By Maz Woolley
All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.
Greenlight launched their 1:64 scale Estate Wagons Series in 2018 and have now made two releases. This article looks at two wagons from the first release, both Ford LTD Country Squire Wagons, one from 1979 and the other from 1985.
Ford had a Country Squire model in their range from 1950 to 1991 only adding the LTD part of the name in 1968 when a small plate with LTD on appeared on the bodywork. 1979 introduced the sixth generation of the Country Squire which lasted until 1991 at which point Ford discontinued production of the full size wagons in favour of the faster selling Explorer and SUVs.
The differences between the 1979 and 1985 models were limited to cosmetic changes , mainly to the front end so it is easy for Greenlight to ring the changes with a small separate plastic nose section and body printing. In fact even the final 1991 wagon looks like it could be replicated by Greenlight with a modified front panel. Production numbers were always small only 66,000 or so were made in 1979, more than half without the wood effect sides, and this had fallen to just over 30,000 in 1985, and under 4,000 in the last year of production. Engine choice was limited to a 4.9 and a 5.7 litre engine and all had automatic gearboxes.
The Greenlight 1979 car is in midnight blue and the 1985 car is in light wheat. They are both fitted with a tow bar so will presumably also appear as ‘hitch and tow’ cars later. The printed ‘wood effect’ sides are neatly done on both as are the excellent wheels and tyres. Flush fit glazing is good, though the inset glazing does have a slightly large gap on the sides and the silver printing on the plastic appears to be slightly fuzzy at the edges in close up pictures. Having said that you wouldn’t notice from normal distances and the flush glazing and the fine castings are excellent for a budget range.
The tailgate opens, though it takes a bit of a tug. It is neatly printed including ‘wood’ trim, badging and a number plate. Rear lights are printed but quite effective.
Front lights are printed in white and are a good contrast with the chrome surrounds. Grille units and large bumpers are also moulded well and ‘chromed’ with black finish printed where appropriate for the model year front and rear. There is no front number plate on either model. Unfortunately the paint finish on the front panel of the 1979 car has been spoilt a little by allowing the blue paint to overspray the silver printed grille on one side of its top. Indeed the paint is slightly transluscent so the chrome partly shines through even the overprinted areas. There are no problems with the finish of the front panel on the 1985 car.
The interior is modelled with the rear seat up in both cases. The carrying capacity with the seats up is massive, with the seats down they would be cavernous. The 1979 has a blue interior and the 1985 a light brown one. Both appear to be the same and the level of detail is low so the minor changes undertaken over time are not reflected. The door cards and dash board are modelled but without any fine detail.
Side printed ‘wooden’ panels are good with the slightly different different badging in each model year reflected properly. The roof racks are the same on each model and are neat plastic fittings and as the originals were hefty units the moulding does not look overscale.
Finally a word about quality. I have already pointed out a few minor issues but the biggest problem was that when the 1985 car was taken from its blister pack the front end dropped off. as shown above. It doesn’t look like this damage was done in transit as there is no evidence that the lugs ever existed on the front panel to fit into the main body. This is not difficult to remedy with a bit of glue but it suggest to me that quality control in whoever’s factory in China Greenlight use to produce these cars could be improved.
There are other cars in this series and i hope to show more of them in future articles.