Pre-war Woodie: 1930 Ford Model A Wagon

ford-woodie

It never ceases to amaze us how many old cars are still hiding in old garages and barns. Some days, as we explore our own town, we start to think that all the good finds are already gone. Then we hear stories like that of reader Patrick K. and it rekindles our hope. Patrick recently pulled a 1930 Ford Model A Station Wagon from a neighbor’s garage. For over 63 years the car was parked just 3 miles from his own home and he didn’t even know it was there. We will let Patrick share his recent find in his own words after the break.

30s-woodie

Recently my friend Big John called me about a 1930 Ford Woodie located right in my neighborhood, only 3-4 miles from my home! It belonged to a friend whose Grandfather had willed his estate to him and the house had just been sold. The car had to be removed in 10 days or the new owner would take possession of all contents.

His grandfather had driven the Woodie to work on a daily basis and used it regularly for towing a small trailer, because it had provisions for a 2″ ball to mount on the 1936 Ford rear bumper. One day in 1950 he drove it home and it quit in the driveway. It was pushed into the garage and parked until I pulled it out on December 21st, 2013. He removed the four spark plugs in an effort to diagnose the problem and never put them back in, creating a very stuck engine today.

30-ford-woodie

The barn roof was not leak free and the driver side running board, splash pan and the side-mount spare fender have rust through damage, however the wood, remarkably shows little if any water rot damage. The odometer shows 09811.9 at this time. It still has the original mechanical braking system. The original grill shell is still straight, with excellent chrome finish and black paint in the lower insert. The sheet metal shows evidence of a dark brown finish and the wood inserts have a dark color of paint applied. The other wood has a lighter color of tan paint. All the glass is still intact. Each of the four fenders has at least one welded crack repair from back in the day. The seats still have an original appearing vinyl/cloth type covering. Three of four tires were flat, but took air once jacked up, while the left front tire which was not accessible still had 1950 air in it!

Loading-up-Ford

It is a “Raulang Body” with the metal body tag affixed to the right front corner of the wood near the cowl. Raulang made the wooden bodies for Ford in 1930 – 1932 at off-site plants then shipped them fully assembled to the nearest Ford assembly plant. The wood came from Henry Ford’s Iron Mountain Plant where wood for automobile interior structure was milled out and kiln dried. That plant was at full capacity in 1930, so the dried lumber was sent to Louisville, Kentucky to the Mengel Body Company for milling to spec and sub-assembling some of the all wooden station wagon body.  Then the sub-assemblies were sent to the Raulang plant where the station wagon bodies were built and finished. They were then shipped to the Ford assembly plant to be mated to a finished cowl and running chassis. The Murray Body Company also made some of the 1930 model 150-B wooden station bodies, but the Raulang Company produced the bulk of the 6,500 bodies for the 1930-1931 years and all the bodies for the 1932 year’s production

Pats-Ford

The little Woodie was apparently “loved” and had some cool modifications, including 1940 Standard 16″ wheels with proper small hubcaps and Mohawk Motor Chief  3 inch whitewall tires, Southwind heater, complete with the knob and red stripes, dual horns under the hood, matching fog lamps, sealed beam headlamps, and a professionally made x-brace from each headlamp bar mount to frame rail to minimize front fender vibrations.

We think Patrick found himself a great project and the best part is he didn’t have to go far to find it. We are sure it will bring him great joy when he has it back on the road, especially considering it will be the same streets it drove on over 60 years ago. We want to thank him for sharing his find with us and we wish him the best with its restoration!

If you have a project of your own, please send in updates so we can all follow your progress.

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Comments

  1. Dirty Dingus McGee

    Very cool find. Best of luck on the resto.

  2. Mat Belanger

    3-4 miles away from home… truly amazing and what a nice rare find!
    Congrats!!!!

  3. Koolpenguin

    Amazing. 63 years it sat there. It really is incredible that there are still cars like this available. Hopefully we can see pictures of this when it’s back on the road!

  4. Bruce Newcomb

    Great story! Would like to pass along a source of info. if interested in restoring the A to original or partial orig. condition: Woody Wagons PO Box 341 McAllen, Texas 78505.
    $15.00 will get him quarterly newsletter and access to a world of knowledge about Model A Woody Wagons. Attn: Editor Tim Johnstone Best of luck, hope to see pic’s when completed.

    1
  5. Steve H.

    That is fantastic. Spend a little time and money and get it back in shape to bring it back to life and drive it and enjoy it. Not very often you run into a find like this in this kind of shape.

  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    Congratulations on the find. Wish you well on the resto. Maybe some of that luck will rub off on the rest of us.

  7. charlie

    You are very lucky to find one of the rarest Model “A” Trucks ever made. I wonder how many even exists today.

  8. Bert Arthur

    Made my day! Keep the stories coming!

  9. paul

    Great story, & to think it was down the street.

  10. stanley

    Very Nice.! I Love reading about Barn Finds..

  11. jim s

    a find like this is what we dream of and that is what keeps us looking. great find and thanks for sharing. please keep up updated.

  12. z1rider

    Not surprised that the grill shell “chrome” is still good since it was stamped from stainless steel!!!!!!

    Something about the wood body doesn’t look right. Maybe it’s the original body, but if so, it appears that someone made some fixed window inserts. Do a Google images search of “model a station wagon” and see if you agree.

  13. Mark E

    What a great find! It sometimes boils down to a person knowing that you like old cars and would be interested in buying it. Good luck & look forward to seeing pics of it at car shows when you’re finished!

  14. Mark Jacobson

    Put in storage the year I was born. Deterioration about the same! Had a friend with an A Model in Tasmania c. 1969. Had a ride in it then. Great car.
    Mark. Queensland, Australia.

  15. FreeRider

    BUT….nobody ever says how much they have to pay for these cars in barns!

  16. Charles

    That’s really cool!

  17. rjc Member

    Great find, thanks for sharing it with us. Please keep us updated.

  18. geomechs geomechs Member

    It’s interesting to see how different generations view a car like this. I just had lunch with my Dad (89 years old) who can’t see why everyone is so interested in woodies. ‘When I was growing up in the 30s,’ Dad said, ‘there were some around and I found that they were cold, drafty, dusty, and they squeaked and rattled continuously. A trip down a gravel road and they were so chocked full of dust you almost choked to death.’ Myself, I covet a woodie and am willing to put up with the characteristic noises–and dust…

    • ThisGuy

      If you can find a gravel road to drive it on.

  19. Mark

    Very NICE Original find!!!

  20. Bryan Cohn

    What a great find! My thought is do you restore 100% or do you refurbish the mechanicals, clean everything, throw a 60’s era hippy blanket over the seats and drive it? It could be a cool rest-mod ride and could even be a tastefully done, mild rat rod. Is there such a thing as that?

    I see this up and running with its patina intact towing a Vincent powered bike to Bonneville for the BUB Trials.

  21. Tara P

    Thanks for the info on the woodie, would love to see the restoration completed woodie when its done.

  22. TC

    That’s pertty cool Pat, nice find here in town. I suppose it will be running a small block Chevy when complete.

  23. Mike Kennedy

    Great find! It really looks cool with the OOOOLD front end; I think we’re all used to seeing the 50-to older model woodies…..
    Yes, please keep these stories comin cause Im still saving up to get one of em some day…..

    thanks

    • Glen Hague

      The Model A’s had side curtains, not windows

  24. Titan,Sam Moffatt

    Hey there! Nice find and a good story, but better yet, if you aren’t doing the restoration job? You could turn it over to me!! let me know sammrfixit49@live.com. Then it would be mine?

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