Yes, there were Catalina Safaris, Vista Cruisers and Sport Suburbans, but when anyone thinks of the classic American station wagon, thoughts drift to the Ford Country Squire. Less-remembered, however, is its not-as-deluxe brother, which didn't feature the stylish faux-wood so popular in the day. While the Squire is desirable as a reminder of '60s/'70s kitsch, the Sedan was actually a pretty great-looking car. Pictured here is a '68 example, and while the '62 Catalina Safari remains, in our mind, the ne plus ultra of vintage wagons, the Country Sedan was a well-balanced machine.
With solid, clean lines and muscle-invoking 390 badges, the rad multi-opening rear door/tailgate, the unobtrusive-though-purposeful red striping in the grille, and those cool-looking, yet subtle, vents in the rear pillar, the '68 Country Sedan was simply one of the finest-looking station wagons ever built. Our parents traded theirs for an '80 Mercury Colony Park, the Country Squire's upmarket fraternal twin, and in retrospect, they would've been better off dumping the four grand they spent on the Merc into the trusty old Ford. We still miss that car, with its prismatic "Fisherman's Wharf" and "Scotland" stickers in the driver's side rear window, applied alongside our father over the protestations of our mother. They evoked the dream of wide-open station-wagon travels, even if the car was only ever driven around Sacramento. If we had it today, it'd have a lot more of those stickers on it.