1967 Ford Fairlane 500 Squire: Sixties Suburbia
Remember when Ford made cars? Well, OK, technically it still makes A car: the Mustang. But in the 1960s, Ford mostly made cars, and people who bought Fords usually bought Ford cars, not Ford trucks. Never was heard a crossover word! But today, you’re out of luck. And if you want a modern interpretation of the classic Ford station wagon, your best bet is finding a late-model Flex. But in 1967, you were spoiled for choice. Not just in cars, per se, but even amongst Dearborn’s wagons.
Just sticking with Ford and Mercury (no Lincoln wagons then, or ever: the 1998 Navigator was the first Lincoln that was not a sedan, coupe or convertible) you could have full-size Country Sedans and Country Squires at Ford, and Colony Parks and Commuters over at Mercury.
Midsize? Same deal. You could try out a Comet Voyager (non-woody) or Comet Villager (woody), unless you suddenly decided to forget wagon shopping upon spying the all-new Cougar with its sleek lines and Schick razor grille!
And over at your local Ford dealer, you had your pick of several Fairlane station wagons. You could also get a Falcon station wagon.
Interestingly, the ’66 Falcon and Fairlane wagons shared bodies, so the Falcon wagon was basically a Fairlane from the windshield back. The midsize Fairlane had been totally restyled for the 1966 model year, so the ’67s only had minor paint and trim changes, but they were pretty sharp in any body style.
I particularly loved the stacked quad headlamps, first introduced on the ’65 full-size Fords. Of course, the two-door hardtop was the belle of the ball, especially in GT or GTA trim; they all looked good in my opinion.
Folks of a certain age will likely remember this vintage Fairlane from the Dragnet TV show of the late ’60s and the “plain Jane” champagne-colored, four-door sedan piloted by Sgt. Joe Friday and Officer Bill Gannon. Occasionally I’ve seen 1966–67 Fairlane 500 hardtops and convertibles at various cruise nights and car shows. But none of those ever stopped me in my tracks like this amazingly preserved Lime Gold metallic Squire did!
It was September 2021. My friend (and frequent column-photo provider) Jayson Coombes had flown up to the Midwest from Texas in order to join me in attending the Des Moines Concours d’Elegance. We had a fine time, and the day he arrived we went to The Cellar in downtown Geneseo, Illinois, a favorite supper club of mine that has changed little since its opening in 1960.
Geneseo is also home to the annual Trains, Planes, and Automobiles car show, actually held right in front of The Cellar and continuing through most of the downtown area. So that Saturday we were back in town checking out all the cars. And about halfway through we spied this amazing station wagon.
I really did stop in my tracks. Holy cow! I’d never seen a 1966–67 Fairlane Squire in person and up close. And what a fantastic, oh-so-1967 color! I was smitten.
But as I began frantically taking pictures (which wasn’t easy, as this is a popular event and there were spectators all over the place) it became even more impressive, as it was an original car with only 16K on the clock. Wow.
That was apparent the more I looked at it. Check out those seats! And remember, these wagons, even the fancy ones, were workhorses in the day, hauling kids to school, being loaded with luggage and driven to Florida or the Grand Canyon, or lugging sheets of plywood and bicycles from Sears. So finding something like this is pretty rare.
And as a result I took many, many pictures of it! I will walk past a line of 20 red Corvettes, ’57 Chevys, and faux-Shelby Mustangs to gawk at a car like this. It’s just so cool.
In 1967, Fairlane wagons came in Fairlane, Fairlane 500 and Fairlane 500 Squire trim levels. Fairlane 500s were the fancy trim level of course, with niceties such as a wide chrome side molding (except on Squires, where the Di-Noc wood paneling and fiberglass wood-look framing replaced it), color-keyed carpeting, and a choice of four nylon/vinyl interior trim combinations—or all-vinyl, as seen on our wagon here.
The Squire came only in the Fairlane 500 trim. With the six-cylinder engine it had a base price of $2902 (about $26,000 today) and a curb weight of 3217 pounds. The V-8 was naturally a little bit more, to the tune of $3007 ($27,000), and a bit heftier at 3386 pounds.
Part of the reason that I had never seen one until 2021 is that only 8348 Fairlane 500 Squires were built for the model year. And that is the grand total for both six-cylinder and V-8 models. So they didn’t exactly grow on trees.
When I first posted pictures of this car online, my friend Jim Smith, who was a kid when these were new, said, “Talk about a rare sight! Even as a kid I don’t remember seeing a wagon like this on the street.”
Part of the reason for that is in 1967 full-size wagons were still king. The fanciest full-size wagon, the Country Squire, sold 25,600 six passenger and 44,024 nine-passenger versions in ’67, and those were just the ones with the Di-Noc wood sides. When wagon shopping, room is key, and honestly the big Fords had a lot more of it.
Price could also have been another factor. The Fairlane 500 Squire, with a V-8 like this one, based at $3007 as previously mentioned. The Country Squire could be had for a base price of $3340—or $3234 if you were willing to settle for one with the six. Granted, $200–$300 bought a lot more then than it does now in 2023, but to get a bigger, more useful vehicle for a couple hundred more? Judging from the 1967 Ford wagon production records, it seems that most folks voted for the “big one” with their wallets.
I so love it. And if the car appears to be in a different location in some of the photos, that’s because it reappeared at the 2022 Geneseo show. Despite taking way too many pictures of it in 2021, I just couldn’t resist taking a few more!