New Wood for your Woodie Wagon

As many of us who love Woodies have noticed, the price of Woodies have definitely taken a hit from the Nick Alexander days. Six figure Woodies are few and far between. Sure some people are still trying to recover their investment, but most are happy to just receive what the market offers. Having said that, I was wondering what has happened to the new wood market which most projects need when restoring a woodie. I have been looking for a project woody, so I thought before I jumped into a shell that required all new wood, I would make a few phone calls.

We have an abundance of Woodie craftsman in our area so it wasn’t hard to receive some ball park figures of what replacement wood would cost. I will sum up my findings by saying that the cost to replace wood on a 1946-48 Ford Woodie Wagon will set you back $45-$70,000 depending on what you require. The costs quoted were based on supplying all new wood, installation, new glass and varnishing. The 1940 Woodies run just a few thousand below that figure. In addition to the seemingly high cost of replacement wood, the time to complete the installation varies from 7-8 months to a year. If you add the initial purchase price, the chassis and sheet metal restoration you are well into the six figures for a restored woody. Some people choose this route, but the best route is to find a done one that you can live with and save a lot of money for another Hot Rod. I have friends who have purchased very nice pro-built Woodies in the $75-80,000 range and are real happy they did. They can use these shops to do some repair work and varnish.

I also realize that a new Deuce hiboy built by some notable builders run $180-$200,000 in today’s world. So in my mind, a Woodie is a good deal because that Deuce hiboy is only going to bring $50,000 when you want to move on. If you don’t believe me, watch the ads for the actual transaction price and you will see the downward trend on Hot Rods in general. I am not preaching gloom but offer this advice, if you are building a car to sell and having it built, you will not recover your investment if that is your goal. Purchasing a completed Hot Rod will save you time and money so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor for a few years more.

Stay Tooned!


click on photo for a larger image

Your standard 1946 Woodie built in the early 2000’s would bring $150,000 without waiting long for a buyer.

Bickel is a notable builder and commands a high price for his Woodies. His price is into the six figures and in the past sold them quickly.

My friend Phil builds high end Hot Rods and builds them for himself and his family. Watching his costs and maintaing control of the build will assure he has want he wants and within his budget. He is not building for reselling.

A couple more I liked with all new wood and modern chassis. These are expensive to have built in today’s high labor and material cost. If you can afford it — go for the gold!

Rich found a prize and had instant gratification with his nice 1940 Woodie.

My friend Gary purchased a project and spend 7 years finishing it with all new wood that he installed.

The finished product is nothing short of perfection.

Another friend of mine purchased this Brizio built 1940 Woody and also enjoyed instant gratification. The deals are out there you need to keep looking for the buy.

Bob builds Woodies from the ground up and is noted for his beautiful restorations. All new wood from Nickels in MI looks great.

Fitting the sheet metal on a 37 can be a nightmare but it must be right to look good.

Jim started with a bare hulk and Ryan turned it into masterpiece. New wood will be required for the project.

The varnishing is no easy task and requires some skills to obtain the look you’re after.

Having a booth is a plus but not required.

The top is a challenge to keep it all the same color with several coats of varnish.

Buying a Woodie with wood like this requires the body be taken apart to repair the post. The structure must be solid.

Starting with this project with a inexpensive buy-in will end up being way more than a complete car. This one was around 7500 a few years ago when I looked at the project.

Nick had this one a few years ago and it was priced reasonable but a major project with new wood required.

At the end of the day, a Bedford built 40 Woodie would be my dream Woodie!

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