Photo: The Petrol Stop
Have you ever started planning a road trip only to realise how annoying it is to pack everything? I mean, you're gonna need a tent. If you're hitting the lake, you can't forget the boat? And there's nothing worse than trying to find non-perishables because your cooler can only last so long. It's such a hassle that you might just give up on the whole fiasco because you can't be bothered.
Well, never fear, my friends. Ford understands your struggle, and they created the ideal Frankenstein camping car that accommodates every factor and variable you might run into during a relaxing trip out in the wild.
Sure, it might look like nothing but a car with a boat on top — but press a button, and suddenly you've got the all-in-one ideal camping dream. The boat swings up and off to the side, revealing a two-person tent underneath. Lower the back hatch and fold out the roof, and you have the perfect covered kitchen, complete with a refrigerator and running water. The only thing this camper doesn't have is a bathroom, but y'know, there are some things better left outside of the car.
This is the most efficient station wagon you'd ever be able to find for your road trip to the Great American West. In the late 50s, car, road trip, and camping culture all started booming in a country rebounding from a generation that won WWII and had started to make money and have kids like never before. It was time to revel in the natural beauty of the country they'd fought to protect, and Ford was keen to capitalise on making things as smooth as can be.
At least, until the RV started to become a thing. The only way to top this circus-style Country Squire Camper was basically with a house-on-wheels that looked a lot less silly than Ford's Frankenstein creation. It kind of made more sense to put a kitchen indoors instead of hooked up to the trunk of a car, and the camper cars disappeared from the public eye.
I think it's time for a revival. Sure, your RV is probably more spacious and protected from the elements, but does it look like the pinnacle of late-50s modernist design? Can you sleep on top of it? Can it also function as your work vehicle?
No. I didn't think so.