Just Add Wood! 1948 Pontiac “Woodie”

Restoring a wood-bodied classic requires a mixture of automotive and woodworking knowledge, excluding many talented enthusiasts who hold expertise in one but not both arenas. What’s left of this 1948 Pontiac Streamliner Wagon in Denver, Colorado will challenge the new owner, just as the seller realized “many years” after acquiring it. Hopefully prospective buyers plan to begin immediately or let it pass to someone who can. If that’s you, cast a bid here on eBay where at least three bids have set the market value slightly above $500.

The listing ignores the ’48 Pontiac’s most interesting angle, the side profile. The elongated fenders flow gracefully rearward, setting this elegant Pontiac apart from boxier woodie wagons.

Using original pieces as templates benefits even talented woodworkers. While the listing suggests most are here, that’s less than obvious from the pictures. On the bright side, the car’s trim and metal looks good, and the seller describes minimal rust.  Though not shown, the Silver Streak inline eight cylinder engine and three speed manual transmission remain. Pontiac offered four series in 1948, the Fleetleader, Fleetleader Special, the longer-wheelbase Torpedo, and this car’s Streamliner chassis featuring the longest wheelbase (122″) of all. That’s the same as a 2018 Ford F150 pickup truck.

The art-deco dash will impress passersby when restored to its glory. Blurry cell-phone pictures make a solid effort to fend off enthusiastic bidding. Are you one of the dozen or so people on the planet with the skill set to “just add wood” and make this beauty shine again?

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Comments

  1. Don Page

    Woodie. More like Woodless !!!!!

    3
  2. Dave

    Most cars have rust. This one has termites and carpenter ants!

    3
  3. Anthony in RI

    Looks like a good basis for a 48 Pontiac El Camino

    4
    • Al

      I like this idea better !

      6
  4. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Aw come on, no guts no glory. End of Joking. I have made some wood car parts over the years and none were easy and I have over 40 years experience woodworking and a full shop to go with it. I wouldn’t touch this one without a 3-5 yr timeframe and a few cases of antacid tablets as the person that takes this one on is going to need them, plus a complete car to use to pattern and assemble based on.

    5
  5. Mountainwoodies

    Well..there are a number of great wooden body builders from Ron Heiden on the West Coast to Cinncinati Woodworks, ( I think they are still in business) to others on the East Coast. Better put aside 30 K for the body build and I don’t see much left of the interior……….not to mention the drivetrain which I can’t see either.
    Probably could buy an restored one for the money you’d spend to put this one back together.
    That said, there are usually more Ford woodies than Pontiacs at shows…….so there’s that.

    3
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      Mountainwoodies

      Do you honestly think you can get a body built for 30K? Maybe for one of the more popular Fords where there’s a pre-manufactured kit. This one on the other than, with everything (I assume) will have to be made and fitted by hand, I doubt you could get a body built for under $50K with every piece having to be hand made.
      Now if there’s a kit out there already, then maybe it’s possible but I’ve not seen one before for a Pontiac. And that $50K doesn’t include anything for the rest of the body, mechanicals, interior, etc.

      Just 2 more cents of my opinion.

      1
      • Mountainwoodie

        @86_Vette:

        Yeah I just ball parked building the wood..doors, tailgate, wood frame roofing….only. I’m sorry I wasn’t clear. Of course you need almost everything else……..I’d be surprised if it came in under a 100K. That’s why I suggested buying one already done.
        As a reference point, but for some perspective, back in 2000 on a ’47 Ford Super Deluxe woodie, it took all of 45 grand or so to build from scratch a driver’s door only, tear the car apart, remove a crumpled firewall. all the sheet metal, attach a donor firewall and dash, paint the inside rear fender walls, the firewall, the dash and the whole car, reattach the original roof framing, revarnish the original framing in and out, replace the exterior door panels, reuse the original seats, reinstall the glass and put new correct roof materiel on. Not to mention mechanical odds and ends. That was on a car that was 100 % complete and running before it was t-boned.

        1
  6. ken tilly

    Todd. I think the heading should read “Just add everything” I would much rather go for the Sturdybugger pickup in the background. Having owned a 1959 model I would love to have another.

    2
  7. MikeH

    Looks as if this guy specializes in unfinished projects.

    2
  8. claudio claudio

    s-10 frame with corvette suspension and engine and chop it up and turn it into an elcamino !under 100 k sounds reasonable …nah ,I will simply keep driving my Porsche

  9. Steve H.

    Just add wood! And labor. And time. And money. And headaches. And impossible to find parts…

    But most of all, add money. Nuh-uh. No way José.

    2
  10. Rod Roy

    I’m working on a 48 .Buick that I bought in Feb. that was in about the same shape. A friend looked at it and said that restoring it was like eating an elephant, one bite at a time.. I now have 4 doors swinging and the top roof rails on tying the stucture all together. this is all being done in my cabinet shop mainly working weekends. so this project can be done you, JUST DO IT

    5
  11. Chris M.

    Got wood? Not for this project!

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