Gold Standard Family Hauler: 1988 Ford LTD Country Squire Station Wagon

  • November 06, 2020
Why We Like It

Please, no Family Truckster jokes – this ’88 Country Squire pretty well knocks it out of the park on many levels. Let’s face it, wagons have never been known for leading easy lives. They wear many hats, first and foremost to take care of the family. Go get the groceries, shuttle the kids to and from school, one sport or the other, haul the entire tribe across country if necessary, make airport runs, sometimes they’re called upon to tow something, and we all know people eat in them - greasy fast food that gets into every pore of the upholstery - and remember, there are no cupholders. All that space for all those people, and not one cupholder. So, when we come across one that seems to have led a relatively charmed life, we perk up. These are getting harder and harder to find, and yet, they can be a bargain for what you’re getting.

gold-standard-family-hauler-1988-ford-ltd-country-squire-station-wagon00t0t eViATWLInq2 0CI0pK 1200x900

This example of Ford’s Country Squire, a nameplate that was first launched in 1950, seems to check all the boxes, and according to the seller, it’s wearing its original black paint and appears to be in excellent overall condition. The body panels line up perfectly, the panel gaps are evenly spaced throughout, the simulated wood appears fabulous, the brightwork gleams easily, and even the turbine wheels look like they’re in terrific shape. Although we question the use of white lettering tires – whitewalls would be much more fitting the highest-level wagon Ford produced back in the day. After all, Country Squires sought to blend luxury and utility – many, especially during the 1960s, had a fair amount of muscle under their extensive hoods, but that was never the point of a Country Squire. Style and comfort with a dash of panache was largely the formula. White lettering tires really don’t fit in.

The interior is actually stunning, and it looks like it’s ready to be photographed for the sales brochure. The original velour cloth upholstery looks soft and rich in the deep burgundy color and appears to be without fuss or scuffle. No rips, no tears, no wrinkles even, which is remarkable for a wagon of age such as this one, and the carpet is likewise. The cargo area is immaculate, complete with the removable carpeting, but we’re wonder if the opposing seats are under the floor, or if it’s just a storage well. The overall condition is as if it was bought by someone who needed the wagon to haul boxes, not people. The original AM/FM/Cassette stereo is still nestled into its slot above the climate control module, all surrounded by fake wood that runs all around the dashboard and appears as slabs on the door panels. The speedometer stretches horizontally and is calibrated to 85 miles per hour, like so many of them were back then, but the odometer is most interesting, reading a mere 68,000 miles and e03guC8gwm5 0CI0pK 1200x900

gold-standard-family-hauler-1988-ford-ltd-country-squire-station-wagon00707 hb9XQKH9EZN 0CI0pK 1200x900Well equipped with the cool two-way tailgate allowing for a swing open or drop down like a pickup, and the window that rolls down into the door. It used to be you could twist the key one way and lock it, twist it the other way and unlock it – hold it longer in either position, and the window would roll down or up automatically, and we wonder if that’s the case here. Anyway, it’s also got the dual sideview mirrors, trip computer, power antenna, power windows, power locks, power seats, and much more. Some Fords also had a neat feature where you could pull up on the locked driver or front passenger door handle and the interior lights and keyhole would illuminate, making it easy to find. Pretty cool feature in a dark area. Remember, unless it had an aftermarket alarm system, remote locking devices weren’t quite available. According to the seller, the wagon starts easily and runs smoothly, brakes correctly, and all windows and locks work, the AC works, and it can be driven anywhere. Powered by the venerable 5.0L V8 with a rebuilt automatic transmission, Fords were well known for producing some incredibly quiet vehicles, making long journeys a thing of comfort. Maybe the man was right – if you’re thinking of taking the tribe cross country, this is the automobile for you. Maybe it’s even at Lou Glutz Motors. No matter how you look at it, finding another Country Squire Wagon in this condition could take quite a while, and for that reason alone, we think it’s well worth the price of admission.

gold-standard-family-hauler-1988-ford-ltd-country-squire-station-wagon00p0p TdsFxtKxNJ 0CI0pK 1200x900

People reacted to this car