Wednesday’s Woodies

California has long been the Woody capital of the world. Surfers have been using these old woody wagons for years. The cost of a Woody was inexpensive and they were readily available in most beach towns. I can remember purchasing a not so nice 46 Ford woody for $1500 back in the 60’s. I moved to California in 1984 and they were more expensive but were still very reasonable. The cost of a running driving 46 Woody was in the $18K to $25K range. In the late 80’s a man named Don Thelan started building hot rod woodies and was marketing them for around $65K. He built several prior to his early death and they all commanded a good price. We have an abundance of Woody wood craftsman in Southern California and the demand for Woodies drove the price up to the 6 figure bracket during the last 15 years.

The market is considerably softer than in the past but a nicely finished woody hot rod still is in the low 6 figure bracket. Some better deals are out there right now, but having one built is still very labor intensive and therefore very expensive.

This past weekend in Santa Cruz, the Woodies on the Wharf event, took place and 180 plus cars were present. A good friend of mine, Gary, sent along some pictures that I will share with you today. Gary just completed a superb 37 hot rod woody and this was his first meet with his new car. Woodies are really nice cars and offer a little something different going down the road. Some old ones squeak and rattle but are still a lot of fun. Some of the newer ones are perfect and ride like a new Cadillac. My friend Walt’s 37 rides better than my wife’s Denali. All in all you can haul the whole family to an event near the ocean and really have a wonderful day with other woody owners.

Everyone should have a Woody in their collection, including me.

Stay Tooned!


Here is a nice picture of the Woodies on the Wharf from the upper deck. The weather looked perfect for the group. All types of cars with wooden bodies are eligible for the event.

Gary’s 37 was parked on the wharf with several other woodies. 1937 Woodies are sort of rare and therefore, stand out, in a sea of 46-48 Ford Woodies which are the most popular at these events.

1938 Woodies are even more rare and this one is perfect. I have seen this car several times over the years and never grow tired of this beautiful woody.

Excellent photo showing a 37 nose versus’s a high end 40 with air suspension. Don built the mint green 40 deluxe.

1946 -1948 Woodies are the most plentiful at all woody events. The cost to redo the wood is also the most expensive of all Ford woodies except the Sportsman.

My friends Ted and Beth are checking out this 40 deluxe driven by Marc Meadors. I purchased my 46 from Ted and Beth right after I retired. Ted has a couple of Woodies in his collection.

One of the most traveled Woodies is Jim’s 46. He is a real surfer and attends most events up and down the coast. Jim is one of Roy’s first employees.

The picture from the top offers a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean. I want another one.

Today’s Woody…one that got away.

Early in my retirement years I purchased this rust free example from Ted. This is why I have a bad back. My friends and wife all pushed this heavy car on the trailer.

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