From the years 1952 though 1954, Ford Motor Company styled their wagons along the Customline models. Beginning in 1955 the Ford station wagons were a series of their own. The fine 1958 Ford Country Sedan Wagon featured in this article is one of those new series. This was Ford's mid trim level station wagon.
Concept of the Station Wagon
A station wagon is essentially a sedan with a roof line that extends over the entire cargo area. The difference between a station wagon and a hatchback is that the former typically has a vertical rear door to the cargo area. A station wagon is an American classic.
The concept of the wagon or station wagon derived from earlier years when people, with baggage, needed transportation from the railway station to their home or hotel. These first such vehicles were referred to as "hacks" or "depot hacks". Owners might be hotels or resorts. It's interesting to note that during the 1920's Ford did add one of these vehicles to their line but with not great results. It would be towards the late 1930's that popularity in station wagons by the general public would increase.
From the depot hacks we eventually evolved into the station wagon and the station wagon evolved into the SUV of today.
See our photo article on a beautifully restored 1931 Chevrolet Woody Depot Hack on the link below...
1958 Ford Country Sedan Wagon Styling
One of the first traits of this vehicle that lets you know it came from the late 1950's are the tail fins. That being said, the 1958 Ford's underwent a major redesign from the previous year's model. Ford spent a lot of money not only on the restyling of the 58's but also in advertising the fact to the car buying public. Ford touted a 1958 line of cars that had both a new design and new technology. One of these improvements for 1958 was an upgraded suspension system and better shock absorbers.
Driver safety became a big issue during the latter 1950's and Ford Motor Company made some additions. These included twin headlights, safety steering wheels, recessed dashboard knobs and twin tail lights. Seat belts were also made available as an option. Power steering, brakes, seats and windows were also options in 1958.
Ford also produced a Country Squire station wagon in 1958 based on the Ford Fairlane style.
The full size Country Squire had wood veneer side panels (real wood wasn't an option) and was produced by Ford from 1954 through 1958. In many ways the Country Squire was a throw back to the popular woody days of decades before.
The Country Squire was really indistinguishable from the Country Sedan aside from the fake wood siding.
Ford also had the distinction of unveiling the their Edsel model in 1958 which was a flop. While the Edsel styling had it's detractors (grille) , the car itself wasn't bad. It's price tag and gas guzzling trait didn't help during the economic weakness of the late 1950's. Ford's marketing gurus also did a less than spectacular job with Edsel press releases and advertising.
1958 Ford Country Sedan Wagon Specifications
The 1958 Ford Country Sedan Wagon came with a 292 cubic inch V-8 engine delivering 205 horsepower.
Transmission was a three speed automatic.
The 1958 Ford Country Sedan wagon had a wheelbase of 116.0 inches. The wagon's overall length was 203.5 inches and a width of 78.0 inches.
Total Ford production in 1958 was 989,100 vehicles. This was good for second place to Chevrolet's 1,142,000. Third place honors that year went to Plymouth with about 444,000 units.
Ford Motor Company built two types of Country Sedan Wagons in 1958. These were a six passenger and a nine passenger model. Ford produced about 69,000 six passenger vehicles and about 21,000 nine passenger vehicles. Ford Country Squire wagons totaled about 15,000.
Additional photo articles you may enjoy are of the 1966 Studebaker Wagonaire and the 1949 GMC Suburban found on the links below...
1958 Ford Country Sedan Auction Prices
The 1958 Ford Country Sedan is not considered a rare car. By the same token they are a living museum of Americana and especially the Americana of the 1950's. Families growing and moving to the suburbs made a station wagon a practical choice for many.
As of this writing, asking prices for the 1958 Ford Country Sedan are in the range of $ 20,000 for vehicles in excellent condition. Average sales prices might be found in the $13,000 to $15,000 range. Those in lesser restored condition may be somewhere in the $10,000 area and less.
(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)