The 1966 Ford country Squire is one of the more popular classic car models, with many people having fond memories of this wagon. It is one that is often featured in movies, stories, calendars, and more. This is a classic station wagon that was perfect for moving the family around, with seating for more than just five and plenty of cargo space due to its long design. This was the quintessential family vehicle of its era, one that everyone has heard a story about.
Fitting Within the Trims
The Country Squire was the highest trim level within Ford station wagons. Ford introduced the “Magic Door” gate which let the tailgate lower flat like a traditional tailgate or swing outward to make it easier to get inside in 1966, an important year for the automaker. The engineers behind the gate used a combination of multiple hinges on the door’s left and a traditional stationary one on the right.
The Country Squire’s interior was not that luxurious, despite being the top trim level, but it was very spacious. For this particular vehicle, the lack of luxury is more a time period feature than indicative of the design. It typically had a full bench seat in front, giving room for three passengers. The third row had two-facing seats that folded down to give you 103 cubic feet of storage. You may spot a 1966 Country Squire with air conditioning, an 8-track player, an AM-FM radio, and/or a tilt-away steering wheel. You might also find the power window tailgate or power windows, features considered top-of-the-line for their day.
Under the Hood
The 1966 Country Squire used a 240-cubic-inch straight-six engine with 150 horsepower. There was also the option of a 390-cubic-inch V8 which is what many drivers went with, given the auto’s weight of 4,049 pounds. These wagons were designed for cruising and getting your family where they were going, not for taking every curvy road in style. There was the option of a 3-speed column-shift manual transmission or the more popular 3-speed C-4 Cruise-O-Matic automatic. The following year, the engine lineup increased to also include a 200-horsepower 289-cubic-inch small-block V8, a 250-horsepower 352-cubic-inch four-barrel V8, or a 390-inch big block, providing a variety of choices on this popular wagon. There was even a 345-horsepower V8 that few drivers chose.
The Country Squire, like other large Fords of the time, used an independent front suspension featuring coil springs, double-acting tubular shock absorbers, drag struts, and, later, a ball-joint featuring an axial strut bar along the lower arm. The rear had a rigid axle featuring double-acting shock absorbers, a three-link suspension, and coil springs. Power steering was standard and necessary, thanks to the heavyweight. The turning circle was a whopping 43.6 feet thanks to the size and weight. The specifics of that size include a 119-inch wheelbase, 213.9-inch overall length, and 79-inch overall width. All in all, this classic is well known for being a classic family vehicle.