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March 16, 2010

Tuesday’s Retro Guest – Jan Goes Camping With The Ford Motor Company

Love this, Jan! Who knew station wagons could be so adorable!?!

This is definitely one cool book: how to camp in your Ford Station Wagon.  I found this book at an AAUW (American Association of University Women) book sale about 25 years ago and quickly snatched it up.  It was published in 1957 and has loads of helpful information on equipment, campgrounds and experimental camping gear designed for station wagon camping.

Was there enough room in the station wagon to live like a nomad?

You betcha.  You could easily sleep two people in the back.

If your legs are long and you don’t want your tootsies hanging out the back window, there’s even a “boot” to cover the back end of the wagon.

Or you could attach a tent to the car and commune with nature.

But if you don’t care to share your sleeping quarters with bugs, snakes and the occasional bear, use your rooftop tent to ward off intruders.

Traveling makes you ravenous and having a built-in kitchen in your Ford Station Wagon makes it convenient to stop whenever hunger strikes.

While on the road, you can stop at a roadside park and make coffee by plugging the coffee maker into the cigarette lighter.

A destination is important and although the campgrounds information in the book has changed over the years, here are the parks and grounds in Michigan that were  listed.  The red dot in the lower left corner of the state is Warren Dunes State Park in Bridgman, about 16 miles from my home.  Back in the early Sixties when I camped there with relatives the place was packed!

Thanks, Ford, for bringing modern day camping to the MCM nation!


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9 Responses to Tuesday’s Retro Guest – Jan Goes Camping With The Ford Motor Company

  1. RetroRuth Reply

    March 16, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Jan – Can I be the first to say that this post rocks? That book is awesome, love love love the photos! The kitchen attachment is really something else. Wow.

  2. Kelly Reply

    March 16, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Wow! So cool! I can’t get over that tent on TOP of the wagon.

  3. sablemable Reply

    March 16, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Thanks, Ruth for the thumbs up! This book was in mint condition when I bought it. Wonder if the original owner actually camped in his station wagon.

    It almost makes me want to buy a vintage station wagon and go camping, LOL!

  4. Sara in AZ Reply

    March 16, 2010 at 11:58 am


    I remember all Mike’s relatives talking about how they used to go to the dunes all the time. I have never been, but it sounds like fun. Yes, the pics are great – and you gotta love those old station wagons! Great post girl!!!

  5. sablemable Reply

    March 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm


    Thanks, girl! You and Mike would both be disappointed with the Dunes now. A lot of sand mining took place I think in the Seventies and a lot was taken. When you would drive west on I-94 approaching Bridgman, both sides of the highway were nothing but dunes. No more. In the park itself, I haven’t been there for a long while, but knowing how mean and nasty some people have become, I would be afraid to go camping there.

  6. Andrea Reply

    March 16, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    So, I sent the link to this article to my husband (who was already convinced that I should drive a mid-century station wagon), and he sent me back this link: http://edmonton.kijiji.ca/c-cars-vehicles-classic-cars-1957-Ford-Country-Sedan-W0QQAdIdZ78833690

    Now I really want to drive the car from this book! This post was awesome!

  7. Annie B. Reply

    March 17, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Aw, Jan, this is SO fine! Thanks for the memories. We had a Ford wagon just like the ones above back in ’59 or ’60. It was two-toned yellow and white. My mother named it “Old Yeller” for the Disney movie. Never went camping in it, sadly. What a world of fun we missed!

  8. Roxanne Reply

    March 18, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I am SO ready to go camping now! We’re having an early spring here and I was OK about waiting until after the inevitable spring snow, but seeing this book has me trying to figure out how to go now!

    I linked to this article in a post on my blog. I was able to find this same book online (for free) to download. It’s not the same as holding the actual book, but it’s better than nothing!

  9. Pingback: ModCloth Blog » Blog Archive » Everybody’s Wagon for the Weekend

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