The bittersweet irony of this is that my family, when my father was a Ford dealer in Paradise California, actually owned that ’59 Country Squire in that exact finish. O tempus! O fugit!
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. — Future Tents: 1959 | Shorpy Old Photos | Photo Sharing