Ford Deluxe Country Squire Woodie Station Wagon

While Ford’s all-new 1949 models were a big hit, station wagons posed a challenge. For many years the nation’s “wagonmaster,” Ford, was accustomed to out-producing all competing manufacturers of station wagons. From the 1940 models through to the 1948 models, the wagon bodies had been made in Ford plants in upper Michigan, with wood from Ford forests. However, traditional wagon bodies would not work with the new cars’ lines. Moreover, the competition was phasing out wood altogether. But Ford had much image equity in the wood art form and was reluctant to go all-steel. A steel skeleton body was designed and skinned with mahogany plywood, trimmed in maple or birch. Laminating and heat-bonding techniques learned during the war while building gliders for the armed forces led to curved wood laminates. This construction not only allowed complex wood shapes, it reduced waste and was cheaper. Only two-door station wagons were built, and the Ford wagon came only in upscale custom trim, called “Custom Deluxe” in sales literature.

For 1950, Ford station wagons had real leather only on the driver’s seat (second and third seats were in vinyl) and received the automatic courtesy light, now standard on Custom Deluxe models. There were two versions of the station wagon in 1950. The early model carried over the window design, seats, and wood tailgate of the 1949 Custom. In May 1950, to keep pace with competitors’ new developments, a revised model was introduced. The second seat could be folded flat for load space, although the third seat still had to be removed. The side windows were changed so that only the forward pane slid open, and a steel stamping replaced the wood tailgate. The side panels, too, were now steel, with DI-NOC imitation wood grain. Although the name did not appear on the cars, the new Ford wagons received a new title, “Country Squire.”

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in June of 2012 at the Dingman Collection, Hampton, New Hampshire.

100 bhp, 239.4 cu. in. L-head V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 114"

Source: RM Auctions

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