I love station wagons. Especially really weird and rare ones. This body style was a one-year only deal from Ford and I've read they had to abandon it because it was too wide for most roads. You have to see this in person to believe how cool it is. In 1961 they changed the full size body style and went back to a narrower body. Check out my 61 Wagon to see what I mean.
This was my second car and I got it from a Chicago estate sale in the 80s. It was left to a young girl who had no interest in driving around in a "big gray hearse", so she let it go for $1,200. My attraction to the car was due to childhood memories of my Dad's 1960 Ford Country Squire which was basically the same car with four doors and a bunch of fake wood on the side. That car looked like a space ship to me and I always thought it was cool. I never knew they made a 2-door variant, so when I saw it I had to have it. I think they made a few thousand of these and there are only a handful left.
The car originally had a 292 Y-block and three-on-the tree. I threw some custom wheels on it and drove it that way for about 10 years. It was a big hit with my buddies as we jumped in for weekly road trips to Cape Code for beer, girls, and debauchery. It was nicknamed "The Batmobile".
I eventually banged it up in a few places and had to park it for a more respectable ride, but I could never bring myself to part with it. Fast forward through 10 years of rust and dreaming how I would restore it and you see what I have in the pictures below.
Its been in a few magazines as a work-in-progress, but I had to put in on hold due to other commitments like making money and sleeping. Most of the great fabrication work was performed by Ray Tourigny in Maine, but I've been picking away at the rest myself.
514 CI big block Ford crate motor with about 580 hp and 600 ft lbs torque. Accell / TWM Electronic Fuel Injection and other performance goodies from MSD, Canton, etc.
McLeod clutch, Tilton TB, Tremec 6-speed.
Original frame with new front clip and IFS from Art Morrison chassis. Rear is a triangulated four link from Air Ride Technologies. Needless to say, Air Ride suspension with Baer disc brakes all the way around.
BODY & PAINT
Chopped the roof 2 inches and grafted/fabricated Starliner b-pillars to make a hardtop wagon. Smooth bumpers and rear tailgate. Found a super rare (Canadian) Mercury Meteor grill from the same year car. Its super cool with a lot of teeth and you can see it in the pics below.
Still in bare metal & primer (sigh).
WHEELS & TIRES
Rear are 22x10 Billet Specialties with BFG tires, front are 20x8 with BFGs..
Well the body is nearly finished and ready for final work and paint. The engine exhaust, and suspension are also done. But like most of my projects, the longer they sit the more ideas I have to change them.
Not sure if I can afford the time or expense, but I'd really like to replace the frame with a complete setup from Art Morrison or Roadster Shop and utilize an IRS.
I'd also like to swap the 514 for a Kaase Boss motor. Also not sure I wanna keep the injectors poking through the hood.
And finally, this car needs to be the showcase for my (stillborn) electronic Vehicle Information System (eVIS). This was a digital platform I developed to retrofit into classic cars so you could monitor and control the vehicle dynamics via a touchscreen.
Think about having all the touchscreen and computer controls of todays' modern vehicles in an older/classic car. Yeah I know its a bit far-fetched, but thats where automotive technology is heading.