Ford Country Squire Sixth generation
|1969 to 1978|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door station wagon|
|Related||Mercury Marquis Mercury Monterey Mercury Colony Park Ford LTD Ford Galaxie Ford Custom|
|Engine||302 cu in (4.9 L) Windsor V8 351 cu in (5.8 L) Windsor V8 390 cu in (6.4 L) FE V8 429 cu in (7.0 L) 385 V8 400 cu in (6.6 L) Cleveland V8 460 cu in (7.5 L) 385 V8 351 cu in (5.8 L) 351M/351 Cleveland V8|
|Transmission||3-speed manual 3-speed FMX automatic 3-speed Ford C6 automatic|
|Wheelbase||121.0 in (3,073 mm)|
|Length||225.7 in (5,733 mm)|
For 1969 Ford's premium wagon was marketed as the Ford LTD Country Squire. This was the first year of the sixth generation Country Squire, which rode on an extended 121.0 in (3,073 mm) wheelbase as compared to the previous generation and included as standard a 302 cubic inches (4.95 l) V8. In mid 1969, the 302 cubic inches (4.95 l) standard engine was phased out in favor of a new standard engine, the 351 cubic inches (5.75 l) V8. Optional engines included the 390 cubic inches (6.4 l) or the 429 cubic inches (7.03 l) V8. In 1971, Ford offered 400 cubic inches (6.6 l) V8 as an option. Country Squires from 1969 and 1970 used the same body panels and varied in terms of front grille and bumper, interior trim and other minor changes. The later two years of this generation saw an extensive revision of the exterior, having only the roof and tailgate in common with the 1969-1970 models. This generation was the first to use Ford's new "Three-Way Magic Doorgate," which could swing down as a tailgate, swing out as a door with the window down, or swing out as a door with the window up (not possible with 1966-1968 wagons).
1969 Ford Country Squire Sixth generation rear
The 1972 model year saw a drastic decrease in power ratings for all engines for three reasons. One was the new system of reporting SAE net horsepower rather than brake horsepower. The second was engine modifications resulting in drastically lower compression ratios and a new timing set that retarded ignition timing by 8 degrees. The third was the addition of more emissions controls. The big block 429 engine for example, saw a drop from 365 hp (272 kW) in 1971 to 212 hp (158 kW) in 1972. The 460, a stroked version of the 429, was now available in passenger cars. Previously it had only been offered in Ford trucks. The 1972 model was rated at 224 hp (167 kW) with an 8.5:1 compression ratio. Cylinder head design from the 1972 model year was poor and had many pre-ignition problems. The D2VE heads are considered among the worst cylinder heads ever offered with the 385 series engines. The design would be changed the following year.
- 1969: 129,235
- 1970: 108,914
- 1971: 130,644
- 1972: 121,419
1974 Ford Country Squire Sixth generation rear seats
For 1973, the platform used by full-size Fords and Mercurys was restyled; the addition of 5 mph bumpers in the front in 1973, and in the rear in 1974, would make these the longest station wagons ever produced by Ford. With the Galaxie soon to be discontinued, the Country Squire was integrated into the LTD lineup. Additionally, a non-woodgrain LTD wagon was also sold; the Custom 500-trim Ranch Wagon was sold only for the fleet market. The standard engine on all other full-size ford sedans and wagons was the 351 cubic inches (5.75 l) V8. The Country Squire however, came standard with the Cleveland 400 cubic inches (6.6 l) M V8, while the 385 series 429 cubic inches (7.03 l), and 460 cubic inches (7.5 l) V8s were optional. Engines were again detuned. Despite an improved cylinder head design (D3VE), the 460 V8 was further detuned to a 8.0:1 compression ratio, and was rated at 219 hp (163 kW). With manual transmissions being dropped from the lineup, the C6 3-speed automatic transmission was now the only transmission option for full-size Fords. The 429 and 460 V8s were a common option due to the especially sluggish performance of the detuned 400 engine that was now struggling to drive the Squires ever increasing weight.
1975 Ford Country Squire Sixth generation
The 1974 Model was nearly identical to the '73, with the addition of a hood ornament, 5MPH rear bumpers, and a transistorized ignition system. The 429 cubic inches (7.03 l) V8 was dropped from production, leaving the 460 cubic inches (7.5 l) as the only true big block in the Ford lineup. In 1975, Ford added hidden headlamps to the Country Squire (bringing it in line with the Mercury Colony Park and the new Grand Marquis); non-woodgrain wagons still wore exposed headlamps. 1975 models also began to use Catalytic converters in virtually all models, reducing emissions, but at the expense of even more power. By 1975, the Country Squire had reached a shipping weight of 4,845 pounds (2,198 kg). With all engine fluids and full tank of gas, the 1975 LTD Country Squire wagon weighed in well over 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg), making it one of the largest and heaviest passenger cars ever produced by Ford. It is interesting to note that Full-size Ford wagons weighed in at slightly less than their counterparts from Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Chevrolet, Dodge and Chrysler during this time, making the behemoth Country Squire actually the lightest Full-size woodgrain-trim wagon available from a major manufacturer.
1975-1978 models were nearly identical, except for small differences in trim and emblems from year to year. As a move to increase fuel economy, the 351 cubic-inch V8 was reintroduced into the lineup in 1978.
Approximately 7,850,000 full-size Fords and Mercurys were sold over 1969-78. This makes it the second best selling Ford automobile platform after the Ford Model T.
1977 Ford Country Squire Sixth generation