Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: 1972 Ford City Squire – “When It Comes To Wagons, Nobody Swings Like Ford”

shot and posted by Jerome Solberg

I know I’ve sometimes given the impression of not being a big fan of ’71-’72 big Fords, but there are ways to serve them up to make them much more palatable to me, like this ’72 wagon. Delicious!

Its low and long anti-CUV stance has been accentuated thanks to shorter springs. The Di-Noc planking has bleached perfectly to match the yellow paint. Is that a coincidence, or is the yellow somehow bleeding through? And those side outlet exhausts, cut into the rear lower quarter panel: Perfect! The wheels are excellent too. What’s not to like?

Here’s a not-quite-close-enough look at one of those side exhaust outlets. That’s an inspired modification. The Di-Noc suggests this car has spent a bit of time under the California sun. As does the lack of rust.

What’s that chrome rail inside the rearmost side mirror? I don’t remember those. I do remember driving some new 1971 Country Squires during my car jockey days; they were impressive behemoths. They pretty much all came with the optional 400 CID V8; good thing, as the 351 felt a bit overworked in these at the time. Hard to imagine a 5.8 L V8 feeling taxed, but by 1971, emission controls were really putting a ding into the former zing. And the ones I drove were straight off the car carrier; they all were given a final tune-up in the new car prep area. That helped a bit in some cases; others not really so.

It’s even got yellow headlights to match: ka-ching! And there’s some genuine rust on the top of the front bumper. Ford’s chrome wasn’t quite up to their usual quality standards?

Towson Ford had a huge storage lot out in Cockeysville, maybe 5-7 miles north of their showroom in Towson on York Road. That was enough time to get a feel for these, under ideal conditions: there were no curves to speak off. Just red lights and some hills, enough to judge the “Total Performance” of Ford’s offerings. The 400 moaned quietly, but it managed to put the big Fords in the “slightly better than average” category—in my book anyway—for straight line acceleration. But the drive to their remote body shop was another thing altogether, through very curvy Falls road. Let’s not ruin this by talking about handling; I’m enjoying looking at this wagon too much.

In retrospect, lounging in these long low cars, with that acreage of hood in front, floating down York Road at well over the speed limit, the whole experience now seems other-wordly. No wonder I drive an xB; it’s the polar opposite of this in every way imaginable.