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Future Tents: 1959

Future Tents: 1959

"1959 Ford Country Squire with pushbutton 'Station Wagon Living' equipment." Color transparency from the Ford Motor Co. photographic archive. View full size.


        In the experimental station wagon developed by Ford Motor Co., the outdoorsman with a strong push-button finger can set up camp without getting out of the car. First public showing of the easy-does-it camping equipment will be at Eastland Center in Harper Woods ... (Continue reading)

-- News item, Detroit Free Press, 1958

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I love the little shower on the side.

It might as well have been a camper

This one really took me back! While our Country Squire was newer than this one (1963, maybe) it looks almost exactly the same, right down to the red interior.

We moved twelve times between my birth and the start of kindergarten, so while ours didn't have the camper accessories, I might as well have lived there for as much time as I spent going place to place in it.

From the same company that brought you the Edsel.

Looks like something Rock Hudson's character in the movie "Pillow Talk" would drive.

Barbie had a nightmare.

This is it. In a word. Hideous.

Updated version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

There's nothing new under the sun.

Capitalism does it bigger and better

The socialist version looked like this. More homely, less comely.

You see a dinosaur ...


Camping Could Be

In tents in 1958.

Wagon with a dilophosaurus on top

Those wings on top of the pop-up tent are eerily familiar. Took me a second to realize where I'd seen something similar ...

Just Push a Button, and Camp

News item from the Washington Post, July 3, 1958:

        TRAVELERS and sportsmen who would like to park their cars after a day's drive and set up camp by pushing a few magic buttons, may be able one day to do just that.

        With the "pushbutton camper," a specially equipped experimental Ford station wagon, a traveling couple could pull into a parking area, lower a boat from the roof top, pitch their tent and set up a kitchen unit protected by an overhead awning -- almost without getting out of the car.

        One push button lifts the boat and swings it over the side so it can be easily removed for launching. A car-top tent, containing a full-sized double bed, already made up and equipped with a reading lamp, is erected by another button.

        After the tailgate is opened, a third button slides out the compact kitchen unit complete with an electric refrigerator and two-burner stove, a work table and meat cutting block, and a sink with hot and cold running water.

        The roof compartment also houses a shower head, complete with curtain. Ford has no definite plans for mass producing such a vehicle. If consumer demand warranted it, a company official said, the automatic equipment could be produced by independent suppliers and installed by a Ford dealer.

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