EXLCUSIVE: Barn Fresh 1950 Chevrolet Tin Woody!

UPDATE 10/21/2019 – We just heard from Bruce that his Tin Woody has sold. It’s headed off to a fellow Barn Finds Reader, so hopefully, it’s new owner will send us photos of this Chevy once it’s back on the road! He was so happy with his experience listing here on Barn Finds that he told us, “wish I had more cars to sell on Barn Finds… guess I’ll keep looking for another!” We are just happy to see this cool wagon go to a Barn Finds Reader.

You can’t get much more barn findy than a dusty Chevrolet Tin Woody that’s been parked in a barn for the past decade! Reader Bruce V purchased it 14 years ago with plans of restoring it, but other projects kept him from working on it, so it went into a friend’s barn. He recently pulled it out of the barn and has it running and driving, but it’s still going to need work to be a nice driver. It looks like a great project and could be a fun winter project. It’s located in Knife River, Minnesota and you can contact Bruce via the form below!

From Bruce – I bought this 1950 Chevy Tin Woody Wagon 14 years ago for $15,000 knowing the floor was rusted, front passenger door did not fit properly, door and window weather stripping probably needed replacement along with paint. The car was in Florida and I had it shipped to Minnesota where I drove it as is for 3 years after first having a mechanic change the fluids and give it a once over for anything serious. 12 years ago I drove it into a friends barn on top of a plastic tarp for the winter, as I had recently purchased a Lodge in Wisconsin on Lake Superior so I knew I would be busy with that for a while. I thought… perfect… I’ll fix it up as a signature wagon for the Lodge as a type of advertising.

I returned each of the next 2 years to fire it up and move it around but never had the time to fix it up and bring it to the Lodge so it sat for the next 9 years. I advertised it 2 years ago (not on Barn Finds) but only got tire kickers or offers of really strange trades. Last year I pumped up the tires and rolled it out. A friend trailered it to a garage/body shop where they fixed the passenger door, changed the fluids, loosened up the brakes and put it back on the road. It has been repainted but otherwise never restored. All parts and pieces are present and accounted for, including the 235 and the 3 on-the-tree with dual exhaust pipes. Looks to be newer upholstery, old tires hold air and skirts included but not installed. I told my wife I would fix it up by Labor Day 2019 or sell it. She reminded me of this yesterday.

So here it is still needing rusted floor repair, a pitman (sp?) arm, weather stripping, and paint. I’d like to think it’s worth what I paid or more as I see fixed up originals (not hot rodded) go for $35K and up but I don’t have the time or talent to fix it up, so I’ll take offers starting at $8,000 and see where it goes. If you have something that is not junk and is air-cooled or interesting (i.e. I think the tin woody is interesting) I’ll consider a partial trade with cash. Cash talks. Please send offers or questions via the contact form or you can call me at 715-742-3900. The car is in Knife River, MN and I’m in Cornucopia, WI which is about an hour and a half away.

The floor rust is a bummer, but anyone that can weld can fix that. The rest of the body looks to be solid and the interior actually looks to be in good shape. We would remove the seats and carpet to see how extensive the rust is and then order replacement sheet metal. Complete floor pans are available for these cars, but hopefully, it just needs the driver’s side pan. A welding shop could easily install the new metal and have it looking like new. Or you could save yourself a bit of money and do it yourself.

While Bruce feels it needs to be repainted, we would actually try buffing it first. As long as it’s a single-stage paint and isn’t too thin, it might polish right up and look great. And while the “wood paneling” has a few damaged spots, it looks presentable as is and would be a lot easier to fix than real wood. So, who here will be giving this wagon a good home?

  • Asking Price: $8,000
  • Location: Knife River, MN
  • Mileage: 84,000+
  • Title Status: Clean
  • VIN: 9HKF33989


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  1. Ken Carney

    Had a ’49 sedan and loved it. This old
    wagon would fill the bill nicely I think.
    My heart races when I think of the uses
    I could find for it. One thing’s for sure
    though, I’d never see another one like it
    at Oldtown! Surf’s up dudes!

    Like 2
  2. rpol35

    If the engine is original, it would be 216 CI. The 235 CI wasn’t introduced until 1953.

    Like 1
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Actually there was a 235 available from the early 40s onward. It was primarily a truck engine but was offered with the Powerglide transmission starting around 1950. Until ‘53 it was a low oil pressure Babbitt-pounder but was upgraded to full pressure with precision bearings after that.

      Like 7
      • Glenn Schwass Member

        That is beautiful and really a steal at $8k…I’m guessing he gets more. I’d buff it out, fix the floor and drive it on nice days.

        Like 1
      • GRW

        Sorry, but that valve cover indicates a 216 ci,. not a 235.

  3. Socaljoe

    Wives can be real helpful like that. So the car runs and drives? At least onto a trailer?

    Like 2
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    Love the ’39 taillights.

    Like 1
    • moosie moosie

      And the BLUE DOTS too !

  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    This would be a great companion to my ‘49 Styleline. Too bad my wife won’t share my enthusiasm. No powerhouse and definitely no speed demon but it will take you everywhere at a steady 55. You’ll have people giving you the ‘thumbs-up’ and entitled import and SUV jockeys will give you another raised digit. But it’s fun. I love to drive my ‘49…

    Like 5
  6. IkeyHeyman

    I appreciate the seller’s honesty in place of the usual blather. Price seems reasonable to me. Nice car.

    Like 5
  7. Little_Cars

    Seller: at least remove all the dryer sheets off the seats before photographing that great interior. Same with the crap on the floor. And what’s with all these great cars in Minnesota? Seems we get inundated with far west coast cars, way east coast cars, and then the rest Minnesota. Seems there is a swath of America that never appears to have anything of value to throw onto BF.

    Like 2
  8. canadainmarkseh Member

    Great old car, $8k seems like a fair price too. If this is a 235 out of something newer that won’t hurt my feelings. I’d much prefer an engine with a full pressure oil system over a oil slinging babbet pounder. Geomechs has a lot of experience with these old 216cid stovebolt engines and will tell us that they are good reliable engines, and he’d be right I just like the 235cid better or for that mater a 250cid would even be better yet. As for the rest of the car based on what can be seen in the pictures there isn’t a lot to do. The rusty floor isn’t even that bad, very repairable. The other thing to do would be some detailing under the hood. I’m not that fond of white cars so if it were mine a colour change would be in its future. Nice find.

    Like 4
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Thanks for the vote of confidence, Mark. I really do appreciate it. Yes, I am somewhat partial to a 216; it also represents my best golf score. Actually, for powerplants, you can go to a 261 without having to change much. A 250 has the Chevy bolt pattern on the bell housing so there’s always some adapting to do. Regardless, keeping a six in that bay is a lot easier than trying to drop in a V8. Those jellybean (and older) Chevys were designed for a six…

  9. Roger

    My first car was a ’51 Tin Woody. Loads of fun learning to drive it to get my license. To bad it is so far away. If it were still in Florida, I would probably go get it. Oh well, great memories.

    Like 1
  10. Bob McK Member

    I don’t usually like station wagons, but for some reason this one speaks to me. If I had the space, I would bring her home.

    Like 1
  11. Mike L.

    Listen closely as you read the article once again, and you can hear her pleas, “Please send me to ICON…..a full Reformers package please sir….”

  12. Howard

    I drove a lot of these old chevies back in the day. I had a 52 and dad had a 53. A rod started knocking in dad’s and he pulled the pan, filed down the rod cap and put it back together. It ran for another 10 years. It had damned little compression, really worn out, but it started on the coldest winter days and would get you down the road….. slowly, but you’d go. This is a damned nice looking old wagon from what I can see. When I look at the pics I keep getting a code 404, file not found. And being a Michigan guy, I’ve driven cars with way worse floorboards that this one LOL We used to joke that our cars had some rust in the rocker panels…….. all the way to the door handles LOL

    Like 1
  13. chrlsful

    for sayin how easy the fixes R wonder Y he aint done’em himself.
    I like it, even tho a ford guy but any a wagon’ll do!
    Luv the dash & 6. It’s 2 yrs older than me so can’t get it, may bully me (C that evil smile on it’s face?).

  14. socaljoe

    Josh, I get an error when I click on the photos.

    Like 2
  15. John Cole

    I am the guy that bought this wagon and had it shipped here to Las Vegas! I have fallen in love with it!! Bruce was terrific to deal with, and it was just as he said it was! Have it running and driving now, and if there was a place for a video here, I’d post and show the driveby!! Let me know if that’s something I can do somehow.

    I did buff one fender, and this car is going to look remarkable by next weekend. A real headturner, and the engine runs great!! I’ll post pictures when the car is done!

    Like 10
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Nice save John! And it is a head turner. As far as pics go, you have to be a member. Cheap really and easy to join. Please join and keep us updated, take care, Mike.

      Like 3
  16. TimM

    I love the post war cars!! This car seems very salvageable!! I would keep it like it is and drive the family to dinner in it!!!

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