What seats nine and has wood paneling these days?

Nothin’. Well, maybe a modern school bus could fit that many, maybe a cargo van can, but a modern station wagon… pish posh old boy. We think not.

Ford sent an e-mail today asking about what our first remembrances were about any Ford product.

Back in the day, at least in the last century, the fam had a Ford. Sure, it was a land yacht, but it had its purpose, and gas was cheap. You could run that old wagon with an enormous V-8 easily and quietly, comfortably cruising on America’s vast network of (then) well kept highways.

The idea of a 2 ton station wagon these days conjures an image of a big 5 series BMW or 300+ Benz, but in the late 60’s things of  such girth were American wagons. Wagons of fantastic size and remarkable abilities.

The Ford Country Squire and its ilk: The gargantuan lead sleds of old.

They were what there was for a family of 6 or more. They were what filled the lanes and parking lots of malls before the mini-van, with its anemic front wheel drive powered by four cylinders showed up.

In the late 60’s there were some predecessors to the SUV, but why would one bother buying that kind of rig when a wagon had all the clearance you needed for snow and light off-roading. Apparently we as Americans were once able to drive with just rear-wheel drive. What happened to that skill set?

Need to tow something? Those bloated, ladder-on-frame bastards could drag a Church uphill.

Some even came with manual transmissions for mom’s who had the wherewithal to bring home the bacon AND fry it up in the pan.

So what changed? Where did it all go so sideways?

Well, we changed a lot. We changed  the way we drive, the way we protect our environment, children, selves and ultimately, beyond our control the price of fuel changed.

As kids, we at MANVIL can recall being able to stand up and almost play tennis in the very back of our family’s big Country Squire. You could open a board game entirely in the vast expanse of the aft end, or you could pull out (with some effort) the hidden ‘rear tail-gunners” seat. The seat alone probably weighed 100 lbs.

So what does this all mean to the regular goings-on at MANVIL? Nothing. At times it’s just nice to wax nostalgic about the past. We have fond memories, and sometimes that’s what it takes to keep the ball rolling.

And in fairness, I’m not sure I’d want to drive a manual transmission in a rig that size. Clutches are expensive.


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