Hot Rod Potential: 1952 Pontiac Tin Woody

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Want the cool looks of a woody without all of the commitment of the wood body? Well this awesome ’52 Pontiac Tin Woody is a great looking project with a lot of potential. This is most certainly a great project to hot rod as the original engine and transmission is long gone. Although the seller is willing to throw in a 454 for a little extra money. This cool machine can be yours for $3,800, and add another $1,500 if you want the 454/turbo 400. Check out this cool wagon here on craigslist out of East Berlin, Pennsylvania. Thanks to Merlin for sharing this sweet and stylish tin woody find!

As you can see the engine bay is quite vacant with a lot of room from the original inline 8.With that much space available you can now add a little spice with something new.  The seller suggested a 454, which would be awesome in this machine. Although there are loads of other engines that could get the job done as well. Do you have an engine and transmission lying around and don’t know what to do with it? Well this may very well be the answer!

Dusty but fairly complete, this tin woody has enough of its interior remaining to restore, or to pick and choose what you would keep. Perhaps a more modern bench would be more suitable and comfortable for this ride?

There are a few minor dents and dings to be found but overall the body looks quite straight. The seller mentions some rust in the rockers and the floors, as well as the obvious surface rust on the exterior. It looks like there may be some glass missing, but it appears to be flat pane glass. The weathered appearance would look awesome with modern oversize steel wheels, or perhaps with torque thrust, or halibrand wheels. What would you do with this Tin Woody wagon?

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  1. Andre

    Be killer with a 390/429 Cadillac or a 348/409.

    Like 3
    • Ken

      I like the way you think, sir. None of that cheap, unimaginative SBC nonsense. I’d track down a 421 (to keep it a true Pontiac), just to be different.

      Like 7
  2. Jack

    go wierd. Mopar Hellcat engine.

    Like 0
  3. lbpa18

    Id clean it up, add a mild V8, some steel wheels, and drive it. Then at some future date, maybe restore the body and paint.

    Like 2
  4. Beatnik Bedouin

    Perhaps run a 389/421 Tri-Power or really upset the troops with either a Sprint-6 or an original flathead straight-eight?

    I’m for restoring the body and giving it a repaint in its original green hue – don’t forget to redo the ‘woodwork’…

    Like 4
    • Ken

      The Sprint would be a great choice. My late cousin had one in his ’67 Firebird, and he could outrun V8s in that thing.

      Like 3
      • jw454

        I also like the OHC 6 cylinder idea. My sister had one in a ’68/69 Firebird that was special ordered from the factory with a 4 barrel Quadrajet and a 4 speed. Sadly she flipped it on it’s top. It slid down an embankment about 100 feet into a creek. She was OK but, by the time they got the car out of the water it was deemed un-repairable.

        Like 3
  5. James Johannes

    I’m thinking economy, maybe a FIAT 500 engine or maybe a YOGAs

    Like 0
  6. local_sheriff

    How come no one mentions the engine this Poncho was designed to have; its
    I-8! I may recall this was the last year for that configuration…?I really like bombs, and a wagon such even more. I’m gonna expand my collection some day with a GM bomb, and an I-8 and 3spd manual would be MANDATORY!

    OK, I know most people will prefer the better mpg and easier (perf) parts availability with a modern engine ,I won’t argue that. I know they’re not for RPMs and are darn heavy , but I personally think the unique rumble of an I-8 truly fits the entire lazy lead-sled package ! I must confess I get disappointed each time I spot a Buick or Pontiac of this vintage only to realize there’s a 350/350 combo there…

    Like 8
    • canadainmarkseh

      I’m with on putting the straight 8 back in it. Most in line engines of this era were strokers and didn’t need a lot of horse power to generate tourque. Tourque is what you need from any engine it’s what spins the drive shaft.

      Like 2
  7. Poncho pusher

    Toss the chevy engine in the junk pile and shove a ohc 6 or a pontiac D port in it…..keep a pontiac all pontiac….tri power mandatory and manual lower it a few inches with a set of vintage wheels or steelies redo the upholstery and drive the crap out of it….the body looks pretty descent so not a huge rush on a full resto….itll tuen heads where ever you got and a must is the lite hood ornament

    Like 3
    • canadainmarkseh

      What’s with this idea that everything needs a try power setup. All you end up with is a gas hog that’s over carberatorated. If your going down that road you might as well put in something newer something with port injection. Unless of course you like to constantly be p!$$!ng around with those dam carbs. There’s lots of options out there now that a better than a tri power.

      Like 0
  8. Eric G

    How about a 12 valve cummins and auto! It would get awesome mileage and wouldn’t be much heavier than the straight 8 if at all. Performance upgrades galore.

    Like 3
  9. Hugh Anger

    A recent showing, on tv, here in Thailand was of a Jeep, mid 80s updated by the Brits Mike Brewer and Ants Ants in California. The Jeep was a luxury type vehicle with pseudo wood panelling. The exterior was quite a mess but the running gear and internal features were good. A quality respray after stripping the ” wood ” left the car looking ‘ incomplete ‘ . What to do? Mike Brewer explored all of the usual channels but finally, opted for a craftsman who, after years of experience painted the panels with a realistic wood effect. The car looked as it had originally, a truly magnificent job and it was cheaper than propriety, trade options. I am sure this Pontiac woody would look good with such treatment plus a suitable upgrade to the running gear and interior.
    Wot do you think?

    Like 4
    • firefirefire

      We stopped watching “Wheeler Dealer” after Ed China left the show.
      Never watched it for Mike Brewer’s “Deals” in the first place.

      Like 0

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