1940 Ford Wagon
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 furniture makers. They bought chassis without bodies, then constructed the bodies out of wood themselves. The furniture makers would then sell these custom creations to local business owners, often times to nearby hotels and resorts, who would use them like small busses to transport guests to and from the train stations.
The woody continued to grow in popularity, until finally in 1929, Ford released their own version of it. Chevrolet would follow suit in 1939. Ford marketed the cars as all-purpose utilitarian vehicles. The costs were cheap initially, as wood-bodied cars were less expensive to build than steel-bodied cars. However, as more time passed, buyers became less interested in purchasing a wood-bodied car, siting the difficulty in cleaning and maintaining the wood as their primary reason. In the late 1940s, Iit became apparent to Ford that woodies, though still a popular appearance, were no longer a viable option for their low-income buyers, so they started making wood-paneling an option for their higher-end models. The wood paneling trend actually continued all the way up through the mid-1990s, with wood-paneled Jeeps and Dodges.
Did you know?
Ford bought a track of forest in Michigan, called “the Iron Mountain,” as a private source for their lumber. Our car has Birch paneling that we believe to be original.
The first custom-made woody wasn’t actually called a woody at all. They were called “depot hacks,” referring to the railroad depots and the old horse drawn carriage nickname of “hack.”