Muscle Wagon:1968 Ford Country Sedan

It’s funny how we find that older members of past generations didn’t have an aversion to owning daily drivers with a bit of power under their right foot. That is the story with this 1968 Ford Country Sedan. The seller’s grandmother purchased the wagon off the showroom floor and wasn’t at all phased by the 390ci V8 under the hood. She used it as her daily driver, but the time has come for the Country Sedan to head to a new home. Located in Spanaway, Washington, you will find the Wagon listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding sits at $3,000, but the reserve hasn’t been met. There is also a BIN option of $5,000 available for those who want to avoid the auction scene.

It appears that while Grandma might not have been worried by the power under her right foot, she was a practitioner of what I refer to as “driving by Braille.” That explains the damage that we see on the passenger side of the Seafoam Green wagon. It seems that she tagged the garage wall a few times, so there are some dings and dents that will need to be addressed. However, there isn’t much in the way of rust for the buyer to tackle. The Ford has spent most of its life in Florida, which will have helped its cause. It looks like there might be a few spots in the bottoms of the rear quarter panels that will require work, but I think that patches would be the answer. That appears to be it, although we don’t receive any information or photos to confirm the state of the floors. With the physical damage repaired and a fresh coat of paint, the Wagon will be starting to look pretty good. The tinted glass is in excellent condition, but few trim and chrome pieces will require restoration or replacement. However, this looks like a project that an enthusiast could tackle in a home workshop.

While it wasn’t the most potent offering in the Country Sedan range, the 390ci Y-Code V8 still offered a healthy 266hp. This wagon also features a 3-speed automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. The 1968 Country Sedan tipped the scales at 4,354lbs but could still cover the ¼ mile in 17.5 seconds. It wasn’t going to cause any muscle cars a sleepless night, but that is still an impressive number for such a heavy vehicle. The news here is all positive. The vehicle is numbers-matching, and it is in sound mechanical health. It has recently received new brakes, along with a new starter and battery. It is being used as a daily driver and is ready for its next owner to hit the road for a life of adventure.

The interior is a bit of a surprise for a Wagon of this age because it is serviceable as it stands. There is a crack in the dash pad and a split on the front seat, but there are no horrendous issues. Before I spent any money, I would treat the entire interior to a deep clean. That could save some money because it reduces the chances of replacing parts that could be restored. We’ll use the rear cargo area as an example. It is looking tired, and the plastic trim might not respond that well to a clean. However, there are some excellent plastic and vinyl dyes on the market today, and the really good ones can penetrate into the surface. If the rear plastic were refinished with a product like that, it would be in as-new condition. I would probably spend some money on a new carpet set and a cover for the front seat. With those few items installed, it would look pretty good in there. It isn’t an interior loaded with optional extras, but the factory air conditioning was a wise investment.

Classic station wagons continue to perform strongly in the market, and this is a trend that appears set to continue. As a daily driver, this 1968 Country Sedan might be a bit on the expensive side to run due to its fuel consumption figures. However, if you consider what it would cost to buy and restore this wagon and then work out what it would cost to buy something new with the same passenger and cargo capacity, this suddenly doesn’t look like a bad proposition. That V8 engine should offer effortless cruising capabilities and make this an enjoyable alternative to carry the entire family on their next cross-country adventure. Probably its greatest strength is that it would seem to represent a straightforward restoration project that could be completed on a tight budget. That has to make it worthy of a closer look.

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Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Nice job Adam. The Country Squire wagons get the attention, but in my neighborhood, it was more likely to see the lower-level models like this one. It even sports the basic hubcaps. I agree, looks like a straight-forward project, and the starting price seems in the ballpark.

    Minor point: Is this Seafoam Green or the super-popular (in its day) Lime Gold? I remember Seafoam Green being almost like white with a little green in it.

    Like 7
    • Major Thom

      You are correct. This wagon is Lime Gold. The Seafoam Green color would have been more accurately called Seafoam White.

      Like 3
  2. Kevin

    I had one in the same color,but a 4 door sedan,custom 500 302 auto.but with manual steering, and manual drum brakes,good thing I was a stout lad when I had it,only paid 200 bucks,and needed a radiator back then,drove it over a year before the steering/suspension were too loose to drive,traded it for the 67 Malibu 300 2 door post,I’ve mentioned on here before, ah the good old days.

    Like 3
  3. Bob

    Although I would leave this stock, I’m just curious. Could you remove the engine and transmission, put it on a model A frame and build a hot rod around it?

    • Mountainwoodie

      Dont be funny!

      By the way I spent summers in the mid-late sixties being ferried around in one of these by a friends mother, When I see one of these all I can think of is varicose veins……..:)

      Like 1
  4. Car Nut Tacoma

    Awesome looking 68 Ford wagon. I imagine that with a good body shop, any patina can be repaired as long as it’s not too severe. 1968 has always been my favourite year for the Country Squire wagon, since 1966.

    Like 5
  5. Steve Clinton

    Wow, hopefully, she’s no longer driving!

    Like 2
    • Howard Kerr

      One of my uncles had a 68 Country Squire that was this color combination. Since there family often took cross country vacations I am reasonably sure it had been equipped for towing one of those small pop-up travel trailers.
      BTW, I once drove a 70 Country Squire with a 42x engine, the accelerator pedal (at least in that example) seemed like an on/off switch. Difficult to drive under 50 MPH and a real race horse above 60 MPH with a steady 55 a real ankle breaker without the use of cruise control.
      This is real tempting as a more useful replacement for my 09 Crown Victoria, just need to really examine the underside.

      Like 1
  6. Bill

    Wow, this is exactly the same as my late Father’s ’68 wagon down to the color. Many memories of driving to Grandma’s house in the back seat. He used his for family duties and hauling a landscaping trailer for his side gig. Were he still alive I would seriously consider buying this, flying the two of us out there and driving it home for an awesome road trip.

    Like 6
  7. Sam Shive

    That Florida Inspection Sticker Is At Least 22 Years Old.

    Like 1
    • CraigR

      Florida no longer requires vehicle inspections IIRC

      Like 2
      • WL TAYLOR

        …..and thats only because the current governor @ the time was pulled over and ticketed by a police officer for an expired sticker. Growing up in Central Fla in the late 60s-early 70s , all residents were required to get their vehicles checked.

  8. Bob C.

    I like this year. Pretty much a 67 without the stacked headlights. The 69s on seemed to balloon out. The 67 and 68s didn’t have the mid range 352, so it was quite a jump from the 302 (289 for 67) to the 390, until the 351 came out in 69.

    Like 2
  9. Evan

    In these truck-oriented times, it might be hard to remember that back in the day, people pulled travel trailers with ordinary passenger cars, most often station wagons. That’s the reason you see so many wagons with big engines.

    Like 12
    • Steve R

      That’s exactly what my parents did. Every dealership had several wagons sitting on the lot equipped with trailer towing packages.

      Steve R

      Like 6
  10. erik johnston

    I bought a 71 ford wagon for $250. sold it to a hot rod carlot that lowered it,wheels and tires. They had a $5700 tag on it. SOLD.

    Like 1
    • Steve Clinton

      Don’t ya HATE when that happens?

      Like 3
  11. Dale Olivier

    Resembles the Griswolds car ,might make it to Wally World, lol

    Like 1
  12. Larry

    I know a guy who bought that exact car but it had a 428 in it and he put it in a 67 Shelby GT500.

    • Larry

      And I know the Shelby number!

      Like 1
  13. Tony Member

    Isn’t this the wagon where you can open the tailgate like a swinging door or straight down?

    Like 3
    • Pete Phillips

      Yup, Ford’s “magic” two-way tailgate!

      Like 1
  14. Steve Thompson

    Scraped the garage door frame several times so Grandma started doing her own body work using pancake batter as filler. Ha Ha

    • Phlathead Phil

      Yeah, good one. But, you left off the part about G-Ma using her spatula for a ‘Bondo-Batter’ spreader. And, if you attempted to lick the side of the car you got your lips ‘Spanked.’

  15. Eugene W.

    Good for Grandma for buying that wagon just like it is, otherwise we would not be enjoying it now. Don’t need to lower it, or put bootsy aftermarket rims and tires in it, or even change the steering wheel. And leave the original drive train in it. I have always told my boys, leave it stock. My stepdad bought a new Chevrolet Kingswood wagon in 1970. Blue, with dog dish hubcaps. He later had the dealer change the car to full wheel covers. Also no clock on the dash, which the dealer installed. Traded the Chevy wagon in on a new blue 1971 Ford Country Sedan wagon. Got my license in that Ford, and it was in the family well into the 1980s. Very solid and quiet, whereas the Chevy rattled a bit. Oh well.

  16. Raymond

    Looks like been in wreck where body been patched

    • Phlathead Phil.

      That’s ‘Jamb-rub.’ A term used when auto and garage door jamb “rub-it-out.” Usually invokes swearing or cursing. The term is not to be confused with “Toe-Tapping” or “Hatch-Matching.”

  17. Daryl Conley

    Speaking of mundane vehicles with big power – When I worked at an automotive electric shop, an elderly gentleman came in with his well-used 1962 Chevy pickup that had been in use for his septic business since probably new. When I opened the hood, there sat a 409 engine!! Back in high school, a friend of mine showed me his grandfather’s 1969 (give or take a year) Chevrolet 4-door sedan sporting a 454.

  18. Steve Clinton

    With him owning a septic business, you’re lucky you didn’t find something else under the hood!

  19. George Mattar

    This is not a Fairlane. Either a Ranch Wagon or Country Squire without optional vinyl wood garbage. My dad, against my 12 year old advice traded a 67 Catalina for a new white Ranch Wagon. White with red interior. Yes to answer a question here, the tailgate opened both ways. In 1972, I took my drivers test in the wagon. Ford junk rotted out by 73. Dad was very frugal. 302 two barrel Autolite carb. Ps pb and AM radio. Nothing else. He had it about 8 years and junked it for another pile of crap, a 76 Malibu wagon. But it least it wasn’t Found on the Road Dead. Ah Memories.

  20. gaspumpchas

    Howard K is right on the money, these were notorious for rotten frames and are non existant in the rust belt. Sure would be cool for fixer up in the stock color. Looker over good especially the underbelly. Good luck and stay safe.
    Cheers
    GPC

  21. pete

    In high school a friend had a 62 Chevy wagon with a 409. Perfect for going out with the guys–have good memories of those nights. these old wagons carry a lot of weight, physically and emotionally–somebody make some good family memories with this old girl…

  22. John Hoffman

    This was my first car, a 68 Forrest green bought it for $100 bucks from my Dad, wasn’t running rebuilt the whole top end, put a 4 barrel and headers on it.. I carpeted the back and put my speakers from my household stereo in it good times for sure

  23. Joe

    I saw this for sale on marketplace recently and had to do a double take. Same car.

  24. Timothy Phaff Member

    Pop the dent out on the driver’s side and never look at the home owner’s homey, home, home bodywork then drive it as a daily family wagon. I would feel really safe with my kids in that American Sherman tank. Yes, it drives me nuts when one side of the car is all original, then the other side is hit with a train but at least it’s repairable.

  25. Steve Thompson

    Jamb-rub — that term made me smile –

  26. Bill McCoskey

    Found a similar car about 1995, it was a 1966 Ranch Wagon in silver with red interior. Original owner in Annapolis, MD bought it because he planned on towing a large boat, hence he ordered it with the 390 4-bbl carb and dual exhaust drive train and towing package. “R” Code engine if I’m not mistaken.

    His plans changed and about a year later, he had medical issues that meant no going out in boats, so the car was rarely used. When I bought it the car had only about 12,000 miles. Hanging above the car, on the garage rafters, was every pair of MD license plates for the car, from 1966 onward. I bought the car and the plate collection.

    In Maryland you can take a pair of vintage license plates and have them registered to the car. So I was driving it with the same plates it had when new. I had photos of the car from 1966 with the same plates!

    I drove it for about a year, but decided to sell it as there was no A/C. Sold it to a man from the Chicago area; Mr. Wilbur Pauley, the lead singer of the musical group Hudson Shad [the tall guy with the bass voice]. Mr. Pauley called me on returning to Chicago, he said when he closed the tailgate a bit too hard, the glass shattered. Turned out it was easy to get, the local auto glass shop had it in stock.

    And Mr. Pauley; If you’ve still got the wagon, let me know!

    Like 1
  27. martinsane

    At 5k id by everyone that becomes available. Finally a good buy, which is rarer than a rust free less than 5 figures mopar.

  28. David Donahue

    Looks like Nana hit everything but the lottery! what’s behind curtain #2

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