Country ... Without Squire
KYLE MCCONKAY’S ’61 FORD GALAXIE WAGON
Kyle McConkay’s ’61 Ford Galaxie wagon
If you’re a product of the ’40s-’70s chances are your family owned a station wagon at some point—as a young child, it was probably the coolest thing; as an adolescent, not-so cool … especially when it became your first car to drive once that cherished license was issued. May not have been as cool as Biff’s dealership-fresh Stingray, but as long as you parked it around the corner, nobody was the wiser … right?
As we mature, we begin to see value in many of the things we thumbed our noses at (or ducked our heads as we passed neighbors’ houses), like brushing our teeth or having a job. But station wagons? Absolutely. Station wagons may have scarred you as a teen, but don’t forget the extracurricular weekend activities they also afforded—like going to the beach or the lake … right?!
All these years later, while Biff’s War Bonnet Yellow Vette is still hard to beat, that old Country Squire wagon with its faux exterior wood siding and an overabundance of interior square footage ain’t too shabby now, is it?
Apparently Kyle McConkay doesn’t think so, even though it wasn’t on his radar when on the hunt for a new project to replace a recently departed Ford open-cab pickup. The Oklahoma-based mechanic doesn’t seem to have any four-door phobias lingering from his childhood, so just what led him to this ’61 Ford Galaxie Squire-less Country Sedan? Since we were curious as such, we asked him, as well as what exactly got his wrenches turning in the first place.
“My interest in cars has been part of who I am since I can remember. Growing up, we would travel all over the country and would always play the game ‘What’s that old car?’ I also had to learn at a young age to fix just about anything—I went from toys, bicycles, and TVs, to motorcycles, which then eventually led me to the cars I owned. Learning and the continued ability to repair issues as I got older led me to knowing not only did I have a passion for cars, but I was good at it. I attended vocational school and was a teacher assistant in the evenings, spending as much time as I could learning and gaining knowledge until getting out of
school. It wasn’t until my late twenties that I had the ability to actually buy and build cars that sparked my interest. After some buys and trades, I built a ’30 Model A and ’62 Chevy C10. I have always had a love for an early ’30s Ford roadster but had never found the right one. I came across and did some trading for a ’34 roadster pickup from a hot rod enthusiast I had dealt with before—but after an extremely unfortunate accident, the ’34 was no longer. I went back to searching again for something turnkey, as I wasn’t ready to build again. Eventually I came across this ’61 Ford Galaxie Country Sedan. It was strange: big, black, and beautiful, I’d never seen anything
like it. After several conversations, I drove to Hernando, Mississippi, ready to purchase and bring ‘her’ home. A wagon wasn’t the thought my wife and girls imaged my next purchase to be, but it all turned out well and became a great family car.”
Kyle’s station wagon was initially done in its current non-stock guise some years back in Texas, with paint and body by Sean Ornduff Craftsmanship (formerly Ornduff
Hot Rods) and interior work by Advanced Auto Trim. It is, however, stock in the way of drivetrain components, as it still utilizes the
352 FE and Cruise-O-Matic, but the suspension has been modified with airbags and rolling stock updated with Astro Supremes mounted with Coker’s radial wide whitewalls. A far cry from your mom’s old grocery getter, wouldn’t you say?!