I love camping and get excited for my trip each year. I won’t lie though, I’m always jealous of people with campervans who rock up, park up and they’re done! No faffing in the dark and damp to pitch a tent. Lately, I’ve been keeping an eye out for a van to buy – especially an old Volkswagen – but on my search, somehow I came across this!

Introducing Ford’s 1959 Push-Button Country Squire Station Wagon. Look at it – isn’t it incredible? That wood trim, pink interior, matching pop top, striped canopy… the rowing boat on the top. I bet you can already picture the look on your fellow campers’ faces as you arrive in style to the camp site.

While you collect yourself, let me tell you a bit more about it. To the untrained eye, this Country Squire Station Wagon (also known as the Griswold family truckster from the film Vacation) looks like Ford’s popular ordinary family sedan, albeit with a boat on the top. In fact, this is what you get when Ford combines everything inside a campervan with a family car. It’s the retro version of Pimp My Ride, if you like.

Push a few buttons and this is when the magic happens… First, the boat flips over to hang on one side of the car, ready to be lowered into the water for some father-son fishing. Out from under it pops a two-man tent. Lower the boot and out slides a kitchen complete with an electric fridge, running water and stove. Oh, and don’t forget, if it’s too sunny or starts to rain, push another button to use the handy fold-over canopy!

“For a guy who likes gadgets, here’s the ultimate – a station wagon with everything you could want for camping or life on the road, including a life boat and behind the tailgate, a complete kitchen! So while Dad’s out boating, mum can get the meal ready… in case he doesn’t come back with any fish. This buggy really has everything… all controlled by push button.”

Potentially, this dream machine could have brought Post-War joy to millions of families, but it didn’t make it past the prototype stage. Luckily though there’s this funny promotional video which gives us a hilarious tour of the car. Enjoy!


  1. That was my father, Bill Moss’ invention for Ford. The history behind the “Station Wagon Living” is very cool. His designs in those years, 1956 – 1958 for Ford and the “Pop-Tent” for Thermos, was a revolutionary change in the outdoor industry.

    • Ellie Reply

      What an incredible claim to fame! Thanks for finding my post in my corner of the internet. Your father had an interesting job. I’d love to look more into the Station Wagon Living story.

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