- The Washington Times - Friday, August 13, 2004

Robert Jacoby was barely a teenager when his father brought home a 1970 Ford sedan that eventually became the car in which he learned how to drive.

When Mr. Jacoby went off to college, it was in the 1970 Ford that he had more or less “inherited.”

A week before Christmas in 1979 his vehicle was totaled in an accident. The occupants were unscathed, but the car was history.

With the insurance money in hand Mr. Jacoby went shopping for another 1970 Ford, but this time a station wagon so he could haul his friends.

In February 1980 he found a blue 1970 LTD Country Squire. “From this vehicle,” Mr. Jacoby says, “I learned a little about how to care for a car and a lot about how not to.” It became his daily driver until the mid-1980s when rust and mechanical wear were taking their toll on the wagon.

Mr. Jacoby located another 1970 Ford Country Squire. In November of 1988 he threw a lot of money at the white car and all the troublesome mechanical woes went away. In the meantime, the blue car had been vandalized and became a parts car for the white wagon. “The power, the smoothness, the roominess were all a far cry from the little Pinto wagon I was using as my everyday car,” Mr. Jacoby says.

The white Ford was nearly 19 years old and had never run stronger. He was eagerly anticipating 1995 when his car would attain antique status and he could enter it in antique car shows..

In December 1988 the car tangled with a Christmas tree that fell off the pickup truck ahead in traffic. As the car, entangled with the tree, came to a halt, the trailing car smashed into the rear, bending the frame and forever ending Mr. Jacoby’s dream of antiquedom for that car.

With a handful of insurance money he again went shopping, but 1970 Ford station wagons were growing scarce by 1989. Until 2002 he drove other, new cars, putting his favorite year and model car out of mind.

“It was at a car show in New Oxford, Pa., which featured a display of restored pedal cars that I got my resolve back,” Mr. Jacoby says. He explains that one of the toy cars on display was a wagon with a sign identifying it as a 1970 Country Squire. “I was hooked again,” he says.

The search for his favorite car resumed. Some he discovered were too remote or too pricey or too far gone.

The in October 2002, while strolling through the corral of cars for sale at the annual autumn automotive gathering in Carlisle, Pa., Mr. Jacoby and his wife, Lee, spotted a red example of his favorite car.

“We quickly determined that the body and frame were in good — although not perfect — shape and that it had an immaculate black interior,” he says.

A brief drive around the field indicated the 390-cubic-inch V-8 engine and transmission were working well.

“If you don’t get this car,” Mrs. Jacoby told her husband, “I’m going to have to hurt you.”

They acquired the red 1970 Ford Country Squire. The 18.25-foot-long wagon came equipped from the factory with extra cost options including:

• Selectaire………….$389.

• SelectShift………….201.

• Power steering………105.

• 390-cid, 265-hp V-8……86.

• Deluxe wheel covers…..78.

• Luggage rack…………73.

• AM radio…………….61.

• Tinted glass………….45.

• Remote-control mirror..13.

Ford’s famous three-way Magic Doorgate with power window was standard equipment. The base price when new was $3,909 and with the accessories added, the total rose to $4,960.

The right side of the dashboard is relatively close to the windshield, giving the passenger an enormous amount of room.

The driver, however, is confronted with what Ford termed the “Flight-Cockpit Instrument Panel.”

It radically wraps around the driver with the radio to the driver’s left and a clock to the driver’s right.

The dual-facing rear seat package was not considered an option. It was considered a separate model from the six-passenger wagon.

A total of 69,077 nine -passenger wagons were manufactured while the six-passenger model attracted only 39,837 buyers.

Mr. and Mrs. Jacoby consider their red Ford Country Squire a car for fun. In June 2003 they drove it to a station wagon club convention in Princeton, N.J. The odometer now registers 64,171 miles.

For the Jacobys, this Ford Country Squire proves that the third time is the charm.

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