Tuesday, July 16, 2013

1959 Ford Country Sedan

"Hardtop styling in wagons by America's wagon specialists! Here's the fresh new direction in station wagons: Hardtop styling  . . .  made possible by Ford's unique thin-pillar design!"

Pulling out of a gas station at Havana's Playa del Este, this Ford looks truly loooooong! For 1959, all fullsize Fords shared the same 118-inch (2997mm) wheelbase. But side by side, compared to their sedan counterparts, the station wagons appear much larger than they actually are: technical data reveals that both share an identical overall length of 208 inches (5283mm). These were big cars, albeit this wasn't the limit yet: next year's Fords should continue to grow.

For years, Ford had been the biggest producer of station wagons in the US. Initially, these wagons were rather solid, fanciless cars, perfectly fitting to the customer's demand for carrying loads of stuff in their passenger car. Yet, during the 50s, and due to demographic change, wagons swiftly became a much more stylish asset: more and more Americans were moving out into the suburbs, and the purpose of station wagons changed from being a load carrier to become a family hauler. Chevrolet, as always exploiting the newest trends, presented the stylish Nomad, a two-door "hardtop" wagon, in 1955, and consequently, Chevrolet's station wagons echoed this fancy design. Ford, for a long time, did hesitate to invest into costly design details in their cars, but in 1959 finally they gave in: now, Ford stations wagons also sported curved, wrap-around tailgate windows. Our pictured "9-Passenger Country Sedan" could carry nine passengers if you unfolded the passenger bench that was integrated into the cargo bay.

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