The Real Reason Why People Still Buy Woodies is not necessarily because of their charm or appeal, but because some are highly collectible and can make a small fortune. Woodies is also a fascinating piece of automotive history and deserves a second look. It could be argued that the wood panels in the early era of the Woodies were a reflection of the old horse-drawn carriage style. But later, the faux wood panels got their own aesthetic. In the ’60s, surfers proudly showed off their “woodies”, loaded with surfboards, bringing a certain coolness to the subculture.
The evolution of these “Woodies” has given us some great models. You just need to check out these beautiful modified Woody cars. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest, if not most iconic, Woodies to ever hit our roads, including some with faux wood trim.
9 Ford V8
The 1932 Ford V8 Woody is certainly a reflection of its time. Introduced in the early 1930s, the Flathead V8 engine powered this car. Baker-Raulang was responsible for the wooden exterior.
Jacob Rauch and Charles EJ Lang worked together in the early 1900s, producing electrically powered vehicles from their Cleveland, Ohio base. They later merged with Baker Electric to become Baker Raulang. After the war, their creations became known as Raulangs. The wooden bodies they made quickly caught the attention of other companies. The 1931 Model A Traveller’s Unit, an early motorhome, was also one of their builds. They were later involved in the production of industrial trucks in World War II.
8 Chrysler City and Country
The Chrysler Town & Country station wagons were distinguished by their wood paneling. It all started in the early 1940s. The roof was made of steel. The six-cylinder inline engine powered these early cars.
When the war ended, the Town & Country “woody” returned. The Town & Country two-door hardtop produced in 1950 was the last in this line from Woodies. The Town & Country brand continued and it became one of the most important cars in Chrysler history.
7 Ford Country Squire
The Ford Country Squire has a long history, producing eight generations. The wood grain decoration set them apart. But consider how much a Ford Country Squire is worth today, with a 1978 model selling for $45,000 at auction.
The first generation Ford Country Squires is considered a true “Woodie”. The Ford Iron Mountain Plant manufactured the wood panels for these cars. But we cannot ignore the later models with their woody aesthetics.
6 Buick Roadmaster Wagon
Go back to the early 90s. The nostalgic memories of the Buick Roadmaster Wagon, with its 5.7-litre LT1 V8 engine, and its practicality. That’s what makes the Buick Roadmaster Wagon a classic. Of course, we can’t forget the fake wood panelling.
The 90s aren’t the first time we’ve seen the wood paneling in the Roadmaster. The woodgrain side takes us back to the spacious Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagons of the early 1950s.
5 Jeep Wagoneer
The Jeep Wagoneer had a long run. In the early 1960s, the Jeep Wagoneer continued the tradition of the Willys Jeep Station Wagon. It continued until the early 1990s. But now we see the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer living up to the brand’s legacy.
The Jeep Wagoneer had a distinctive look: rugged, rugged and ready to hit the road. As we reminisce about the Jeep Wagoneer of bygone years, one thing most people will remember is the side panels, with its woody look.
4 Nash Ambassador Suburban
The Nash Ambassador Suburban came out after World War II, recognizable by the wood paneling. Mitchell-Bentley supplied the mahogany paneling. Mitchell-Bentley was founded by Donald R. Mitchell. His career included working in the furniture industry, but he was also an engineer. He was eventually contracted to work on “Woodies” bodies from companies like Chevrolet and Buick.
The Nash Ambassador Suburban embraced a sleek design of the era. It is a very rare collector’s item. Perhaps 1,000 cars were built between 1946 and 1948, but today there are far fewer.
3 International Harvester Travelall
The International Harvester Travelall came out in the 1950s, lined with windows that contrasted with the earlier wooden station wagons, such as the International Harvester Woody Wagon of the 1930s and 1940s.
Enter the fourth generation, 1969-1975, where the faux wood paneling was part of the aesthetic. Numerous options were available, with different engines, up to the optional 401 cu in V8, available after the IHC V8s dwindled. Of course, we should mention those other options, such as the 304, 345 and 392 cu in V8s.
2 Morris Minor Traveler
The Morris Minor Traveler came along in the 1950’s. The Traveler has been updated over time. The schedule has changed. The 948 cc engine was updated to a 1098 cc. The lacquered wooden elements complete the look.
Production of the Traveler began at the Morris factory in Cowley. As the Morris factory did not have the necessary equipment, being equipped only for unibody cars, production was moved to Abingdon. The car was completed at the MG factory, where they had the necessary equipment and experience to assemble wooden frame bodies and mount them on the chassis.
1 Packard Station Sedan
The Packard Station Sedan was produced in the late 1940s. After the war, the popularity of the “Woody” increased. However, the Packard Station Sedan never found the same success as other Woodies of that decade.
The evolution of the Woody is not only fascinating from a historical perspective, but it also reinforces our appreciation for these cars, which have become a collector’s dream.