1968 Ford LTD Country Squire: Swank Suburbanite
Today if you’re looking for family transportation, your choices are limited if you want some style. Maybe a Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon or Volvo V60—are they still available in the U.S. or only Europe now? No, the common family transportation choices are largely devoid of head-turning looks. You have your choice of a spud-shaped Equinox, spud-shaped CR-V, spud-shaped Highlander, and other extremely similar-appearing options. No stand-up hood ornament. No whitewalls. No chrome-plated heraldic crests. No hidden headlights. And certainly no Di-Noc-clad, simulated-woodgrain paneling on the sides!
But, oh! Once upon a time, when America still made cars instead of trucks and the aforementioned spud-shaped rolling stock, you had all manner of attractive luxury station wagons just beckoning to you from your friendly local Ford, Chevy, or Chrysler-Plymouth dealerships. Kingswood Estates, Sport Suburbans, and, of course, the venerable Ford Country Squire. And if you wanted to spend a little more, you could get even swankier with an assortment of Bonneville Safaris, Mercury Colony Parks, and Chrysler Town and Countrys.
But even if you remained within the “Low Priced Three’s” wagon choices, you gave up little in luxury and comfort, especially if you chose the top-trim models. But if I expand much more on the state of American station wagons in 1968, we’ll be here all day, so let’s get back to today’s featured “longroof,” the ’68 Country Squire.
The 1968 Fords were essentially heavily facelifted ’67 models. Gone were the vertically stacked headlights that had been a big Ford trademark since 1965, replaced with horizontally-oriented quad lamps on the lesser models, with hidden headlights installed on the flossier LTDs—and the Country Squire.
The ’68 Country Squires came in six- and nine-passenger versions, retailing at $3539 (about $31,000 today) and $3619 ($31,687), respectively. Production was 33,994 six-passenger versions and 57,776 nine-passenger variants. The new 302-cubic-inch V-8 with a two-barrel carburetor was standard with a synchronized three-speed manual transmission. Of course, Select Shift automatic transmission was extremely popular. Bigger 390- and 428-cu-in V-8s were also optionally available.
Today’s car was spotted by my friend Jayson Coombes at a show in downtown Fort Worth, Texas, back in September 2022, in what appears to be Meadowlark Yellow. I was immediately taken with it when he texted me pictures of it back then. Of course, I forgot about it as I went to more shows and saw other fine examples of vintage Broughamage.
But lo and behold, early this summer my friend Sal Darigo sent me a care package of vintage brochures he’d run across, and one of them was the full-size 1968 Ford brochure. It immediately triggered my memory, and I spent some time tracking down the correct photo file on my computer. And here we are!
I really do miss the “standard Ford” LTDs, Galaxie 500s, Custom 500s, Fairlanes, and the like. The final vestige of that great line of Ford automobiles was the Ford Taurus, which sadly ended production after the 2019 model year. And the ’19 Taurus Limited was a great car. Sadly, today all you can get car-wise is a Mustang. Which is a shame. But for those who march to the beat of a non-crossover drummer, check the classic car listings and you’ll find all manner of fine LTD Country Squires—with style in spades!