How Ford came up with the idea of putting a tent on the roof of a car, but it turned out to be of no use to anyone (4 photos)

Category: Retro cars, PEGI 0+
13 October 2023

A touring concept of a 1959 Ford Country Squire "folding" station wagon was featured in the July 3, 1958 issue of the Washington Post. The idea is reminiscent of a “Swiss knife” - a trunk on the roof of a car accommodates a boat, tent, canopy, while also being a place for luggage.

It was called a “pushbutton camper” because all this wealth was revealed after pressing the appropriate buttons. The algorithm was as follows: lower the boat from the roof, pitch a tent and install a kitchen set protected by an upper awning.

One button lifts the boat and throws it over the side so it can be easily removed for launching.

The other opens a convertible awning (essentially a tent on the roof of a car), in which a full-size sleeping place for two is installed. Plus a lamp at the head of the “bed”.

Yes, there was also a shower stall with a curtain in a special compartment on the roof.

Then the back door was opened and a third button was pressed, which pulled out a compact kitchen unit with an electric refrigerator and two-burner stove, a work table and a meat cutting block, and a sink with hot and cold water.

After showing the finished prototype, Ford announced that it was ready to provide dealers with any number of such Ford Country Squires, but...

Apparently, no one was particularly interested in the idea, or the dealers decided that they wouldn’t buy it. As a result, the concept did not go into serial production - and, it seems, not a single copy was produced at all.

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