1940 Ford Deluxe Woody
Engine: Flathead V8
Displacement: 221 cu. in./3.62 L
Horsepower: 85 hp
Transmission: 3-speed manual
A Little History
The first woodies were manufactured in the early 1900s by local coach makers. They bought chassis without bodies, then and then constructed the bodies out of wood themselves. The coach makers would then sell these bespoke creations to local business owners, often times to nearby hotels and resorts, who would use them like small buses to transport guests to and from the train stations. This early usage led to the vehicles being known first as “depot hacks,” referring to the depots and the old horse-drawn carriage nickname of “hack.”
The woody continued to grow in popularity, until finally in 1929, Ford released its own version of it. Ford marketed the cars as all-purpose utilitarian vehicles with low initial cost, as wood-bodied cars were less expensive to build than steel-bodied cars.
In the late 1940s, it became apparent to auto manufacturers that woodies, though still popular in appearance, were no longer a viable option for their low-income buyers – also with the inconvenience of cleaning and maintaining the wood – so they started making wood-paneling an option for their higher-end models.
The Woody currently on view was restored by Hi-Speed Customs of Tuscon, AZ in 2015. It received new burgundy upholstery and carpeting, a repainted burgundy dash with the original ivory inserts and steering wheel.
Surfers around the country embraced the storage capacity of woodies – and put their cargo space to good use!