The Country Squire was one of America’s most sought-after station wagons for many decades, and these used cars are still popular today. However, the 1969 Ford Country Squire Aurora II was more than just another station wagon.
Why So Many People Are in Love With a Decades-Old Concept Car
The 1969 Ford Country Squire Aurora II is different. The concept car never made it into mass production. It was designed to showcase what was, at the time, a unique idea.
A Remarkably Achievable Concept
Today’s concept cars typically showcase new technologies so expensive that few people could afford to buy them if they went into production.
The Aurora II was different. This fascinating concept car took the beloved station wagon and played with its design, turning the back into a more spacious seating area all remaining affordable. This design was anything but unachievable.
At the time, Ford must have believed that not enough Americans would have been interested enough to buy. The layout isn’t too different from today’s stretch limos, though. This mobile-room concept has a lasting appeal.
How the Aurora II Was Designed
Today’s stretch limos may feature the same kind of wraparound seating. The 1969 Ford Country Squire Aurora II had to fit similar features into an existing base.
To accomplish this goal, Ford removed the driver’s side rear door and replaced it with a wraparound couch that curved around the back of the car to replace the rear bench. This arrangement left a large open area in the middle of the wagon.
The passenger-side door also underwent some changes. Instead of two ordinary doors with a dividing B-pillar, the Aurora II featured a large pair of suicide doors. The effect was to create a large entryway that further enhanced the feeling of being in a mobile room.
Finally, the passenger’s seat was swapped out for a Captain’s Chair, completing the transition into an open seating area.
What Killed the Aurora II Concept?
Ford never put the 1969 Country Squire Aurora II into production, which is a shame because it means there are no used cars that came from the factory with these unique specifications. The automaker didn’t clarify why, but plenty of enthusiasts have since speculated about it.
Most believe removing the passenger-side B-pillar created too much of a safety hazard. However, Ford could easily have gotten around this by strengthening the rest of the body.
Others assume the white leather and other upscale materials would have driven the price too high and scared off buyers. There is no clear explanation, but from today’s vantage point, it looks like a missed opportunity for Ford.
Today, the Country Squire has also fallen by the wayside. It’s still possible to find these used cars, and some people have even gone so far as to use them to recreate the concept. Sadly, that doesn’t change the fact that the real Aurora II never made it past the concept stage.
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