Ford Custom Station Wagon The WOODN8R

Although California created the car culture, it was the surfing crowd that made the woodie station wagon into a cultural icon. This unique woodie ties together the woodie wagon, car culture, and the surfing music of the 1960s.

It was designed by James “Jimmy C” Cleveland, of Jimmy C Kustoms. A protégé of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Jimmy C was also a devotee of legendary pin striper Von Dutch, and his sculptures, paintings, illustrations, signs, and pinstriping have drawn many clients to his small California studio. From Jimmy C’s design, the task was taken over by Randy Ward, of Rod Benders in San Clemente, California.

Ward took the 1950 Ford Custom DeLuxe Station Wagon down to a bare frame. After powder coating the chassis, he mounted an independent front suspension, using coil-over-shock springs and power rack-and-pinion steering. The rear end received a nine-inch Ford live axle with custom-made mono-leaf springs.

The engine is a Ford 302 small block with custom ram-air setup from Jimmy C Kustoms. A Ford C4 transmission was built up with a special 10-inch torque converter. The engine compartment is lavishly embellished with Jimmy C graphics.

The interior offers seating for eight in three rows, custom designed by Glide Engineering. The rear seat is easily removable. The upholstery is white and teal vinyl, and the psychedelic headliner comes from a roll of original 1950s curtain material from Trader Vic’s restaurant. The carpet is Bamboo Brown. The dashboard is outfitted by Classic Instruments, and a high performance Pioneer BT980 stereo was installed with CDT Pro Series speakers. Power windows, air conditioning, and highly-polished mahogany door panels complete the motif.

The exterior has been re-paneled in Birdseye mahogany, framed in maple. The paint is Hawaiian Teal, exquisitely set off with a custom hood ornament and superb Jimmy C pinstriping. A custom-designed sun visor is mounted atop the windshield. Halibrand style custom wheels from Custom Classic and Rods mount Potenza RE750 tires, 225/55R16 in the front and 255/55R 16 at the rear.

Formerly owned by Preston Wilson, founding member and rhythm guitarist for the Eliminators, a Southern California band that has led the resurgence in 1960s surfing music, the Woodn8r appeared at the 2008 SEMA show in Las Vegas and was named to the “Top Ten Attention Grabbing Vehicles” by the Discovery Channel. It comes with a custom-painted Fender Telecaster guitar, signed by Wilson and other members of the Eliminators, and a 30-gallon oil can hand-painted by Jimmy C, as well as First Place memorabilia from the Grand National Roadster Show and Good Guys.

The surfing culture produced lots of woodies, some restored, many customized, but few are linked to any well-known personality. Certainly there is no other with a provenance that so perfectly combines surfing, music, and art.

Model 0BA. Est. 350 bhp, 302 cu. in. Ford OHV V-8 engine, three-speed C4 automatic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 114.0 in.

Part of the RM Auctions event for the John Staluppi Collection in 2012

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Teddy Pieper ©2012

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