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Redusernab Wagon Wednesday – A 1978 Ford Country Squire with 45,000 Original Miles

Jim Brennan October 5, 2011 For Sale, Wagon Wednesday 56 Comments

It Wednesday, so it must be Wagon Wednesday here at the newly expanded Redusernab. Malaise era wagons always has a way of brightening up my day, and I hope it does the same for you. Yes, its a Country Squire… Yes, its deep within the Malaise Era… Yes, I am lost in the 70s…


The Ford Country Squire is one of the most iconic nameplates within the Ford family of cars. There wasn’t another wagon that came close as far as name recognition, and that was probably because Ford sold more wagons than anyone else during this period. Think of the Country Squire as the Explorer of the 90s, or the F-150 of today as far as the sales leader. This 1978 version was the last of the really big wagons before Ford introduced their new downsized “Panther” based LTD sedans and Wagons for the 1979 model year.

Just look inside, and you can experience 1978 all over again. Look kids, those funny looking devises on the door? Those are used to raise and lower your windows… Funny thing though, it looks like this car is equipped with power door locks. No, that’s not leather upholstery, but vinyl as the Station Wagon Gods intended, so you can stick to them in the summer, and freeze your ass off in the winter.

This car does have A/C, so its really not roughing it in the summer, and you can carry 7 other passengers, with Ford’s funky rear seats that face each other. On the exterior there is acres of vinyl woodgrain, a nice cream yellow paint scheme, and surprisingly, roof rack free. It had a low power 400 CID V-8, the last time this engine was offered in any Ford Wagon.

High bid for this wagon is $2,640 as of this writing, with an unmet reserve. I feel that this particular wagon should sell for $8.000 or above, but what do you think? .

  • Awesome! I think it will go for that much, because of the low mileage, and not much else. That paint is pretty gross looking, but in good shape. The vinyl looks to be in great condition, too. It is like the Malaise never left.

  • scoutdude

    Looks nice and should certainly sell for more than $8 though I'm assuming you meant $8,000, which despite it's great condition and low miles is likely more than most will pay.

  • James

    I don't get it.

    I'd buy it if I knew the old lady original owner and she was selling it for $500. Beyond that, I just don't get the appeal.

    It's rare? So is a five legged horse, but I wouldn't ride it.

    It speaks of the wonderful place USA circa 1978 was? So does orange shag carpeting, but I wouldn't put it in my living room.

    It's huge? So is Siberia, but I wouldn't move there.

    There should be a museum of awful things, and this thing should be in the lobby on a turntable to serve as a lesson to future generations. Never again. Never forget.

    • I think you meant to post on Autoblog?

      • dukeisduke

        Autoblog *Green*.

    • Alff

      I haven't seen Jo around for a while, so I'll just leave this here…
      <img src="; width=500>

      BTW, James, I think your assessment is hilarious even if I don't share your sentiments. '+1

    • Lotte

      I dunno, guys, I kinda like a dissenting voice. If I even mention to any of my friends outside of here that I like that wagon (and I do, mind you. I love it 'cause it's BIG! and the swap possibilities! And the woodgrain! Bench seats! Rear-facing…I'll stop…) they'd probably look at me as if I'm crazy. You want what?

      But the reasoning has to be clean-cut and of Tonyola-notch quality. I mean, Tonyola judges the hell out of stuff ALL the time!… 😉

      • Precisely. I suspect I'd even enjoy reading Tonyola's opinions on five-legged horses, orange shag carpet, and Siberia.

        I do, however, now want to visit a museum of awful things.

        • Smells_Homeless

          There you go. 🙂

        • Lotte

          You have a museum of awful things!

        • topdeadcentre

          Awful, terrible things:

          (I would have linked to Lileks, but Smells_Homeless beat me to the punch. Do NOT miss the Gobbler Motel pages: )

    • Macko

      My god man! This is the funniest thing I've read in a week! Even my wife, who would rather ride a five legged horse than ride in any kind of car (damn hippies!) thought this was hilarious! WHat else can we put in the museum of awful things? 8 tracks of tony orlando and dawn? a retrospective of the sitcom Carter Country? You are my new hero.

  • There's one of these in the Haynes (The workshop manual people) Motor Museum, Sparkford, Somerset, England. It really is a behemoth and completely dominates its display room. On the very rare occasion I see one of these, aside from awe and a sneaky longing to live in a world where these filled the roads, I do find myself wondering why cars ever had to be quite so enormous.

    Still, should be plenty of space under that bonnet for a Cummins ISB.

    • Alff

      Growing up, my next door neighbors had three of these. They were a family of 6, each over 6 feet tall from the time the kids were in their teens. These behemouths suited them rather well.

      • Hmm. I bet the Chicago Bulls had a fleet!

  • tonyola

    Sorry, but this is much too boxy, porky, and malaisey for my taste. If I want a big Ford wagon, it'll either be a pre-'69 model or a Panther.

    • Alff

      That's precisely why I like it. Who would believe that something that bloated, gilded, inefficient and covered in faux wood and leather once set the standard for american familial transportation? Drivng that would say to other motorists, "I haven't forgotten my roots, or yours, and I ain't ashamed of them."

      • tonyola

        I'm glad someone is bothering to preserve these beasts as a reminder of a profligate lifestyle that is now gone. But to actually own and drive one of these pigmobiles? Ummm, no thanks. I remember Dad's gold and loaded '77 Grand Marquis Brougham and what a wallowing sow that was to drive.

        • RichardKopf

          No offense to your LeSabre mind you, but it could not be THAT far removed from the Sea of Wallow. I have driven my aunts low-mileage `97 Limited and I get sea sick, Tony.

          • tonyola

            You must have a sensitive stomach because there is a big difference in steering and handling between an H-body GM and a '70s malaise Marquis. The Buick is not the least bit sporty but it has rack and pinion steering that is reasonably precise if overboosted, IRS, and handling that doesn't wash out in terminal lean and oversteer even at slow speeds. You can toss a LeSabre around – it won't like it but it will stick.

            • Devin

              You don't want handling when you've got a back filled with unsecured children.

              • Van Sarockin

                Speak for yourself.

  • Devin

    When I was a kid, I knew a kid whose parents had one of these. It was massive, and the kids would all bounce around in the vast open back even though it was probably unsafe. So hooray for the more negligent parents of my childhood and their awesome big wagon. Theirs was somehow even more brown, however.

  • pj134

    I see it and all I hear is a Rolling Stones song. It would look rather menacing in the evil douchebag sort of way in a black with ebony trim around birch wood paneling.

    Also, powerstroke scorpion.

    • PowerTryp

      I like the way you think sir.

  • RichardKopf

    WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT

    Oh my god I want this.

    • pj134

      How do you really feel?

      • RichardKopf

        I could go either way.

        • pj134

          I thought so.

  • PowerTryp

    Now THIS is a 5 door. Not a hatchback with no rear or side facing seats but an actual honest to god 5 door that opens sideways and has seats with belts it looks like.

    It has all that is to be desired from a malaise era yank tank wagon.

    • Nearly all, but it is missing a roof rack, as mentioned. Also a trailer hitch.

  • tiberiusẅisë

    My father always wanted one of these back in the day. The closest he got was the Gran Torino version. Ours was dark brown. I liked it because it looked like the car from Starsky & Hutch.

    <img src="; width="500">

    Image courtesy of <a href="” target=”_blank”>

  • dukeisduke

    It's a little bit rusty. I see those two caplugs under the tailgate opening, and it makes me wonder if it's been Ziebarted. I wish there were more pictures of the door jambs, pillars, etc., so I could see if there were more caplugs.

    • Smells_Homeless

      We had a 79 Bonneville Safari (yes it was brown with brown vinyl and woodgrain) that was Ziebarted straight off the showroom floor. By 88, when I started driving it, the floorboards were completely gone and the spare tire had rusted through the spare tire well. Seriously, 9 years old and decayed to the point of being unsafe. Awful business, that malaise steel. Just awful.

      • Hey, as long as it's got a frame under it, missing floorboards hardly constitute an unsafe condition. The spare can always be bolted to the hood, too. Problem solved.

        Never pay for rustproofing.

        • Smells_Homeless

          That's pretty much what I was getting at. Rustproofing does two things, neither of which is prevent rust. One is to poke a gozillion holes in your new sheetmetal and the other is to trap water close to the metal under any damaged rustproofing.

          Oh, and teenaged me behind the wheel of a car with a quadrajet was pretty much a rolling unsafe condition. Usually with about 8 friends along for the ride. At least the trans crossmember was conveniently placed under the gaping holes so I had a place to put my feet.

          /Really, really wish I'd thought to Range Rover the spare. What an awesome idea.

        • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

          But it comes from the factory that way, dontchaknow…

          My dear Uncle Ed used to buy sub-$100 cars in NYC. No floorboards were common…that's what 1/4" plywood was for!

  • TurboBrick

    I think the closest relative to this vehicle today would be a Ford Expedition. I wonder how those two would stack up against eachother in a comparison test.

    • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

      This Malaise-mobile has more interior space, is probably as reliable, likely gets close to the same MPG, yet is much more comfortable. Sure, this wagon has less back of any sort, but that was the style…and rightly so!

      Wagons win pretty much any "SUV" versus wagon match-up.

      This one is like driving an efficiency apartment.

  • I hatched a secret plan to get this delivered to me as a surprise Christmas gift.

    Alas, my wife found out.

    Her exact words were, and I quote "I'm sure you can fit a bed in the back of it, and if you buy this, you'll need to. You can sleep in it …. in someone else's driveway."

    • You know, this wagon's not too far from me if you want to store it here until Christmas. Give it to your wife to make up for her missing MGB engine.

      • You WERE part of the secret plan.

        • Um, you were going to tell ME about the secret plan, then, right?

          Aw, never mind. Even if it were to show up unannounced I'd still find space for it. Hint, hint.

      • RichardKopf

        You could always store your cars in it!

        • No, no, no. I'm pretty sure I should maintain some self-imposed limits. You know, so the accumulation doesn't get out of hand.

          Well, no further out of hand.

          Not too much more out of hand.

          Sigh. Just park it around the side. I've never used that concrete slab off the back step for anything, anyway. Go ahead and leave the tailgate open and the seats down; I'll take care of the rest.

          • pj134

            We're going to start a fund to buy you an H Van. That way you'll be able to stack the KVs, put the HMV in the passenger seat and the metro in the back, saving you some parking spots.

    • topdeadcentre

      The secret is to marry a wife who shares one's taste in cars…

      • Trust me, this solution only creates the exact same problem with even less available parking.

        • pj134

          … and money. Less available parking and less available money.

  • I've got a whole list of cars that I need to own before I die, and a huge wagon like this is right up there near the top. I'd prefer a gargantuan Pontiac like we had when I was a kid, but this nice Ford would fit the bill, too. I can just see myself swearing and bitching, trying to figure out why the vacuum headlight hatches won't open. Loads of fun. Sign me up.

  • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

    Oh, yeah, Early-malaise holdover, FTW!

    Hidden headlights which appear to still hold vacuum, monster bumpers, faux wood grain paneling… $8K is reasonable for one in this condition.

    This is the near-ultimate road trip machine, albeit, only if gasoline continues to drop in price.

  • Charles_Barrett

    My first car when I got my license was the family 1970 Ford Custom 500 wagon, this car's older, poorer cousin (no woodgrain or power anything, except the window glass in the 3-way tailgate).

    When I went off to Caltech in the fall of 1981, it went with me, and I was soon the unofficial Ice-Cream-and-Pizza-Parlor chauffeur AND LAX shuttle bus. I had Mom & Dad's Chevron card, so I didn't care that it got poor mileage (it staid parked in the student lot all week anyway, only going out for special occasions, since I lived on-campus.

    Big, heavy, and underpowered, my folks felt I was safe and unlikely to get into trouble with it, and they were right. Perfect car for a college kid away from home.

    • That sounds eerily like my own undergraduate driving experience, but with a 1959 Ford Custom 300 four-door sedan at Oregon in 1986. Similar principle, though.

      I, however, didn't get my folks' Chevron card. I blame you for this, of course.

    • Charles_Barrett

      Egads, I just noticed I wrote 'it staid parked…' when of course we all know it should be 'it stayed parked…'
      I. Blame… er… Me.

      • I assumed you merely had neglected the commas: "it, staid, parked…."

        It seemed an apt apposition.

      • Van Sarockin

        I just figured that Charles, previously staid, had really loosened up. At that point, the whale shortage had really impacted the availability of corset stays.

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