Solid Woody Project: 1949 Ford Woody Wagon

Brian BirknerBy Brian Birkner

Highly coveted and well loved, ’49 fords are great cars with a grand following. Coupes, sedans, and convertibles can often been seen at car events, but how often do you see the not so common Woody Wagon? Purchased in the 1980’s with the intention of restoration, this very solid surviving example was slowly worked on up until the late 1990’s. The owner rebuilt the engine, as well as some of the other mechanical systems on the car. Unfortunately the owner’s time came to a close, and the current seller is the son who has no time or place for this excellent project.  With bidding reaching $6,300.00 with the reserve not met, it would seem there is a fair amount of interest in this Woody. Check it out here on ebay out of Lake Elsinore, California.

The flat head was rebuilt in the late 1990’s but hasn’t been run in 10 years or possibly longer. The current condition is unknown, but at the least it would seem to be rebuildable. Appearing as a California native, this Ford wears a lot of factory paint under the hood, with only a few spots showing surface rust. The generator/alternator is missing, but there does appear to be a 12 volt battery in the bay, so perhaps this Ford has been converted to 12 volt?

Quite the relic from the interior view, not all hope is lost. The dash and steering wheel look reasonable as if they could be cleaned up nicely. The door panels have some water staining, but they are in place. Patterns for new panels could be made from the surviving door panels. Mangled as if attacked by a playful dog, or some hungry rodents, the bench seat needs some attention. Ironically the back seat is nearly flawless, so I can’t imagine mice eating the front seat and not the back.

It would seem that this Woody Wagon was a very nice car when found in the 1980’s, as it looks to wear original paint, with a fair amount still surviving after sitting for so long. Obviously the wood panels have been removed, and there looks to be a missing glass panel as well. Thankfully rust is of minimal concern, which feels a bit awkward to say when writing about an unrestored Woody.  The rear apron has some rust along its bottom edge, and it would seem that the bottom of the tail gate has some minor surface rust. The fenders, quarters, rockers, and roof line are all rock solid making this Ford a very worthwhile candidate to do something with. A restoration would do this car justice, but something about its current appearance with the wood replaced has an interesting flavor as well. With a few days remaining until the auctions end, what do you think this Woody will sell for?

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Comments

  1. Joe M

    Cool two door wagon, hope someone restores it.

    5+

  2. Paul

    That’s going to require some talent to get roadworthy.

    3+

  3. Jim

    Living 9 miles away from where the car was built and one my great grandfather helped build I wish I had the money to bring her home a put her back to the way she was when it left the U.P.

    4+

  4. Madmatt

    Lots of time and money,but at least I don’t think
    you would see another at a regular cars n coffee event!
    A very scarce wagon,that I think will always hold its value
    in the often “TRENDY” car world,
    as these woodies have always been way cool !…..cue Beach Boys!..LOL.

    2+

  5. Bob

    Curious, has a 1951 tailgate? A very worthwhile project, costly but they are beautiful cars when done. All parts needed are readily available, fun restore for the builder, although it doses take some special skills and a lot of time.

    0

    • jcs

      It does. The ’49 & ’50 woodies had wood clad tailgates (like the doors). In ’51, Ford went to a steel clad tailgate like the one on this car.

      0

  6. Mark S

    One of my pass times is wood working, both cabinetry and wood carving this car would be a great opportunity to do both. I’d pick a theme for example tall ships and releaf carve them into the new panals with additional touches to door panals. To bad I can’t afford to buy it. That being said I have kicked the idea of doing woody exterior panals to my 51 dodge Mayfair hardtop to enhance its frumpy appearance if I do you can be sure that I will carve a theme on the panals. I can’t Waite until I reach that cross road on my resto and have to commit one way or the other. Something to look forward to. My wood of choice for this wagon would be clear ceder for its ability to resist rot. Put a ceder post in the ground for a fence post and it will last for 30 years put anything else in the ground and expect half that which makes me wonder why the auto maker back in the day didn’t consider ceder for making their wood parts, also you can’t beat the wonderful contrast and grains that can be found in a ceder board.

    0

    • Chuck Pierce

      Mark – you forgot about the thorny Osage Orange. Put a fence post in the ground and it will last 100 years. Nice color too! Chuck in Kansas

      0

  7. Rodney

    Perhaps a misuse of the word “solid” in the title. I believe when the defining elements of the car are “missing”, then “solid” turns into “semi-solid” rather quickly.

    2+

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