After 41 storied years as America’s quintessential “woody” station wagon, the Country Squire nameplate was laid to rest in 1991, when a fresh crop of Aero Panthers debuted for 1992. With SUVs, minivans, and smaller wagons, Ford had a fleet of long-roofed vehicles to cover all the important segments. With the dwindling sales of full-size station wagons, it just wasn’t worth the investment in a station wagon body style for the 1992 Crown Vic and Grand Marquis. But at least one person out there didn’t let this stop him from having a post-1991 Panther wagon.
Starting with a 1997 Crown Victoria sedan, a coach builder grafted the rear greenhouse of a pre-ovoid Taurus/Sable wagon onto the trunk. Due to the Taurus/Sable’s shorter length and narrower width, the wagon roof looks a bit on the clumsy side. Nonetheless, its an interesting conversion, and helps to better-imagine what an Aero Panther wagon would have looked like. It’s no Country Squire though.
Wow, that’s just trippy.
What a waste of money. That thing looks ugly. Especially with that weird ass bump in the rear.
I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But different is good, in my opinion.
I have always pined for a Panther wagon of the 1992+ variety. I give this guy an A for effort, and it looks like a high quality job, but overall, it doesn’t work for me.
For all the work this involved, actual fabrication of the metal panels would have given us a much more satisfying result. Perhaps use of the box-style Panther tailgate and inner structure might have been a better starting point. Or maybe from an Expedition or Excursion? Oh well, easy to criticize when I was not the guy spending his time and money on this.
A Grand Marquis version might have done quite well, especially after GM discontinued the Roadmaster after 1996. Roadmaster wagons sold fairly well, and to a very desirable income demographic. Oh well, farewell full-sized wagon.
Sweet looking wagon. I’ve never seen one before. This must have been either a one-off prototype that never went into full production, or perhaps it was a severely limited production model. Either way, I’ve never seen one. It’s a shame, for even though SUVs were becoming increasingly popular, and Ford already had the Taurus and Mercury Sable wagons, I’m quite sure there were people who would’ve bought a larger station wagon if they needed it.
Read the article. This was not a FoMoCo product. A private coach builder (car body dude) wanted a full-sized Ford wagon and built his own, using a regular Crown Vic sedan and grafting on the wagon part from an older model Ford Taurus.
You’ve never seen one cuz it’s a one-off custom job.
I did read the article. It’s too bad that Ford didn’t take it and run.
Fully agreed that it would have been better to fab up the whole thing from scratch. They could still have used the Taurus windows and liftgate so entirely custom glass wasn’t needed, but this looks like the trunk has sprouted a tumor.
If you squint your eyes so that the “bumps” are less obvious, the idea in general works quite well! And the car is linear enough such that they could have easily thrown some fake wood on the Mercury version. Police departments used to purchase wagons from time to time, so I imagine there would have been some takers for a P71 estate!
It might not even have been necessary to do the fabrication from scratch. Seems like the roof from a ’91-’96 Chevy Caprice ‘bubble’ station wagon would have the necessary proportions as a starting point. Then, just graft in the Crown Vic’s tail-lights for a much more satisfying result than the ill-sized Taurus roof that was used in this effort.
Better still, though, would be to just get a nice ’91-’96 Caprice wagon (preferably a later version with the LT1 V8) in the first place.
As to why Ford never went the station wagon route with the Panther, it’s easy enough to understand. By 1992, the name of the game in people movers was in either of two types of vehicles: minivan or the fast-rising SUV market. Ford, unlike GM, saw the writing on the wall and knew that large station wagons were a dead-end and any money spent on developing one off the Panther for actual production would be money down the drain.
I have to think there is a simple one-word answer for why there was no wagon tooled up for the ’92 aero body: Explorer.
Not a bad job. The entire C pillar area isn’t very good due to the short Taurus side windows and the lack of dedicated wagon rear side doors. This particular era of Crown Victoria taillights work very well on it.
And the Panther Love yet refuses to die .
I like this Wagon and I’m never going to own a Panther unless it’s free .
The BEACH PATROL stickers make it better yet .
Sweet looking car. It’s a shame it never went into full production. Although its ass end could’ve used a make-over, overall it looks good. Although SUVs were becoming popular, and Ford already had the Taurus and Sable wagons, I believe that there are people who still like the old-school station wagon and want something bigger than the Taurus/Sable.
Now for the Wagon Queen Family truckster version–add the extra row of grille & headlights, the green paint, and the woodgrain…
I doubt that would’ve looked very attractive on this generation CV. It was ugly enough on the 80s version. Imagine what it would’ve looked like on this version.
I can’t help but wonder what purpose this served that made it worth the effort.
Here’s the link to the source article:
Is there a link to the source, because I don’t see it. Would you mind trying again?
Wow, it even has the rear facing 3rd row “seats”.
I saw this before, when it 1st ran in Hemming’s, and thought about juggling my meager finances to acquire this ultimate Florida retirement-mobile. The tailgate/taillights look poorly resolved, but that is my biggest argument against this versus a “real” Taurus/Sable wagon.
Looks pretty nice from the side, but I would have lengthened and widened the roof to eliminate the rear bump and minimize the side bumps. The top of the rear door frame would look better if it were raised to match the roof line. Of course, if you did all that you would need some custom glass! Well, at least the fit and finish looks excellent!
I’d prefer this any day over an SUV or a XUV.
I always found the attached photoshop effort from the Marauder era to be very interesting.
And again, why go through the trouble to make one of these when you could just buy a Dodge Magnum wagon with the hemi – my neighbor had one with a custom exaust on it and I had car lust every time he drove by.
Nice. Would’ve canted the front of the D-Pillar forward, though, and made it narrower. That’s my main complaint with many contemporary wagons, including my 2011 Jetta – fat D pillars, and consequently short rear side windows.
I’m not sure why they had to do it in taxi yellow. I also thing that since they were photoshopping they could have done a better job of resolving the the tail gate to tail light junction. The D pillar would have looked better if the window line followed the slope of the tailgate. The panel that is reflector on the GM is a natural spot for the wood grain though. Overall I like it and if I won the lottery big time I could see having one built.
You build something like this so that you can have the only one…pretty much the same reason why guys jack up cars, put HUGE wheels/tires under them, and paint them stupid colors.
The D-pillar treatment into the trunk just ruins it for me. Fail.
It still looks a lot better integrated than the production Taurus wagon featured from the other day on CC.
I think it looks good considering what the person had to work with. This is very much what I would expect a Ford Crown Vic would look like if Ford made it, with exception of the tail lights. Ford could have called it the Ford Expectation!
Wow I think that would have been really cool to have these in production! I think woodgrain – aka Country Squire – would have really made them even nicer, and they would have been great competition to the strange GM wagon offerings of the day.
I now own it and for a 20 year build is in very good shape. People still ask questions about it and during local cruise in even the newer “tuner’ owners enjoy it. Has und 54,000 mile on it.i