Full Restoration Required: 1948 Ford Woody

This Ford Woody hails from the last year of production of a Ford model line that could be traced back to 1941. This Woody doesn’t look to have weathered the years well, but according to the owner, it is a complete car in need of restoration. You will find it listed for sale here on Craigslist. Located in Naples, Florida, it is offered for sale with a clean title. The seller has set the asking price on this Ford at $20,000. Barn Finder Patrick S referred this one through to us, so a big thank you maust go to Patrick.

This old Ford has been in storage since 1965, and while it is apparently complete, it is going to require a complete restoration. The metal panels appear to be fairly solid, with only some minor rust in the bottoms of the front fenders to deal with. There are quite a number of parts and components stored inside the car, and it is hard to tell whether all of the missing trim pieces are in there, but I can identify some of them. We don’t have any indications about the state of the floors or the frame, but to me it looks like this car will represent a complete “nut and bolt” restoration project. I have done a bit of an internet search to see if I could locate a wood kit for the 1948 model, but I’ve had no luck. Maybe one of our Barn Finders can assist with that one.

As with the exterior, the interior is also going to require a complete restoration. The good news is that it appears that everything is present. The bad news is that it appears that every component will need work. The factory radio looks to possibly be beyond help, and the surface corrosion that is present also places a big question mark over the condition of the instruments, as moisture is never kind to the precision inner workings of these.

There is some reasonably good news when it comes to the engine on this Ford. While it doesn’t run, the flat-head V8 does turn freely, and the seller also states that the oil looks to be clean. The description panel for the ad lists the car as having an automatic transmission, but the presence of three pedals tells me that the car actually has a 3-speed manual transmission. The radiator isn’t under the hood, but it is in the car with all of the other parts.

A full restoration on this Woody is going to be quite an assignment for someone. While all of the wood seems to be present, some of it is so rotten that it would not even be suitable to take patterns from to manufacture replacement parts. I am aware of a number of companies that manufacture wooden kits for British cars, but I’ve had no luck in locating a company that does the same for the 1940s Fords. If the frame is solid and the drivetrain doesn’t require too much work, then the timber components could potentially be the hardest parts to source. It’s worth considering that nicely restored examples of the ’48 Ford Woody command a starting price of $50,000. With a sale price on this project of $20,000, this one may be a viable proposition. I’d be willing to bet that someone will take it on.

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Comments

  1. grant

    Unless one is a master carpenter with access to a full woodshop, 20k is too much for a starting point, IMHO.

    9
  2. John C

    Boy it looks like someone is going to be really upside in this one.

    Always, always wonderful to see someone bring a car like this back to life. But you have scratch your head and ask, who let this woody fall apart to this degree.

    For the time and money I’d have to go looking for one that ran and was more complete. Ask yourself, what’s my time worth? The hours just on the phone looking for parts and information alone are significant.

    I’m rooting for the guy who wants to do this.

    7
  3. nrg8

    Jeez, no expert touting this as found barn find? Justifying the price cause they are only original once. Like really I think once the ghost farts in the seats realized they made it to Florida, they bailed too.

    2
  4. Uncle Bob

    Those that have chased neat old cars for decades have similar stories about the nifty find that they or a buddy tried hard to buy but the owner would kill the deal by saying something like, “Nah, I’m gonna fix it up some day.”. Which, of course, never happened in most cases.

    That’s why seeing this ol’ girl is so sad. There was a time…………….. Roughly 10-15 years ago, a nicely finished one of these would realistically sell for $100k+. Today, that same car would be lucky to pull half that. Woodies have made, probably, the biggest swing in price over that time. Buying the wood kit alone, not counting assembly labor, would put you soooooo upside down in this one at the ask, and worse if you attempted to complete it properly.

    2
  5. John m leyshon

    Sounds like the consensus so far is “no chance” …Just get it treated for termites and carpenter ants, then cover it in vinyl siding ! Works great in the house flip market !

    1
  6. Fred H

    Where do these people get there prices ?. There so far off base.

    5
  7. OhU8one2

    I’m thinking about a Sportsman ProTouring rod with only the best of the best running gear. Pheasant red with caramel leather.

    1
  8. Mountainwoodie

    Well…the seller’s been out in the sun too long.

    I dont know if I would go all the way with Uncle Bob on the price but,,,a wood kit and installation would run you oh…25 grand…………then the rest fugggedaboutit

    For comparison ,,,in 1999 my ’47 Ford WoodDIE, please, took a drivers door collision. When I was done having a new door built by one of the best Woodie craftsman on the West Coast, pulling a completely solid car apart and putting in a new firewall and puting it all back together , I had 46 grand in it. Insurance money don’t you know.

    So….19 years later…………………..you can imagine what it would cost. Then again…theyre not making them. So,,,,,1500 and I’ll pick it up………..maybe.

    One other thing.either that Woodie has been marinated in sea water ………or sat in the rain and humidity for a very long time.

    5
  9. Mark

    Nope.

    4
  10. Rick

    I simply do not understand why people let this happen to a car.

    1
  11. stillrunners

    Maybe it should have been parked in 1955…….

  12. canadainmarkseh Member

    This is no longer a car it is only a potential to be a car. Really it a pile of used parts and rot. If it were mine to build id start by restoring the mechanical and chassie aspect of the car, Followed by the sheet metal. After that I’d build a custom roadster body from wood not a family hauler but something that is eye catching. Let’s face it there is nothing left of this and it is a blank slate and if your investing your own money in it you can build whatever you want but the buy in can’t be more then $2k. Imagine a car with wine fenders and hood, tan interior and top and clear coated ceder body.

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