Fire Chief Find: 1966 Ford Country Sedan Station Wagon

Well if you are looking for automotive uniqueness, something that many of us probably wished we could drive at some point in our pasts, look no further because here it is. This 1966 Ford Country Sedan Fire Chief’s car, located in Franklin, Ohio, is available here on eBay for a current bid of $7,500. As of this writing, there are 31 bids currently tendered.

The listing refers to this Fire Chief’s car as a Galaxie while Ford referred to this station wagon model as a Country Sedan. That said, there is no Country Sedan badge on either quarter panel so I suppose it could be referenced as either. Ford had a very extensive “police package” line up in ’66 which included the Country Sedan wagon among other models. It is not clear if that package extended to emergency vehicles like this wagon.

Under the hood is Ford’s ubiquitous 390 CI “FE series” V8 engine. There were two varieties available in ’66, one at 275 HP and the other good for 315; it is uncertain which variety this engine is. The seller doesn’t say specifically how this wagon runs but the engine is spotless and I have to make the assumption, based on the listing, that it runs fine. A Ford C6 three-speed automatic transmission gets the “go” to the rear wheels.

The body of this Country Sedan looks to be arrow straight with a very strong paint finish; it is large and red! The seller adds, “The paint is super nice and slick with very few imperfections, the body is straight as an arrow, all chrome and stainless are as good as it gets to be original…” I don’t find this to be surprising as fire departments are known for maintaining their vehicles/equipment and they are generally stored indoors. One nice touch is the lettering adorning the flanks which the seller tells us is hand-applied gold-leaf.

The interior is as expected. This Country Sedan has Ford’s unique “way-back” third row, facing seats. Other station wagons of the time usually had a bench seat that faced backwards with a view through the rear window. Of course, the interior is, what else, red! The front seat does show some wear or fading but this Ford has in fact seen 85,000 miles of motoring to some wear is expected. All in all, it appears to be in good nick, again testament to the care and storage usually afforded fire department vehicles.

So, the elephant in the room is about the specific equipment as in warning lights and sirens. The seller tells us that the sirens are, “very, very loud” and I’m not surprised. You could have a lot of fun with a set-up like this but you might get yourself in a bit trouble with the authorities too. Of course, the flip side is you’ll probably never get pulled over for speeding – you may even get a police escort to wherever you’re going (you just better hope there’s a fire at your destination).

The seller tells us that he was thinking about converting this wagon into a family custom cruiser and then thought better of it. I think that was a wise move on his part as a reasonably good ’60s station wagon can always be found; we encounter them here on Barn Finds all of the time. But a full-tilt, fire department vehicle in excellent, original condition? Good luck finding another. What’s your vote, leave it as is or go for a non-equipped conversion?

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Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    This is cool and unique. Especially unique in that not many would think of doing a “tribute” car like this (as opposed to e.g. an Andy Griffith car). Looks to be in great shape. I’d leave it exactly as-is. I can see a retired fireman being all over this. Will be interesting to see where the bids peak.

    One could have fun with it, as long as he/she keeps their common sense in the forefront. For example, I have a friend who has a SSP Fox Body Mustang in Texas Highway Patrol livery which he drives regularly. To stay out of trouble while on the public roads, he takes the light bar off and covers the door graphics with magnetic blanks.

    Like 7
  2. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    If you can, get a special use permit for the equipment and leave it on!! My folks had the LTD coupe version of this and for being only slightly lighter than one of the local SR-71’s it did well with the 390 ci under the hood, so this thing must’ve moved out well.
    However, I’ve a friend into collecting old emergency equipment who tells me the “Police interceptor Package for 1966 replaced the 390’s with the 428 4bbl with 360 hp at 5400RPM 459 ft/lb torque at 3200 RPM using 10.5:1 compression hydraulic lifters and a single 780cfm Holley on an aluminum intake manifold; the engines was painted a dark Ford Blue and the engine code had a “P” on the data tag. The hot 390’s had solid lifters and NASCAR Shorty Headers but I’m not sure if those were still available for 1966.”
    I wrote him back and suggested he needed to find a life…

    Like 8
    • Dave

      Someone has to remember stuff like that, or else the history becomes distorted on its way to being forgotten. Thank you for sharing his knowledge with us this morning.

      “Local SR-71s”?! There’s a story you should share with us!

      Like 8
  3. DVSCapri

    When I first saw this your heading read 11 seconds ago… after reading through your write up, I went to the Ebay listing which now says “no longer available”. I was able to access the ad & pics – interesting car! I’m thinking it already sold… in less than 15 min. since your post!!

    Like 2
  4. Ken Cwrney

    My 1st wife and I had one of these while
    we were starting out. Ours was an old fleet car with no options except for a heater. It ran a 240 6 cylinder coupled to
    a 3 on the tree. We used it to haul band
    equipment when we played locally. We
    drove the daylights of that poor car til the
    engine blew on the way to a show in
    Ellsworth. We did put a CB radio in it to
    keep track of the smokies though. Here in in Florida, you can drive a retired police
    or fire vehicle so long as you place some
    coverings over the gumballs and the siren, and cover the signage with magnetic blanks. Would love to have
    another one someday.

    Like 4
    • Andy

      I have a 1970 police car. Been through 7 states, live in Florida and never covered up anything. Never even been stopped. Maybe I’ve been lucky and never ran into Timmy Ticketbook, but if you have something that can’t be mistaken for a modern emergency vehicle you should be okay.

      Like 1
      • Red Joe

        That is exactly correct says the regulations in Michigan. No current police car appearances! :)

  5. Steve R

    Unless I missed it, the ad never says it is a real emergency vehicle. If bet it’s someone creation otherwise the seller would have specifically given more of the cars history. It’s a cool car if you are a retired fireman, otherwise you’d look like a poseur.

    Steve R

    Like 4
  6. Mark M.

    Looks like a matchbox car I had in the early 70;s

    Like 2
  7. Tom Bell

    Jim, in answer to your question, when I was chief of our volunteer fire department, I wrote spec’s for new fire apparatus along with chiefs’ cars. The cars were purchased through the NYS commodities contracts and there were indeed special service packages available for non-police vehicles. A special wiring harness added running under the headliner for roof and tail emergency lights to be added by an up fitter, a “roof skid plate” in case of overturn, exterior trim delete, rubber floor covering in lieu of carpeting all come to mind. The police performance package was also available for fire service cars. I also recall on Ford LTD police vehicles, a “Police Interceptor” tag was attached to the trunk lid.

    If this car is real it may have some or all of the above. Any ex-emergency service vehicle will have a myriad of holes visible where lights and sirens were once attached. In NYS, that stuff gets removed before the mandatory sale to the highest bidder

    Like 2
  8. Tom Bell

    On closer observation, the lights and siren look correct in that they appear placed correctly, However, a specific fire department is not lettered and would usually appear on the maltese cross on the door. It’s unusual to see an engine company assignment as lettered on the fender for a chief’s car although fire departments are set up differently in different parts of the country. Dog dish hub caps would be common.

    Like 1
  9. art

    Front fenders have been repainted and the inner fenders resprayed flat black. Car looks to be authentic but when has anyone seen a fire house vehicle in red and black? Usually all red or red and white. Maybe the chief liked this color combo and the city obliged him/her. Nice that it has A/C. Like many on here, I doubt most folks could drive this with out being stopped. The party hat would have to be removed or covered in most states and sirens removed. In fact, cities, counties, state and federal governments generally remove all of this equipment before sale to the general public. Even the decals might be removed. Red paint is enough of a police “attention-getter”, let alone red paint with fire decals and red lights. Talk about having a RED bullseye on your car. Too funny.

    Like 2
    • Punto

      Here in New England there are several nearby towns with fire equipment that is red with black. Usually a black roof.

      Like 1
  10. angliagt angliagt Member

    I’ve never seen a fire chief drive a car with “FIRE CHIEF” on the sides.
    And the generic “FIRE DEPARTMENT” logos kind of bug me.And why would
    they have the seats in the rear? I’m thinking this is more of a “Tribute” vehicle.It’s still a cool car.

    Like 7
    • bone

      And its a 1966 and the lettering says “engine company 66” !

      Like 3
  11. Howard A Member

    “Hey, Chief, where’s the fire?” I remember, nobody wanted a red car, BECAUSE they got sick of those comments. I believe certain stated DO have laws about impersonating an officer or fire dept. I think it has to say it’s not an actual emergency vehicle and the lights and siren will get you in trouble, unless you are in a parade. Fire dept. vehicles are always clean. I have no use for the car as is, but would make a nice classic Ford wagon without the gear.

    Like 3
  12. Dave

    Parade and special events is this car’s specialty. What kid wouldn’t love to ride in this?

    Like 2
  13. local_sheriff

    Unless documentation to prove otherwise should emerge, I think we’re looking at a nicely done tribute. Someone had a Ford wagon laying around and decided to do something fun with it.

    I doubt a legit first responder would have the 3rd seats and a much beefier alternator would be necessary to support its equipment. Those lights draw amps! As an avid collector of vintage beacons I get the notion it’s over-lit considering mid-60s norm and the FD crests seem too generic.

    Depending on state legislation one could theoretically go under the radar driving this as without any official crest one doesn’t represent ANYTHING! There can be restrictions on the colored lights in some states but many will accept amber domes, others require the lights completely blanked and siren deactivated. Again it may also depend on whether car is licensed as ‘historic’, ‘antique’ etc… Just don’t expect spinning through Main Street with ligths flashing and sirens wailing will be a clever way to get out of traffic jam…!

    Like 3
  14. John Revels

    I wonder why the seller decided not to sell this car and cancelled all the bids?

    Like 1
  15. PatrickM

    I’m just getting this and it is only a day and a half old….Ad deleted. $1,000.00. HUH?

  16. TimM

    Sure is in nice shape and a big block!! You can’t not like this car!! The worst part would be the holes in the body after all the extra fire apparatus is taken off!!!

    Like 1
  17. Fred

    Chicago Fire Department has used red vehicles with a black roof for decades.

    Like 3
  18. Otto Nobedder

    Apparently sold to Best Offer, but we may never know. Agreed that generic emblems/crests and Engine Co. 66 are probable signs of a “Tribute” car, not the real thing

  19. Brian

    I’m an active duty firefighter. Would I drive this to a call? Absolutely not! Around town, Children’s Hospital, parades, etc? “Fire Center, show me direct and at the front of the line!”

  20. Miguel

    It is interesting the VIN says it is a Country Squire, not a Country Sedan.

    I wonder what the history of this car really is.

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