This old 1955 brochure for the Ford Squire – an inexpensive little two-door wagon (not a shooting brake, in this case) that was closely related to the Fords Prefect and Anglia – reminds me of the cover to some pulpy mystery novel. Car parked, full of a guy and two ladies, and a very serious-looking dude in a rust-colored sportcoat is out there, unloading rifles from the back. What’s going on here? Is that dog with him, or did it just show up to check things out?
I mean, sometimes these old British ads like to show hunting scenes, and maybe the dog supports it, but the guy’s outfit doesn’t, really, and neither does the location. Usually when they want to show someone taking their car to a genteel fox hunt or whatever, they’re out, you know, where foxes live. In a forest. This looks like an apartment building? If this is a hunt, it’s for the ultimate game, which lives in apartment 3B and maybe owes someone money.
Another page in the brochure shows off the split tailgate design of the Squire like this:
Huh, it looks like it has a raised load floor, too; I think the spare tire slides in below, which is a nice solution for that. But look at the background of that farm. Intellectually, I realize those stacked rectangular things are like big crates full of berries or something like that – cherry tomatoes, radishes, strawberries, miniature red cauliflowers or whatever. But I can’t help but see them as stacked mattresses.
That’s what it looks like. They drove their squires to the mattress farm, to get a nice pair of farm-fresh mattresses, right where they’re lovingly grown. This is a real farm-to-bed type of situation, and it’s fantastic. They just need to stop by the box spring orchard on the way back to finish the job.
And you know where one of these mattresses are going? To apartment 3B, to replace the blood-soaked one that was found there earlier that day!
Dunn dunn DUNNNNNNNN!
A sports jacket was once considered very much to be hunting attire. In fact, that’s where the name of the garment comes from!
I used to have a tweedy sports coat which I referred to as my hacking jacket..
this became apposite in my day job as a software engineer..
Yeah, the guy’s wearing what is definitely considered country attire, sport jacket and trousers instead of a suit, and in muted earth tones instead of blue/grey/black
My favorite part is how he has one double barrel safely under his arm, pointing away from him and downward. Responsible.
And he’s simultaneously pulling another out of the boot, with one hand, barrels pointing up and out, directly at his arm.
I think we can assume he knows to always treat a firearm as though it’s loaded, so he must be concocting an elaborate alibi with sufficient physical evidence.
Is that a perfunctory lick of fake wood on the sides? Like, “It doesn’t make any sense, but the Americans are making us do this, so there you go. Now, off for a spot of tea or a pint. What time is it?”
The first picture is clearly set in front of a stately home, therefore unloading the guns from the car before a shoot is perfectly normal. Also shotguns aren’t rifles, I though you Americans were all gun experts?
No crime can be committed by people this posh. At least no crime that can be detected by anyone who isn’t a famous detective or an international war crimes organisation.
That dog is about to spend the afternoon dragging dead pheasants around. Maybe peasants too, if they catch any sneaking on to the estate.
I think that’s probably a classic Rigby or Holland and Holland double rifle, probably .416 or .375 caliber. This gent has invited these ladies out to his isolated estate because he wants to play something he likes to call the Most Dangerous Game.
the death taxes hit the family hard, no more Land Rovers – had to downsize to the Ford. But be damned if we’re going to stop huntin’ and shootin’..
agreed, those are clearly shotguns..
Even worse, he’s clearly pulling a second double-barrel shotty out of the back. This ain’t the scene of a murder, it’s the scene of a freakin’ massacre! “Find the family Rover – I know they’re hiding around here somewhere…”
These things are oddly proportioned. They had two doors but used the front doors from the Prefect (4-door sedan) while the Anglia (2-door sedan) had longer ones. They also were significantly higher-roofed than the sedans but shorter in length with the difference in rear overhang.
They seem to have been optimized as a van (the Thames) first with the wagon as a spinoff rather than the other way around, and the split tailgate reveals the spare like that since the van had double swing doors and could have the spare mounted vertically for a bit more floor-to-ceiling height since the load floor being level with a folded back seat wasn’t an issue.
Also that tiny ‘wood’ trim looks so sad. Was wood grain rationed at this time in the UK, or did Ford need so much of it in the US for their behemoths, there wasn’t enough to go around?
That’s not wood trim. That’s structural reinforcement.
Torch, you’re silly. Everyone knows that you have to hunt mattresses.
That’s more to keep their numbers manageable. If you don’t, you end up with a MattressFirm across the street from another MattressFirm.
A little more than 35 horsepower and a 65 mph top speed would be nice in a getaway car, though.
Sussex is the real gangster’s paradise.
So wait, why isn’t this a shooting brake? Are those necessarily two-seaters?
The definition varies, but usually it has to be sufficiently upscale and not have an extra pillar between the backseat window and the cargo area window.
Shooting brakes are the wagon equivalent to a coupe (more rakish and sporty, existing mainly to give a little style alongside a little practicality), 2-door station wagons are the wagon equivalent of a 2-door sedan (more upright and utilitarian, existing mainly as a budget option for those who don’t want to pay for extra doors)
It’s about time for another posting of JT’s Laws of the Shooting Brake, isn’t it? I thought I had saved them, but can’t find it. And I don’t want to give any clicks to the Old Site (mostly just can’t tolerate the pop-ups & autoplay).
Anyone have them handy?
British mafiosi preparing to go to the mattresses during gang war.
In one of the umpteen CoD games you can wield dual sawn off side by side shotguns. This guy is about to find out that real life quite doesn’t work like that.
“Yeah, little bit of pain never hurt anybody. If you know what I mean. Also, I think knives are a good idea. Big, fuck-off shiny ones. Ones that look like they could skin a crocodile. Knives are good, because they don’t make any noise, and the less noise they make, the more likely we are to use them. Shit ’em right up. Makes it look like we’re serious. Guns for show, knives for a pro.”
– Lady that looks like she’s holding something in her pocket talking to the driver.
Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Is there something we should know about you?
I’m not sure what’s more worrying. The job or your past.
Obviously Joel, Barry, and Miles are running a whorehouse while Joel’s parents are out of town. Guido the Killer Pimp is just trying to protect his interests. “Time of your life, huh, kid?”
Outside of the imagined goings on, you guys missed a great detail in that second pic, the bottom half of the tailgate drops straight down, allowing you to actually reach all the way into the back of the wagon/estate/van/break/whatever it is car. What a great idea!!!!
“You ladies sit tight while I take care of this. I imagine it will be too upsetting for you. “
That’s a hostage situation and the young lady in yellow is blinking out an SOS.
I just find it fascinating that people were so small back in 1955… Just look at how much space they have! A comparable car of nowadays would be a Lincoln Navigator.
The Ford Squire was 3.6 meters (142″) long, which is shorter than an first gen Ford Ka:
[ Right click -> open link in new window ] works…
Seems pretty obvious to me. The guy with the shotgun is a Pimp. The girl on the curb is already on the game, while the other two will be going to different street corners. The Pimp will just casually stroll the area protecting his girls and discouraging competition. The mattresses? Duh! Don’t want to spring for a hotel room? “We can do the old Alley Opp, for a couple of Bob, mate!”
The dog. No idea and a little afraid to ask.
The thousand-yard stare of the woman in the front seat tells me she knew the victim, but she knows this is the way it has to end. He was going to turn state’s evidence, and the family has to take care of problems before they go to far.
I also enjoyed Ozark.
The Byrdes aren’t terrible people. They just keep doing terrible things so they won’t have to face the consequences for the other terrible things they’ve done! Wait, let me start that over…