OHV V8 Powered 1954 Ford Country Squire Wagon!

Termite-proof is one way you could describe this 1954 Ford Country Squire. Still referred to as a “Woodie”, the last of the true wood components was used on the ’53 edition and even then it was just the trim that surrounds the DI-NOC veneer transfers. Regardless, this example looks great and the wood appliques appear to be real. Surfaced by T.J., this excellent example of a mid-century Country Squire is located in Orlando, Florida and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $13,867 with the reserve not yet met.

“The flathead is dead – long live the flathead!” could have been the ’54 Ford’s mantra. After twenty-two long years, the flathead was shuffled off to permanent hot-rod heaven where it has continued to be held in high esteem, just not availed for production use anymore. In its place was a 130 gross HP, 239 CI (same flathead displacement) OHV V8 engine and that’s what’s ensconced between the fender wheels of this wagon. The seller tells us, “Runs great, starts right up“. It certainly is sharply detailed! A “Fordomatic Drive” automatic transmission gets the Y-block’s power to the rear wheels.

In addition to the faux wood veneer, the trim edging was now made from wood-grained fiberglass. While not a dead ringer for genuine Maple or Birch, it does the trick. There are numerous images of this wagon, taken from all directions, and it shows very, very well from each perspective – no demerits to issue. The finish, which looks like Glacier Blue, is still brilliant – so much so, that it would seem a repaint but there’s no mention of that in the listing. Prevalent for years was the Ford station wagon hierarchy that was in use in ’54, with the Country Squire occupying the top wagon rung, the deforested Country Sedan positioned just below and the Ranch Wagon (two-door in this case) taking the anchorman position. Production estimates for 1954 put the Country Squire in the approximately 13K copies range.

The two-tone interior pretty much reflects the exterior’s notable condition. There is some obvious discoloration with the weave upholstery and it appears as if the mat for the toe board area of the front floor is absent, but beyond that, no complaints. The instrument panel is surprisingly clean with bright and clear gauges and no noted missing switch gear. This is a nine-passenger wagon and an image of the rear cargo area would be helpful but unfortunately, none is included. You can always tell a Ford of this era by its left of the steering column ignition switch.

This Country Squire seems more appropriate for a car collection than for use as a driver as so many station wagons from later years (’60s-’70s) seem destined. Granted, this ’54 Ford’s condition is better than many wagons that I have encountered but I’m uncertain what the market for a wagon of this generation is.  Regardless, the next owner will be acquiring one of the finest examples of an early Country Squire that I have witnessed.

Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    How good looking is that? Beautiful.

    Like 26
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Nice write-up Jim– “deforested.”

    This is a cool car. It would look great at a car show sitting beside a couple of younger siblings, for example a 60’s Country Squire and a 70’s Country Squire.

    Like 20
  3. Puhnto

    We had a 1954 two-door Ranch Wagon when I was a kid. The rear windows slid open instead of winding down. Ours was about as basic as it could be. Three speed on the column and only two options: a radio and a V-8. We got it new and kept it until we rolled it near Paso Robles, CA in a near head-on collision.

    Like 9
  4. Bob C.

    She is a beauty, even upgraded to a dual master cylinder.

    Like 4
  5. Greg

    My experience with the Y blocks is limited to a 55 and a 57 Ford…both were tired when my teen age self bought them for cheap. They both had horrible blow but never failed to start and run which, to this day, is the only thing I really remember about the Y block motors. Both had the 2 spd Ford-o-matic tranny but the 55 decided on day to quit moving in either forward or reverse. Didn’t have money for an overhaul so spend 1.50 on a can of ‘Dri-Power’ transmission ‘fix’ and then sat in the car with the engine running in drive…after about 10 minutes the car started to creep forward and within another few it was back in the game. And I got to cash in the .50 token that came inside the can since I worked at the gas station. 1964 was a good year :)

    Like 13
  6. Malcolm Boyes

    I had a 58 Country Sedan with the Highway Patrol Interceptor V8. What a great vehicle…fast..comfy..huge cargo area with the back seat down.Miss it but ran out of room at the time..Long Live Frankie the Ford..Love this..

    Like 4
  7. Chinga-Trailer

    The Flathead was not merely shuffled off to hot rod heaven – they continued to be built in France and used by both Ford of France and Simca all the way through the ’50s. Maybe later.

    Like 2
  8. Jack Quantrill

    Had a ‘53. Man, that thing was gutless up hills!

    Like 4
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      My mother had a white over light blue 2 door hardtop ’53. Full up accessories except AC and as you said, looked good, went slow. Snuck a mild lowering job when she wasn’t looking and with my friend’s ’55 Olds Spinner hubcaps went cruising on weekends. Refused every offer of a stoplight drag race. As soon the V8s came out folks were grabbing the engines out of wrecking yards to stuff into the earlier models. Was on the west coast at that time and bigger engine swaps were common, everyday happenings out there.

      Like 1
  9. Homer

    I had a ’52 that you could see the pavement through the floorboard. It never failed to start or run.

    Like 4
  10. HC Member

    Pretty tidy Ford wagon and like the first year Ford OHV V8 that’s in it. Someone will surely enjoy taking this date to any car show. Good find

    Like 3
  11. robert lewis

    in Canada the 54’s were equipped with the flathead…..left hand ignition made the use of the hand choke easier……nicest looking car of that body style imho

    Like 3
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      I did some further research and that’s the case! The flathead was still in production in Canada for one more year while the newly introduced OHV engine was first utilized in the states for the ’54 model year. I can see the old engine surviving in Europe or Timbuktu or somewhere, but considering the closeness of U.S production and Canadian end markets, this comes as a real surprise.

      OK – the flatty didn’t get shuttled off to hot-rod heaven.

      Thx,
      JO

      Like 2
      • George

        Guess we had an over supply of flat head V-8’s on hand. Cross country trade was not as smooth as it is today (since 1965). And, from 1932 to 1954 only V-8’s were used in cars and trucks. If flat head sixes were around, it was in tractors or industrial applications. I was surprised to open the hoods of ’57’s and finding a six (OHV) in there.

  12. George

    ’55’s ushered in the OHV version. A six showed up in ’57, if I rember correctly, in the OHV version.

  13. Merrill Newman

    I may be corrected but believe the last wood components were used on the 1949-51 series Ford and Merc wagons. 1952-54 models used the same trim design; Dynoc surrounded by fiberglass (?) trim pieces.

  14. HC Member

    George, Ford started offering OHV V8s in 1954. As with this wagon. Replacing the venerable flat head V8s. Mercury did the same I think.

    Like 2
    • George

      That was in reference to the Canadian market comment…..didn’t go where intended. We did things a little different here.

      Like 1
  15. Heck Dodson Member

    With that dual MC, who knows what they did with the brakes. Maybe disc’s in front left drums in the back? A small 9″ Mustang brake booster would work great adding power brakes for this beast.

    Like 1
  16. Heck Dodson Member

    I’m sure Henry Ford wasn’t one who liked wasting anything, like leftover wood for his Woodies. Who knows how many survived into production after the Tin woodies had started.

    Like 1
    • bone

      Henry was long dead by 1954 , but Henry had all the wood scraps and leftovers bits shipped out to make charcoal briquettes for his Kingsford company, so I’m sure it was still sent there.

  17. chrlsful

    justa post for additional info. No room for extra?

    I like the rig as I hate ‘shinny’. Rather it have the ‘tin woodie’ or dinoc & glass trim. This sits up too hi for me. Family of 4 moved from Baldimur to Bosin (7 hrs, 400 mi) in one in 1962…

  18. Bakes

    Beautiful old wagon. Probably my favorite year for 1950s Fords along with 1956. Don’t know what the reserve is but where are you going to find another one in this condition?

    Like 1
  19. jeff51 Member

    Are you the same Jim Odonnell that used to write for Hemmings?

    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Nope.

      JO

  20. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    I’ve restored 2 ’54 Country Squires, both of then 2 rows of seats. I did some checking, and from what I’ve read, the 3 row 9 passenger versions were fairly rare, because the back seat doesn’t fold down, and looking at the seat back, I can’t see how it can fold flat as it’s too wide to go between the rear wheel housings.

    The ebay ad says it’s all original, but I can say the fiberglass “wood” sections have been hand “grained” and are not original surfaces. The DiNoc panels should have matching grain all the way down each side, but the left front fender grain does not line up with the front door.

    Those things are not serious problems, and the addition of the dual brake master is an improvement. A decent looking vehicle, but I suspect it’s going to take some additional minor work to make it a reliable car today.

    Like 1
  21. Heck Dodson Member

    George, at least you guys in Canada were lucky enough to get the V8 Mercury trucks. We rarely saw those in the US. And they were never sold here.

    Like 1
  22. Bunky

    According to Kustomrama, Engines based on the Ford Flathead were built for the French military through 1993. 🤷‍♂️

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