Wednesday’s Woodies

I fell in love with Woodies long before I moved to California.  My father had a 1950 Ford woody that we used to pull the boat to the river.  I thought that was the coolest ride around.  People would stop us and ask if they could look at the car.  My father purchased the car new and kept it in perfect shape.  I had always hoped he would keep it but he traded it in on a later model fake Ford woody station wagon with four doors.  I moved on to 1955 Chevrolets but never lost my love for woodies.  I purchased my first one after I retired and like most of my projects never finished it.  Luckily one of  my good friends purchased it and finished it to perfection.  Woodies aren’t for everyone.  They squeak and rattle and you need to carry a screw driver to constantly tighten the screws and blind nuts.  To me that is the beauty of the beast and I have never grown tired of looking at woody wagons of any brand or configuration.  I do believe that California has more woody lovers than most states due to the wonderful events that are held each year.  This is just a warning for you non woody drivers.  If you have the chance to attend one of the events you will become hooked on what a nice bunch of folks own woodies and you will catch the disease.

Gary, a woody owner, sent in some photos of one of his friends who is building his own 37 tudor woody wagon.  He even made the tooling to mill the wood for all the correct moldings.  The use of birds eye maple on the perimeter makes the woody a standout in the wood department.  Gary spent several years building his woody and the end result was worth the effort.  In my opinion the headliner of bass wood strips makes woodies through 1948 the most desirable of the bunch.  Driving down the highway and looking up at the shiny varnished strips makes the noise go away.

Thanks to Walt, I have been enjoying driving his beautiful 47 woody and dreaming of how nice it would have been if my father were alive and could go for another ride in a woody.  I know he is driving one now and heading for the river with his dog Brownie.  Have a good one dad!

Stay Tooned!


This photo shows the birds eye maple in the wood surrounds.  The owner made all his own wood which is a major expense on restoring woodies.  Note finger joints over the wheel wells.

I know you have all been in this position working on your cars and then wonder why the back hurts in the morning.  The interior bracing is critical for assembly on these wagons.

The tudor profile is obvious in this photo and it looks like he has completed the roof section which ties the whole body together.  This will be a nice woody when completed.

Here is Gary’s beautiful completed 1937 Ford woody wagon.  He built this in his garage over a period of seven years.  When he purchased the “basket case” we took him to the doctor for examination.  The doctor was right…. the disease is catching and once you are hooked there is no cure.

I pushed Ruby outside to show off her newly waxed and detailed 20 year old paint job.  I spent lots of time but the paint looks brand new.  I used 3M hand glaze which is what the body shops use.  It runs about $30 a quart but it really works to bring back the shine.  I will now add a nice coat of Carnauba wax for the final finish.

Doug car did all the new wood on Ruby.  The top strips are perfect and always remind me of  a boat.  The light comes in handy on night trips.

The rear wheel wells need to be perfect in order for them to look this good.  Squeaks come from the hinges and rear doors that move when you are going down the road.  My wife calls it woody music.  Note all the screws none of which are phillips head.  I keep them all tightened.

Jim did a fantastic job of adding modern creature comforts such as A/C, heat, tilt wheel and power steering.  Ron added the square weave carpet in rich brown tone that really blends in with the tan and maroon.  Jane made the woody pillow for my aching back.  It really helps on long trips.

Ruby has all three seats which makes her great for road trips.  The rich camel leather really looks nice with the wood.

Walt added white gauges, Banjo wheel and CD changer to the previously stock dash.  He also painted the dash body color instead of the woodgraining which was stock on these cars.  I think he made a big improvement in looks and drivability.  Prior to diving this car, I would have never changed from stock, but for going down the road this is the way to go.

Today’s poor man’s woody…a nice 1946 Ford convertible….dreaming!

Bob and two Mike’s have driven this one very little  over the last 13 years.  A Newport Beach original owner car that has been kept in good condition over the years.  Bob built a very potent 3/8 x 3/8 flatty for this high school hot rod and it runs like a SBC.

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