Ford Woodie Custom
Wood-bodied station wagons or “woodies” have always been popular and while they were originally designed and built for a life of hard work, their unique construction and timeless style and elegance led to their widespread acceptance as symbols of luxury and leisure. Ford station wagons have always enjoyed strong demand over the years, by virtue of their consistently attractive styling and sturdy power trains.
While the 1946 and 1947 Ford models continued the existing prewar design of 1942, subtle improvements were made to these vehicles as Ford resumed full-scale automobile production after the close of World War II. Their powertrain, including the robust and powerful “flathead” V8 engine, continued relatively unchanged as well. However, the grille treatment was revised, marked by a set of prominent horizontal bars outside of the grille opening, as opposed to the flush-mounted grille design of the prior 1942 models. Otherwise, the rest of the body was a straight carryover from 1942. In addition, very minor detail changes distinguished the 1947 models, including the elimination of the red “tracer” paint from the grille, as well as the appearance of a new hood-mounted emblem and a pair of repositioned and very attractive circular parking lights.
The immediate postwar Ford models, produced between 1946 and 1948, have increasingly caught the eye of a number or prominent hot rod builders since the mid-1980s, inspired by the “fat fender” look that recognized and amplified the very pleasing lines and proportions of this previously overlooked series of Ford automobiles. In particular, a whole new wave of hot rod constructors have advanced the trend by taking these vehicles to even greater mechanical and stylistic heights, along with unprecedented levels of luxury and passenger comfort, while providing impressive levels of performance. The radical automobile presented here, a 1947 model, bears little resemblance to its more rudimentary beginnings, other than its classic bodylines. Today, this thoroughly customized automobile seamlessly blends its classic good looks with luxury, modern technology and blistering performance.
Once an original 1947 Ford Station Wagon with iconic rear structural woodwork, this example now features a steel rear framework supporting new, expertly joined and beautifully stylized non-structural wooden bodywork, complemented by a handsome green exterior finish on the remainder of the car. Upon closer inspection, quality construction is evident in many subtle details including incredible wooden taillight housings. The stance is provided by a fully independent suspension with Air Ride at all four corners, with a custom-designed Lincoln Mark VIII independent suspension system at the rear of the car. Stopping power has been considerably upgraded from stock configuration as well, with a set of Baer disc brakes all around the car, while five-spoke polished alloy wheels, shod with low profile, high-performance radial tires complete the stunning exterior package.
Underhood, the original Flathead V8 engine is long gone, having been replaced by a thoroughly modern, all-aluminum Cobra-specification modular V8 engine from Ford, with power capably routed to the rear end assembly by a stout Ford AOD-E four-speed automatic transmission. Most visibly, a body-colored custom induction system was created, highlighting the fully polished engine block, cylinder heads and valve covers. The valve covers were also painted in the center for contrast, while the front-mounted accessory drive pulleys have been carefully tucked in and the radiator is cleverly hidden behind the core support, making for a very clean and highly detailed show-quality engine compartment.
Inside, the Ford is fully trimmed in with brown leather upholstery by Paul Atkins Custom Interiors, with embossed teardrop designs throughout, which echo the design motif of the custom billet steering wheel atop a tilt steering column. The door panels display an embossed stylized wave theme, reminiscent of the surf culture that embraced many woodies over the years. The dash retains its original flavor, yet contains a full complement of instruments, allowing the driver to monitor the operating status of all vital systems, while a custom center console incorporates an armrest, providing additional comfort while cruising. The interior is also complete with an incredible custom entertainment system, with no fewer than three flat screens – one dash-mounted unit and two more mounted within the custom-built headliner. Adhering to the creed “…a lot is good, more is better, and too much is just right”, the rear cargo compartment is endowed with a beautifully integrated and packaged high-power custom audio system.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
400 bhp, 281 cu. in. all-aluminum Ford Cobra V8 engine with double overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder, AOD-E four-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel Air Ride, independent front suspension, custom all-aluminum Lincoln Mark VIII independent rear suspension, and four-wheel Baer hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 114"
Source: RM Auctions