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Griswold Family Truckster: 1969 Ford Station Wagon

Here’s a car that’s as funny in real life as in the movie in which its likeness appeared. This 1969 Ford Country Sedan has been converted into a Griswold Family Truckster and is listed here on craigslist.  It’ll get you a lot of attention when driving in or at shows. And why not? Any movie tie-in, even a homemade one, is always going to draw the curious. You can cement your legacy in this car by plunking down a dollar under fifteen grand, or less if you can negotiate it. You’ll then be headed to Doylestown, PA, and shame on you if you don’t jump in this wagon and drive it home. Thanks go to Mitchell G for the tip!

First, let’s discuss the movie: The 1983 release of National Lampoon’s Vacation reinvented the road trip movie into a hijinks-filled comedy about a family of two adults and two teenage kids riding cross-country in what they called the “Wagon Queen Family Truckster,” also known as the “Griswold Family Truckster.” This was actually a 1983 Ford LTD Country Squire station wagon, customized for the film by legendary fabricator the late George Barris (at least in one version of the story. This is debatable). Perhaps its most notable feature is the eight headlights adorning the front area of the car. You can add that to the woodgrain which seems to have been generously applied. Ugly? Yup. That was the point, as the car lampooned the designs of the day. The car in question doesn’t replicate any of that exactly but is more of a nod to the movie car, a shadow version where the point isn’t the authenticity but rather the silliness of being a copycat ride.

Now, real life: There is an actual Griswold family whose life seems largely devoted to replicating the world of their fictional namesakes. They are very visible online, and they list their phone number, just in case you want to call up and find out what they’re up to this week. But the real-real life I’m actually talking about is the one lived by this car, which apparently includes some rust issues. You can see cosmetic rust in the images, but a few statements in the ad description also give warning. First, the seller indicates that the rockers have been repaired and the spare tire well patched. Not worrisome enough? How about the note that “Rear frame has been patched”. But why care about that if all you’re doing is running this to some shows as the summer wears on? You’re not planning on jumping into this thing and heading to Wally World, are you?

So should it be in your life? Well, the gas tank is dented (huge dent, the ad says) but still holds its liquid fire. The funny stuff continues when the seller mentions that he pinstriped the car with latex house paint and that the woodgrain is shelf paper. But what else would you expect from Clark Griswold, known in real life as Chevy Chase? This car is a bit pricey for what it is, but it might pay you back in laughs, as long as the 132,000-mile 390 V8 holds up and gets you to where the car people hang out.


  1. Euromoto Member

    Just stupid.

    Like 20
  2. Nick P

    Missed it by that much

    Like 14
  3. Frank M

    It looks more Mercury than Ford. The tail lights give it away.

    Like 8
    • Norm

      For sure a Mercury! Good call.

      Like 3
      • DRW

        Those are NOT Mercury tail lights. The Mercury tail lights had 4 chrome bars whereas the Ford had only three as this one does. I owned a 1969 Ranch Wagon and can tell you that these tail lights are easily broken.

        Like 1
  4. Stan

    ” I’m not your average ordinary everyday fool 😮😃 “

    Like 11
  5. mercedes 600

    You think you hate it now wait until you drive it. Needs a Lou Glutz dealer plate and Dinky the dog leash.

    Like 6
  6. Dave


    Like 3
    • Al camino

      Golly, I can buy this for ma,pa,and the kids!

      Like 2
  7. DON

    Its a green Ford wagon. that’s about where the similarities end . Wrong year, wrong body, stupid tack on junk which doesn’t even match the stupid tack on junk the movie car had .

    Like 8
  8. Steve

    Not even close…

    Like 6
  9. Rudy Trullo

    JUNK Yard Material & then the Crusher ! And I can say this because I am Generation Z !!!!!!!

    Like 3
  10. Paul

    This is hilarious! I loved that hideous station wagon in the original movie and the puke green color was perfect!! I forget the name of the dead aunt, but the mannequin on the roof is a scream! So who cares if this isn’t an exact replica of the movie car. It’ll get a lot of laughs!

    Like 4
    • mercedes 600

      Aunt Edna. I have watched this film way too many times. I drive a Ford wagon 1985 with only 26,000 on the clock. It has a Wally World bumper sticker. Great car for attracting babes. Of -course they are over 60 with grandchildren at any grocery store. You used to kick the crap out of your little brother in the way back seat. Remember?

      Like 4
      • Christopher Gentry

        I love the movie. This car I would like better sans shelf paper and a lot less money

        Like 0
  11. Michael Berkemeier

    What a waste. What am I doing? This isn’t even worth commenting on.

    Like 4
  12. Troy

    Actually it reminds me of the wagon from the movie Casper as they were headed to Maine. Still ugly

    Like 1
  13. Nelson C

    Here’s the car for your that run to the lumber yard or the trip down memory lane when you borrowed the one belonging to the folks.

    Like 1
  14. chrlsful

    as mentioned above, “its the piiiiitch’n… a… miss”.

    “…1983 Ford LTD Country Squire station wagon…”
    There were 2, a ford missmanage (at least Merc’s were differently named, slightly). A fox-bodied and a panther platform ’83/6, both named “LTD”. The movie used the 105 inch WB (fox) no? (but the 105 has no ‘country squire’ appended, I believe).
    This is too early AND a long WB.

    I bid on one of the movie set models, it just went re-dick-U-loss as is usual w/ these things. Earlier Burt Renolds bid on the same 1 I did (he won but it was a 2nd, non-movie rig, flee-bay). Then he died (3 mo later) and I could not find it. Finally got one, all claped out, but I got one…

    Like 0
  15. Scott L.

    Swing and a miss.

    Like 0

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