Woody Wagons — Life is a Beach

If you have been following Pewsplace for very long, then you know I am partial to Ford Woodies from 1932-51 with a special love for the 40 – 48. When I moved to Los Angeles in 1984 I lived in Laguna Nigel which is a couple of miles from the Pacific. I had seen woodies over the years and, in fact, my father had a 1950 Woody for a few years that we used to go to the lake with his dog. I was never a big fan due to wooden bodies and bulky look of most woodies. My son and daughter used to go to the beach on a daily basis and often would seen a woodie in the parking lot with some surfboards strapped to the top or hanging out the rear window. As the years passed, I headed down to the Wavecrest Woodie Show in Encinitas for a closer look at Ford’s Woodie Wagons. The children went with me and convinced me we should have on to go to the beach. I was hooked on these somewhat rare wooden body wagons and began looking for one.

They were relatively inexpensive in the 80’s and within my budget for an extra car. I had three Deuces at that time and no more storage in the garage. I purchased a 40 convertible to drive and it had to sit outside for a period. One day while driving the convertible down to the beach a man hailed me and my daughter down and asked it my car was for sale. As a car dealer, everything I ever owned was for sale for the right price or trade. Did I mention he was driving a 46 Ford with a license plate that read “Endless Summer!” Sarah was listening and shaking her head yes. I wasn’t too sure that I was willing to trade even up for that old stock beach woody. I passed and thought that $20K was too much for a running driving, rust free Woodie wagon. Boy did I make a big mistake in that decision. I would have to wait until I retired many years later to realize another 46 Woodie in my garage.

Sickness came along and I would no longer be able to work on cars for a long time so the Woodie went to a good friend who made it perfect with restored wood by the Master, Chris Messano. I have seen the car many times at shows and Bill’s son drives it often around Pasadena. Bill restores cars pretty much as they were built but adds some modern engines like a SBC to increase reliability and performance. However, the last conversation I had with him he indicated he was building a nice flathead to take the place of the SBC. I will wait and see what happens to that scenario.

The best thing about owning a woody is all the events that are held each year at some of the most beautiful venues on the West Coast. There are a couple of hundred Woodies that attend various meets in our area with the average attendance running around a 100 except for Wavecrest which will reach 200 some years. Take in a couple of shows and see how you like them and the people who own the old Woodie Wagons. You might fall in love all over again.

Jane and I are headed to Solvang for the Jeff Beck concert — should be fun.

Note to readers: Ron Hickman and his family need all of our prayers and support to help him through his terrible accident in his roadster.


Ron would rather be in Bonneville with his buddies — Red scalloped Deuce.

Stay Tooned!


click on photo for a larger image


I watched a couple of Woodies go together at shops I did business with and soon was intrigued by the amount of rot that was in most floorpans. SoCal put a new floor in this one and was my favorite for years. A 1940 Ford Woodie is a very sought after classic by Woodie lovers.

Lynn 48 woody

With more cars than my four car garage could hold, I just had to have a Woodie project.

Lynn 1946 Ford Woody 2

Ready for the next step which is complete disassembly.


Bill would go on to finish the car in his normal perfect restoration style and give it to his son.


The 46 Ford has the trim I prefer as well as the parking light location.


A nice SBC hooked to the stock drivetrain works perfect and stops with Lincoln brakes.

ruby woody

Walt let me be the caretaker for his 46 Woodie which was a wonderful Woodie to drive. He has it back now and is listed in the For Sale section.


Walt then allowed me to care of his 37 “Curvy for a while. This air bag suspension chassis ride like a new Cadillac.


Walt talked JR out his rare Deuce Woodie and it is scheduled for a new look in the future.


Walt purchased this custom Woodie and is going through it to make it his own.


Sometimes Walt drives his company Woodie and loves to keep the tires black. Fat Jack creation many years ago and still very nice.


The latest addition to our group is Walt’s neighbor with this Bickel Built Woodie.


The Malibu Christmas Parade is the culmination of a full season of Woodie events in California.


The Malibu Christmas Parade is a really fun day in Malibu.


Woodies in the Valley is a small but fun event held in the Central Valley of California


Wavecrest is our largest show in Southern California.


Rich started his hunt at Wavecrest and was successful earlier this year.


Rich and Val were lucky enough to have Walt find this beauty for them.

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