Crestlinesedan. Slotted below the Country Squire were the four-door Country Sedan (Customline) and the two-door Ranch Wagon(Mainline). For the 1955 model year, the third generation of the Country Squire was introduced. Functionally an update of the second generation, the body underwent several styling revisions, along with multiple functional upgrades. The Crestline was discontinued, with the Country Squire becoming the counterpart of the all-new top level Fairlane sedan line. The listed retail price was $2,392 ($24,196 in 2021 dollars and production increased to 19,011 ]For 1955, Ford consolidated its three station wagons into a distinct model line separate from its sedans. In a change that would last through 1968, the Country Squire was the flagship Ford station wagon, with the four-door (non-wood) Country Sedan and the two-door Ranch Wagon. In 1956, the two-door Parklane was introduced; intended to compete with the Chevrolet Nomad, the Parklane combined the body of the Ranch Wagon with the trim of the Fairlane (similar to the Country Squire interior).
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