Appreciating Asset: 1974 Ford LTD Wagon?

1974 Ford LTD Country Squire wagon
Sold at $45,920
Gooding & Company, Amelia Island. FL, Mar. 8, 2019, Lot 85
VIN: 4J76S162122

Utility was the strength of a 1970s wagon. Beautiful? No. Fast? No. Good at hauling the family around town? Now we’re talking.

At just under 19 feet long, over 6.5 feet wide and weighing 5,004 pounds, the Country Squire was like a 2001 Ford Excursion SUV before its time. Instead of a 7.3-L Power Stroke diesel, this land yacht featured a 460-ci V8 pumping out a wheezy 195 hp.

It’s interesting that even models with no redeeming qualities can bring big prices thanks to novelty status and cool factor. That’s the case with our green wagon’s stunning $45,920 selling price at Gooding and Company’s Amelia Island auction. No, it’s not the same kind of cool as the hell-blazing Dodge Demon — but cool nonetheless. These things used to be everywhere. But like TV Guide, pull-tab beer cans and Jimmy Hoffa, they just kind of up and disappeared one day. Finding one in time-warp condition like this is sort of like your long-dead uncle appearing one day, back long enough to slap you on the back, crack open one of those beers and tell you about “when cars were cars.” Surprising. Familiar. Somewhat vexing.

The truth of the matter is I get it. If I had $46k to drop on a novelty LTD Country Squire and a place to store it, I’d have been there, raising my paddle. It is unlikely that there is another one of these time-warp wagons anywhere in the world, and that counts for a lot. Yes, this was hugely well sold, but what’s reliving lost history worth to you? —Chad Taylor


Photos: Josh Hway, courtesy of Gooding & Company

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  1. These are neat. There’s a Comedians in Cars…yada yada episode with Jerry driving Sarah Jessica Parker around Long Island in a red one.

  2. I have fond memories of riding in the back of our 9 passenger 1959 Ford C S wagon. I did try out the 3rd row seat a few times but mostly the smaller children rode there on long trips. What other vehicle could haul that amount of passengers and even today that would take a Van of considerable size. You could haul large objects some of which you had to leave the tail gate or rear window down for. We had 6 kids and 2 parents so this was the ideal solution for us. Where has the station wagon gone, can you say Mini Van/SUV,Crew Cab pickup. I am just as bad as I drive a Ford Explorer Sport Trac. because it does almost all of that and has a usable pickup box on the back but only carries 5.

  3. Well It just so happens that I own a Diesel Excursion 4×4, and I dig it. I’ve also owned numerous Ford station wagons over the years including a Pinto 4spd wagon w/ac. Longroofs, as the surfers and hipsters refer to them, are in. They are very popular and have a sporty look, more so than stodgy 4dr sedans. Wagons are a throwback to simpler times,they are far more utilitarian and groovy. the new Chic! Given the current generational shift from rickety, clappity woodies to late 50’s, 60’s and 70’s wagons, they are creeping up in value. Easy to fix and plenty of parts available. They are comfy, dependable and look cool. Buy one at your local FORD dealer today!

  4. “this land yacht featured a 460-ci V8 pumping out a wheezy 195 hp”
    I own one of the last square-rigged battlewagons–a 1989 Olds Custom Cruiser–and it moves that much metal around with a 140hp 307. And given that it’s not as emissions-strangled as that engine, the 460 in this Ford has to feel like it packs quite a punch. As they say, everything’s relative…

  5. No redeeming value??? I used to pilot one of these ’74s and it was very neat. When I moved once, I put the back seats down, loaded an 8 ft couch, closed the rear gate and cruised off. We all loved ‘Gonzo’.