Surfboard Included! 1946 Ford Woodie

Sometimes a classic will come along and it seems like the owner has chosen the perfect location to shoot their photos. That is the case with this 1946 Ford Woodie, because what better location could there be than a seaside setting for a classic wagon with a vintage surfboard strapped to the roof? The bonus is that if you buy the wagon, the rack and board are included as part of the deal. The Woodie is located in Oceanside, California, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set the BIN at $19,900, but the option is available to submit an offer. I need to say thank you to Barn Finder Ikey H for submitting one of the coolest cars that I have seen for quite a while.

There you go. Now the setting is looking pretty right. The ocean in the background, and a Woodie with a surfboard in the foreground. Now I’m happy. So, on to the vehicle itself. It wears its age like a badge of honor, with plenty of surface corrosion visible. The owner does say that the body has some rust, but what can be seen is definitely repairable. It isn’t clear what state the floors are in, but even if there is rust present, addressing it should be pretty straightforward. The biggest issue is going to surround the timber. Unfortunately, we have had termites. They have exacted a pretty heavy toll, but it looks like they have been stopped in their tracks. They have done enough damage that the rear door has had to be bolted shut. As the owner does rightly point out, what remains could easily be used as a template if the next owner wants to fabricate their own replacement pieces. This is definitely an option that is worth considering because replacement kits can be quite expensive. If you’ve never taken on this type of challenge before, you probably shouldn’t be too overwhelmed. Having said that, it wouldn’t hurt to buy a few pieces of cheap timber to practice on first. You never know, but you might just surprise yourself.

When you take into account the external condition of this old Ford, what rests under the hood is a pleasant surprise. What we find is a nicely detailed 239ci flathead V8, and this is backed by a 2-speed automatic transmission. The engine has recently been rebuilt, and as you will hear if you play the YouTube video that I have included at the bottom of this article, it does sound quite nice. The radiator has been replaced and is fitted with an electric fan to keep things cool. The electrical system has also come in for attention, with the Woodie receiving a rewire and an update to 12-volts. The vehicle has also been fitted with wider wheels, and these are wrapped in new tires. Topping things off, the braking system has been gone through, and everything is now new. The upshot of all of this work is the fact that the old Ford is said to now purr down the road.

The interior is a case of “something old, something new.” The majority of the interior trim is original, and its general condition is in keeping with the vehicle’s exterior condition. The exception is the covers on the seats, which aren’t subtle by any means. Truth is, I kinda like them. Part of me would really love to restore the interior, but a larger part of me would be very inclined to leave it largely untouched. It just has so much character. Regardless of what the next owner’s intentions might be, there are some items that are going to require attention as a matter of course. The windshield wipers currently don’t operate, so addressing that will be a necessity. The fuel gauge and speedometer are both inoperative, and while the former might be as a result of the updated electrical system, the latter is quite likely due to an incompatibility between the original speedometer and the new transmission. From a comfort perspective, neither the heater nor the radio work. Those last two aren’t urgent, but they would be worth fixing sooner rather than later.

Fun in the California sun in a Ford Woodie. It just seems so right. There is no doubt that this old Ford has bags of character, and it does beg the question as to whether the next owner will restore this beauty, or whether they would drive and enjoy it largely untouched. My heart says that the next owner should just leave it as-is, and enjoy the attention that the Ford will attract wherever it goes. However, from a practical perspective, the level of deterioration to the original timbers means that the point will come where at least a partial restoration will become a matter of necessity. To a certain extent that will be sad, because the Woodie does have bags of character right now. However, if it was restored to its former glory, then I can guarantee that it would still attract plenty of attention wherever it went. To me, that sounds like a win-win situation. They don’t happen that often.


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  1. Howard A Member

    Well, it’s a long way off from Surf City’s woodie. That was a 1930 and it didn’t have a back seat or a rear window, apparently, it wasn’t cherry, but it still got Jan and Dean where they wanted to go.( when music was fun!) I know patina is all the rage,,,in some places, and surface rust is one thing, but rotten wood takes it too far. Heck, I’m no carpenter, although my old man was one, but even I could make this look better than this. Woodie wagons are so rare, and beautiful when restored, looks awful like this. Still quite a find.

    Like 8
    • Fred W

      Close Howard- “I got a ’34 wagon and I call it a woooodie…Surf City , here I come..” This one does ooze character and is in fact a lot closer to what the surfer boys were driving to CA beaches back in the day than the concours level woodies you see these days. I read a Hemmings article about a ’46 that resembled this one where the new owner ( a professional woodworker) was able to bring back the wood when it looked impossible. Don’t think this one qualifies though.

      Like 4
      • Howard A Member

        You know, Fred, for years I thought that too, but all the lyrics I’ve seen, say a ’30 FORD wagon,,,fact is, thanks to those lyric sites, there’s all kinds of lyrics I was wrong about.

        Like 2
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Just remember, some lyrics can be construed many different ways and the listener can HEAR things that others don’t. For example my friend’s 3 year daughter used to sing: “If you’re gonna play in Texas, you GOTTA WANNA FIDDLE WITH A MAN,” as loud as she could sing. Attempts to correct her were completely futile. The girl’s all grown up now. I wonder if she still thinks those are the words…

        Like 5
      • Howard A Member

        There’s a few, like CCR, “There’s a bad moon on the rise”, I thought was, “there’s a bathroom on the right”, or in Little Deuce Coupe, I thought was, “I got a big slip daddy”, possibly referring to some kind of clutch, is really, “I got the pink slip daddy”, either referring to he won the title of the other car, or a track time slip. Any others?

        Like 4
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        A common one I heard was Peter Paul and Mary: “THE ANTS ARE MY FRIENDS; THEY’RE BLOWING IN THE WIND.” Dr. Hook: “BABY TAKES HER BLUE JEANS OFF.” David Lee Murphy: “MIGHT BE–A LITTLE DUST ON HER BOTTOM.” Or there are those who alter the words just a bit so they’re no longer cuss-words. “WHEN KRAMER FINDS OUT ABOUT THIS, THE SHIP IS GONNA HIT THE SAND.” Good Lordy, you’d think retired people got nothing better to do…

        Like 4
    • Little_Cars

      So much so, geomechs, you are repeating yourself!!! LOL

      Maybe it was “I got a 30 Ford and they call it a woody?” The online lyric websites are typically not monitored by the sharpest knives in the drawer. More like the knaves of cyberspace. Random people alter words just like us on the outside of cyberspace.

      Like 2
  2. Pete

    to top that, it looks like that surf board is bolted down.

    Like 2
  3. Chris in Pineville

    Jan & Dean’s woodie in the Surf City song was a ’34…..

    Like 1
  4. ken tilly UK Member

    The owner/driver doesn’t appear to have much respect for “Stop” signs does he? Apart from that, if you take new ownership of a car in US are you compelled to obtain a vehicle roadworthy certificate before being allowed to operate on a public road? Vehicles over 40 years old don’t require a roadworthy certificate here in UK but if it were seen on a public road it would be confiscated within about ten minutes I would think. If a cert. were required then this lovely wagon would cost a fortune here in order to receive a roadworthy certificate.

    Like 2
    • That AMC guy

      Inspection requirements vary by state, sometimes by regions within a state. Some have emission inspections only, some have safety inspections, some have no inspection at all.

      On this vehicle I’d say that as long as the frame is sound and the basics such as brakes, tires, and suspension are OK then it’s roadworthy. It looks ratty but that is not grounds for confiscation here in the U.S.

      Like 5
  5. Will Fox

    I for one will be glad when this ‘patina’ fad dies out; it was old 10 years ago. And then there’s the car that never had ‘patina’, so the owner applies FAKE patina to make it look “hip”. Same mindset goes for “old school” rat rod flat black paintjobs.

    Like 5
  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    On the ranch, when a wooden shed deteriorated as badly as this body, my dad took a can of gas and a match and burned it to the ground. Then you swept up the debris and built anew. Now I wouldn’t resort to the gas and match part but the wood on this has deteriorated to the point where all you’ve got is patterns for new pieces. I don’t think you’ve got any choice but to restore this. Get rolling this down the road in this condition and in a very short time, it’s going to be shedding pieces. Come on; restore it and give it back its dignity. That 8BA (possibly EAB) engine is a good substitute under the hood although I would’ve kept the 59AB and the manual transmission. But that’s an argument for another feature…

    Like 6
  7. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Thats a lot of money for a surfboard.

    Like 2
  8. Jim in FL

    There’s was a guy who restored these in my town, his business name was treehouse woods. He did custom cabinetry as well. He’s since retired, but the shop was very cool, he always had a couple of these hanging around the shop. I could imagine these are ungodly expensive to restore. He also had a fiberglass fender kit car with a wood body that you could buy outright.

    The upside is these are pretty valuable when complete. But I’m not sure how many people are left that can do the woodwork.

    Don’t know why people insist on putting “vintage surfboards” on these to drive around. That’s got sidebites on it. Vintage board would be a glassed on single fin.

    Like 2
  9. Gaspumpchas

    Shame to see in this condition. the wood and metal resto of this one would not be for the faint of heart. I think that you can buy the wood pieces already made up?
    Either way, if you fix it yourself or pay someone time and materials to do it up, you are looking at Humungous bucks. Know what you are getting yourself into. Good luck and stay safe.

  10. charlie Member

    Note the direction of the door handles. Like hood ornaments, the safety guys prohibited them in the 50’s since handles facing forward could grab the clothing of a pedestrian with bad results. Mercedes and Chrysler fixed the hood ornament issue by having them fold back, all fixed the door issue by having them open at the rear, or, by having the front of the handle flush with the door surface, or going to non-twisting type handles. And, if you are as old as me, you remember that almost no matter what the make, eventually one or more would no longer be parallel with the ground, they tended to sag when the spring got tired. They are not sagging on this Ford.

    Like 1
  11. charlie Member

    I looked again, they are sagging!

    Like 1
  12. Little_Cars

    Ugh. The rear door and bottom of the tailgate….looks just like the wood looks like on my 1944 horse barn! I guess with this being a Ford there are at least entire wood replacement kits available. Not like the International listed elsewhere!

    Like 1
  13. Robert Thomas

    I know this car, have seen it many times when driving along the coast HWY in north county San Diego.

    Like 2
  14. Bernie H.

    Too bad it has the wrong engine for the year. What you see is a right front distributor & hose connections of a 1949-53 engine. I guess most people dont know the difference and wouldnt care as long as it runs well. Food for thought.

    Like 2
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      There were a lot of trucks had their engines changed out for the 8BA/8CM. Some guys claimed they ran better. My opinion was that the distributor was easier to get at. But that front distributor had dual points and was designed by Mallory. You set it on the bench and installed it on the engine. Very seldom did you need to take it off until it needed servicing again…

      Like 1
  15. TimM

    Must be woodie week here on barn find better get out the circular saw!!!

    Like 3
  16. buc

    this guy always has various wood wagons for sale on ebay. i recognize his house

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