One Family Owned: 1937 Ford Woody Wagon

It isn’t unusual for us to see classic cars here at Barn Finds that have been part of the same family since new. However, finding one that has been in that situation for more than eight decades is a rarity. That is the case with this 1937 Ford Woody Station Wagon. The owner recently passed away, and this Woody is being offered for sale to settle her estate. It is a remarkably well-preserved old classic, and it appears that its restoration would be pretty straightforward. If you would like to be the person responsible for returning this gem to its former glory, you will find it listed for sale here at Auction Ninja. The bidding has reached $17,500, but the auction estimate is between $20,000 and $40,000. I want to thank Barn Finder David for spotting this beauty for us.

It seems that the recently deceased owner of this Woody inherited it from her parents when they passed away. She drove it regularly for many years but parked it in her barn a few years ago. It remains in that state today and is remarkably well preserved. It wears its original Autumn Brown paint, which has accumulated numerous small chips and marks over the last eighty-four years. However, there are no appreciable dents or marks on the panels, and there’s no evidence of rust. For potential restorers, the most important news is the state of the timber. It would benefit from a refinish, but there’s no evidence of rot or other nasty problems. The external trim is in acceptable condition for a driver quality classic, while the glass appears virtually flawless. As a restoration project, this looks like a promising and straightforward proposition for the buyer. It is also a classic that should turn heads once the restoration is complete. Alternatively, I can see no reason why the next owner couldn’t drive this with pride as an original survivor.

As is the case with the exterior, this Woody’s interior is complete and in a serviceable state. Once again, the timber would probably benefit from some mild restoration, but it is undamaged and has no signs of rot. The upholstered surfaces are cracked and splitting, but if the owner wanted to drive this as an original survivor, they could throw blankets over the seats and use it largely untouched. The dash looks pretty presentable, with gauges that are crisp and clear. The floor mat is in good order, and the only other item that might require restoration is the wheel. Overall, I can see no reason why this interior couldn’t be used as-is.

Powering this Ford is a 221ci flathead V8 that would have produced 85hp when the vehicle rolled out of the showroom. That power found its way to the road via the rear wheels and a three-speed manual transmission. While this is not a muscle car, that combination offered sprightly performance when the vehicle was new. When the deceased owner parked this classic, it was running. That was a few years ago, so returning it to our roads once again may require some tinkering and tweaking. However, the bulletproof nature of these little flathead V8s is such that it might not take a lot of work to coax it back to life. If that’s the case, hitting the road in this old Wagon might take relatively little work. It might represent a rewarding way to spend the upcoming winter months so that this Wagon is ready for some enjoyable touring once the warm weather hits.

Since the estate listed this 1937 Ford Woody Wagon for sale, it has received a mere three bids. There are still several days to go on the auction, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see things become more lively very shortly. I also believe that the auction estimate will probably be in the ballpark for the final sale price. Fully restored, there is no reason why this Wagon shouldn’t command a value beyond $50,000. There is even the possibility that the figure could climb as high as $70,000 on a good day. If you have always longed for a Woody Wagon, perhaps this is an auction you should be watching closely. Your wish may be about to come true.


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  1. Stevieg Member

    Anyone who would refinish this grand old lady should be shot! She is a beauty as she is! Preserve her & enjoy.

    Like 36
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      Hard to imagine how this one survived intact sitting in a barn in Vermont.

      And please, do not molest this one.

      Like 23
  2. BlondeUXB Member

    Production numbers for this car were under 1,000 units…

    Like 9
  3. RKS

    I think the chips and marks the author’s is seeing is actually falling snow. I’d just make it safe and not change a thing except maybe throw a Mexican blanket over the front seat for comfort.

    Like 19
  4. nlpnt

    Before anyone comments on the two different license plates, if the father survived and owned this car until the late ’80s that would explain things. The state of Vermont will issue you a new and different license plate number if you buy out your car lease, I can readily see them doing so when a car is passed on through inheritance.

    Like 3
  5. Rolls-Royce

    My fathers favorite car is the Morris Minor, and that car looks a bit like the Ford Woody Wagon.

    Like 2
  6. Fred Wilharm

    Now here is something you don’t see, survivor woodies. If it were in CA some kid in the 60’s would have gone the surfboard route with it, in Vermont it was safe. There are products that would preserve the wood as is for many years, as long as it is stored in a climate controlled building. Beautiful car that deserves to be preserved as is.

    Like 14
  7. DavidH

    This vehicle lives just a few miles down the road from me. What a hoot to see it on my favorite website.

    Like 7
  8. ADM

    You just can’t beat a ’37 Ford. Whatever this Woody goes for, it’ll be worth the money. These types of vehicles always are.

    Like 5
  9. Bill McCoskey

    Wow, just WOW!

    As someone who ran a restoration shop for 30 years, if this car was driven to my shop, I would tell the owner NOT to spend $30,000 or more, and talk them into just doing upkeep and maintenance work. an 8 decade old car is only original once. It takes a lot of dedication to a vehicle to keep it in this condition, for this long.

    To the new buyer: enjoy this car and accept the challenge to maintain the car as it is today. Take it to car shows. Have a sign made explaining to car show visitors this car is all original, not an older restoration.

    Like 8
  10. Joe Haska

    Lots of good comments and I agree with most. It is amazing a few short years ago this would have been 40 to 50 K in this condition. Not now not so much, WHY? I wish I knew I can guess, but it doesn’t really matter the market price has decreased. Good for buyer not so much the seller.

    Like 1
  11. HC

    Drool, drool and just more drool. What a beautiful Woody 37 wagon. I bet she brings between $27-$35 K easily. This car is firing on all cylinders on the wow factor IMO. Just love it!

    Like 1
  12. MGSteve

    I would guess that the values have fallen off a bit, due largely to one man: Nick Alexander. Mr. Alexander had created a massive and beautiful collection of Woodies. I believe they were all restored . . . or perhaps some were incredible original survivor types, such as this one. His interests apparently changed, and he sold off (at least most . . . ) of his collection. I’m not an economist, but I would think that rather flooded the market, and simultaneously removed a major buyer. My 2 cents.

    • BlondeUXB Member

      The gavel hasn’t dropped yet.
      You may be surprised if you base expectations on pre-auction estimates…

  13. George Mattar

    Leave it alone. Drive. Maintain. Enjoy. Cars like this are not that easy to find.

    Like 2
  14. Rj

    Cut and widen the frame under the hood to fit a 427. The tunnel should be about right for a 6 speed. Narrow the rear so you can tub in a set of 15’s.
    The other route might be to convert her to a NAPCO 4X and run the Rubicon and other well known trails so the modern users can see how it was done it the past. You would want electric or air lockers. A fresh high torque built small block under the hood would keep the wheels turning. To protect the trees and the tin….cover everything with spray on bed liner. There are a couple body beating obstacles that I would use the go around free card. No roof top tent needed as the back will sleep two easy.

    Like 2
    • Bill Potts

      I have no words to say. Almost all the comments except yours support preserving this beautiful survivor. I’m not against modifying, but there’s plenty of ratty vehicles to hit rod

      Like 5
    • RKS

      LOL I love watching the purists heads explode lol

      Like 1
  15. Gray Wolf

    You have to maintain the wood, that is mandatory! Everything else just maintain and it remain SWEET!! Buy the way, the surfers are the ones who saved the woodies from going in the junkyard here on the West Coast! They were affordable in the ‘60’s, so that what is surfers would use, plus 4-door wagons that were unwanted.

  16. Rod

    There are laws and regulations protecting old buildings from disgraceful modifications. There should be similar regulations for classic beauties such as this one.

  17. HC

    The wood looks great for being 80 years old and steel looks fine too. Those 221ci flathead head V8s can be modestly upgraded with some Edelbrock components in a rebuild to produce a few more horses than 85, without being obnoxious. The Woodies that are still in this condition are a thing in dreams

  18. Danny V. Johnson

    All that’s missing is the spare tire and a World War II ration sticker on the windshield. I love it jus like it is.

    • BlondeUXB Member

      A couple of spare tire covers are shown in the parts photos…

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