We love a good station wagon around here. We might not agree on what makes a good station wagon among at least two of us, but we like them just the same. They have room, they are practical, and compared to the urban assault vehicles now driven by a growing majority of the population, they even look rather reasonable. Since they aren’t seen much anymore, they are even a bit of a curiosity and a niche car. And the beauty of it all is, that they were produced by the millions! So, if the idea of going for a well-used Explorer turns your stomach, have no fear, there are options.
For this round of Rough Start, we located a sweetheart one-owner 1979 Ford LTD Country Squire station wagon in Washington State. The 1979 Panther platform was Ford’s late-Seventies downsizing for the full-size models, done after General Motors had re-sized their B-bodies out of “aircraft carrier” territory and into something more reasonable. This particular wagon has a lot to like: it looks great for it’s age, the interior is that fabulous Cathouse Red color that was popular and is in good condition, and the 351/automatic combination is an excellent starting point for a solid muscle wagon build. We’d be swapping in cop car suspension parts and an AOD overdrive into this car to make a highway sweetheart. Why? Because at $1,900 purchase price, you’d have plenty left over to get started with!