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INFO NEEDED: '55 Ford Country Squire


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Howdy there, folks! My name is Rich, and I'm new to the forum. I'll start by saying that I'm very far from an expert on classic cars. Other than my '80 MGB, I don't own any project cars. Got it for my 40th birthday in 1992 (it wasn't even a classic then ), basically paid others to fix her up a little over the years. This is completely off my main topic, but I reckon it serves to show what a novice I am.

My father recently passed away at age 91, and I guess you can say that I've been in a bit of a nostalgic mood as of late. Growing up, we loved our '55 Ford Country Squire. We never considered it a classic then, but we got plenty of miles out of it traveling between Bedford, OH, and the Indianapolis-area (where we eventually moved in 1961). We used it for just about everything, including towing our old storage trailer. Dad got rid of it eventually--probably in the mid to late 60s when my brother and I were in high school. I don't know much about the vehicle, but I'd love to track it down, in the rare chance that it still exists. I'm retired now, and I wouldn't mind having it or maybe one just like it--seems like it'd be good weekend vehicle to toot around town in with the grandkids.

Here's what I know:

-The vehicle was white with the classic Woodie-trim (which I don't think was real wood).

-It had a V8 272-4v OHV 182hp AT engine (from what my brother wrote down)

-From the records, there were several different serial numbers, but it looks like the "main" one (novice here) is M5RY167500

-My father sold it to a man who lived in CA (which, if it stayed in CA, is the reason that I think it may still exist). We do not have the bill of sale unfortunately.

Where's what I'd like to know:

--How easy is it to "track" these old vehicles down?

--What's a typical price for a vehicle like this in reasonable condition?

--Long shot: Do any of you guys have this vehicle? I'm willing to pay top dollar!

Any advice or info is greatly appreciated. Glad to be a part of your forum!

Rich

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John has a good point. A 55 Country Squire won't be exactly common or easy to find either, though seems Country Sedans and Ranch Wagons are out there and they're every bit as cool as the Squire.

LOL @ privacy laws- between social media, internet target ads, and guvmink snooping, no one really has any expectation of privacy anymore, but those laws can sure thwart us trying to research history of our old cars.

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Thanks a lot, guys. I know the futility of this endeavor, but there isn't any harm in trying. What, in your opinion, is the largest/most reputable classic car auction house? I figured that I would try and track it that way...to quote Saving Private Ryan, "it's like looking for a needle in a stack of needles." At least its a shot.

You know, I actually did this. I had a phone conversation with Matt Harwood of Harwood Motors last week. What a nice young man he is! I felt it in my bones that his '55 Country Squire (which looked just like Dad's) would be the one. I guess the feeling I felt was just my arthritis.

What's really interesting about doing the photo search is the fact that the old picture of James Dean with his Porsche Spyder pops up. You may know the photo. Anyway, behind the Porsche is his Country Squire, which was either a '54 or '55 (couldn't have been later than '55 I guess!). Out of curiosity, I tried to find out what happened to that vehicle. No clues. Any ideas?

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Rich, tracking down a particular, specific car that is somewhat rare is not easy. 1955 is a long way off and many cars of that year are melted down or torn aaprt in a junkyard. when I searched for the car of my youth, a 1954 Chrysler Windsor deluxe convertible, I put out as many ads on line and in Chrysler magazines like the wpc magazine. I eventually bought a 4 door of the same year figuring I would never find the convertible. only 500 convertibles were produced in 1954.one day I called a vintage Chrysler parts dealer [ andy bernbaum ], and he asked me if I was interested in buying his 1954 Chrysler Windsor deluxe convertible. that was about 8 years ago and I am still driving the car today. if you put feelers out all over, buy another one like it, you will eventually fall into the exact one you want. my search lasted about 6 years. I think a 1955 squire might be a little easier to find. the car you want is out there. good luck. capt den

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I had a phone conversation with Matt Harwood of Harwood Motors last week. What a nice young man he is! I felt it in my bones that his '55 Country Squire (which looked just like Dad's) would be the one. I guess the feeling I felt was just my arthritis.

If you look around a bit you'll find Matt is a regular here. Plus you've come to a great place to network about old cars- someone may know someone and all that. Odds are good there's an internet forum for mid-50s Fords too.

That Squire Matt has looks like the one in Ken Eberts' Antique Automobile holidays issue cover painting from a few years back. That may have been a 56, not sure.

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Rich, tracking down a particular, specific car that is somewhat rare is not easy. 1955 is a long way off and many cars of that year are melted down or torn aaprt in a junkyard. when I searched for the car of my youth, a 1954 Chrysler Windsor deluxe convertible, I put out as many ads on line and in Chrysler magazines like the wpc magazine. I eventually bought a 4 door of the same year figuring I would never find the convertible. only 500 convertibles were produced in 1954.one day I called a vintage Chrysler parts dealer [ andy bernbaum ], and he asked me if I was interested in buying his 1954 Chrysler Windsor deluxe convertible. that was about 8 years ago and I am still driving the car today. if you put feelers out all over, buy another one like it, you will eventually fall into the exact one you want. my search lasted about 6 years. I think a 1955 squire might be a little easier to find. the car you want is out there. good luck. capt den

Thanks, Cap'n. I know I probably sound like a ridiculous, nostalgic old man. If I don't find my dad's car, maybe finding one just like it would be the next best thing. I'd love to have the one Mr. Harwood is selling - not sure the wife's going to go for a purchase of that size for one that wasn't his. She's becoming a nostalgic old gal herself. Heehee...thanks again!

I found one on the Phoenix CL. Here is the link

http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/cto/4697422576.html

Thanks again, my friend. That wasn't the one (based on the info provided on CL), but you've reminded me of a potentially valuable resource in my search!

Thanks for this! I am going to register for these in the morning!

----

Really guys, thanks a million!

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Howdy there, folks! My name is Rich, and I'm new to the forum. I'll start by saying that I'm very far from an expert on classic cars. Other than my '80 MGB, I don't own any project cars. Got it for my 40th birthday in 1992 (it wasn't even a classic then ), basically paid others to fix her up a little over the years. This is completely off my main topic, but I reckon it serves to show what a novice I am.

My father recently passed away at age 91, and I guess you can say that I've been in a bit of a nostalgic mood as of late. Growing up, we loved our '55 Ford Country Squire. We never considered it a classic then, but we got plenty of miles out of it traveling between Bedford, OH, and the Indianapolis-area (where we eventually moved in 1961). We used it for just about everything, including towing our old storage trailer. Dad got rid of it eventually--probably in the mid to late 60s when my brother and I were in high school. I don't know much about the vehicle, but I'd love to track it down, in the rare chance that it still exists. I'm retired now, and I wouldn't mind having it or maybe one just like it--seems like it'd be good weekend vehicle to toot around town in with the grandkids.

Here's what I know:

-The vehicle was white with the classic Woodie-trim (which I don't think was real wood).

-It had a V8 272-4v OHV 182hp AT engine (from what my brother wrote down)

-From the records, there were several different serial numbers, but it looks like the "main" one (novice here) is M5RY167500

-My father sold it to a man who lived in CA (which, if it stayed in CA, is the reason that I think it may still exist). We do not have the bill of sale unfortunately.

Where's what I'd like to know:

--How easy is it to "track" these old vehicles down?

--What's a typical price for a vehicle like this in reasonable condition?

--Long shot: Do any of you guys have this vehicle? I'm willing to pay top dollar!

Any advice or info is greatly appreciated. Glad to be a part of your forum!

Rich

Rich:

Thanks for your warm welcome on my introduction thread. Unfortunately, I can't tell you were your father's car is; I know from doing this research project how difficult tracking down some of these old cars can be. This goes for cars that were owned by someone as famous as James Dean. I can appreciate why you want to find the exact one that your father owned--after call, that's why historians and collectors want objects that were actually used by a certain person or during a certain event in history (e.g. battle, by a president, etc).

You're right, Dean did own a Country Squire. Since cars were a main focus of Dean's later-life and films, part of our project deals with his vehicles. Coincidentally, we're very curious as to what happened to his Country Squire. It's hard to believe that there is so little information on it. The wreckage of his Porsche was supposedly taken to George Barris' custom car shop, which still exists.

I'll PM you my contact info. I'd like to see what you know about Country Squires of the era.

Mike

P.S. Check out the Woodies group on Yahoo.

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I'm surprised you haven't mentioned the custom 49 Merc driven by James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause" which was probably the most famous car associated with James. Along with the Hirohata Mercury it set the trend for customizers that has lasted all these years and continues ad infinitum, rivalling the 32 to 34 Fords. Tat car survived and is presently on display at the National Museum in Reno.

http://our.tentativetimes.net/dean/49merc.html

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Rich:

Thanks for your warm welcome on my introduction thread. Unfortunately, I can't tell you were your father's car is; I know from doing this research project how difficult tracking down some of these old cars can be. This goes for cars that were owned by someone as famous as James Dean. I can appreciate why you want to find the exact one that your father owned--after call, that's why historians and collectors want objects that were actually used by a certain person or during a certain event in history (e.g. battle, by a president, etc).

You're right, Dean did own a Country Squire. Since cars were a main focus of Dean's later-life and films, part of our project deals with his vehicles. Coincidentally, we're very curious as to what happened to his Country Squire. It's hard to believe that there is so little information on it. The wreckage of his Porsche was supposedly taken to George Barris' custom car shop, which still exists.

I'll PM you my contact info. I'd like to see what you know about Country Squires of the era.

Mike

P.S. Check out the Woodies group on Yahoo.

Thanks, Mike. I'm now a member of that group, too, and I just read your email!

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