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Hooniverse Wagon Wednesday: A 1946 Ford Woody and A 1948 Packard Station Sedan

Jim Brennan October 13, 2010 Showdown, Wagon Wednesday 21 Comments

This past weekend I ran a series of postings on Convertibles. During my research, I found a lot of classic car dealerships sprinkled throughout the country with magnificent web sites, and outstanding images. One of these dealerships is one that has been in business for 37 years, and that would be The Stable in Gladstone, NJ. They specialized in European imports, but now have extensive “American” merchandise as well. So, on this fifth edition of Wagon Wednesday, I thought I would highlight two distinguished Woody Wagons from Ford and Packard.

Let’s start with the Ford. This car only has 24,000 miles on it, and this dealer has the opportunity to resell this same car they once sold over 30 years ago. The car has been stored in a climate controlled garage, which is the reason for its preservation. According to the listing:

We sold this very original and very rare car locally 30 years ago. It has been driven about 2,000 miles since then and remains in the same condition as was evident at that time, having been kept in a climate controlled garage in New Vernon. Finished in burgundy with saddle interior, this is the 8-passenger four door model with walk-through seating in the 2nd row. It has the rear-mounted spare, chrome bumper overriders front and rear, a remote control driver-side spot light and its original radio, clock and owner’s manual. These early post-war wagons had wood everywhere including the ceiling of the car which looks like the inside of an old wooden skiff. They were powered by the famous flathead V-8 Ford engine with a 3-speed manual transmission.

The asking price for this luscious piece of wood is $120,000. Wood wagons have been rapidly escalating in value, even during the recent economic downturn. But is this car worth the asking price? See the entire listing here!

If the idea of a $120,000 Ford is out of the question, then what would a Packard of the same vintage be worth? This is a 1948 Packard Station Sedan. It didn’t have the cargo volume of the Ford, or any of the contemporary wagons of that time, but it was more stylish. If you notice, the Packard didn’t use as much wood as the Ford, utilizing most of the sheetmetal from the sedan version of the Packard Eight. According to the listing:

The 1948 Packard woody was a prime example of post-war America’s creative design and pride in manufacturing. The car’s birch-paneled body–with its flowing lines from its lovely swan mascot to the most unusual birch tailgate, the L-Head straight-8 engine with 3-speed manual transmission, the period vinyl and tweed interior-all were perhaps contributors to the car being anointed “The Fashion Car of The Year” by the New York Fashion Academy when this land yacht was introduced in 1947. Woody wagons have attained a special place in American car culture and the Packard is among the finest. Our car experienced a nut-and-bold, body-off-chassis restoration (fully photo-documented) by its local owner of many decades. It has been driven fewer than 1,000 miles since the completion of the restoration and is in magnificent condition throughout. It is ready for showing and touring–for a fraction of the price of a restoration if one could find such a car at all.

The asking price of this Packard is $110,000. The dealership said it best when thay stated that this is less than the cost of a full restoration, if you could find one at all. Again, is this car worth the asking price? See the entire listing here!

So which pre 1950 Woody Wagon would you choose to spend over $100,000 for?

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Image Source: The Stable Ltd.

  • Packard. If for nothing else, the red pedal. That is up there with N-button in my books.

  • SSurfer321

    The Packard has better lines but that exterior wood on the sides just looks cobbled together IMO. It breaks up the flow of the car. For that reason I voted Ford.
    Now excuse me while my lazy butt goes and posts the Ford Wagon in yesterdays Encyclopedia Hoonatica…

    • AteUpWithMotor

      The side trim is indeed tacked on — it was a mix of plastic and real wood — but Station Sedan still looks a lot better than the 1948-1950 sedans.

    • dmilligan

      I'm with you. I normally love Packards, they're wonderful cars, but the wood job they performed on this wagon is an act of cruelty. It looks like they ran out of wood about 1/4 of the way into the job and tried to do the best they could with what they had. Or something.
      I voted Ford too, I'm afraid.

      • FuzzyPlushroom

        …which is a real shame, because the only 'pregnant elephant' Packard I truly enjoy the lines of is the wagon, and the wood ruins it.

  • The Packard because it makes wood look good. Tweed seats? Yes, please.

  • Lotte

    A what? Station Sedan?! Next thing you'll tell me there are such things as two-door sedans and four-door hatchbacks.

  • The HotWheels "'40's Woody" was always one of my most cherished favorites, and the Ford is pretty close to that in style.

    The Packard has a lovey greenhouse, but those doors are hideous! Even a Dodge 600 looks better below the beltline.

    The Packard is rarer and sleeker, but I'd rather have an all-steel version. Or perhaps the wood greenhouse only but, taste aside, woe the fool who'd do that to this example.

    Advavntage: Ford.

    • RahRahRecords

      Did youhave the version of the "40'swoodie" with the back wheels that you could jack up? I still have that one.

      • Actually it was that exact one! Yellow front with black interior. Still have it as well, but don't know which box it's in at the moment.

  • tonyola

    The Ford seems overpriced or the much rarer and more deluxe Packard is underpriced. Advantage Packard, even though I don't love the preggers elephant styling. As with any woody, the buyer needs to check out the wood carefully. It takes a master woodworker to duplicate parts for these cars.

    • I wanted to vote Packard. I really did… I know how significant it is. And yet, WTF were they thinking? When did "deluxe" and "luxury" mean "gluing some washboards to the doors"? That greenhouse is fantastic, the hatch stunning. But I simply just can't get past the doors. Either give the flanks the same treatment, or blend the full door into the window frame, or don't do anything at all.

      Speaking of master woodworking, I'd love to meet the craftsmen who blended the wood doors / fenders on the '48 Town & Country:

      <img src="http://www.goingincirclez.com/Kaleid/Albums/BON/Verse/48_TC.jpg"&gt;

      Look at the sculpting on that front door, both the fender blend AND the lower sill. Magnificent.

      • dmilligan

        Exactly my thoughts on the Packard. The '48 T&C is lovely, and the woodwork looks well done. I make things out of wood and I appreciate skill with the craft when I can find it.

  • Not an easy choice. So, I just threw a quarter in the air. Heads it was Ford, tails it was Packard. Unfortunately, the guy that sits next to me reached out and grabbed the quarter and bought some Pop Tarts from the vending machine with it. So, I used a penny.

    I went with the Ford, though both are beautiful cars and speak to a time when life was different.

    Oh, and as far as the question on "whether or not they are worth the asking price", the answer is maybe. If someone plunks down $110,000 or $120,000 for one of these, then it is . Maybe not to you. Maybe not to me. But to the person that ponied up the cash it is.

    • So I used a penny.
      I passed French that way. It's a really low stress solution when you've got it down to two, but simply don't know the answer.

  • OA5599

    Despite the Ford's contribution to some pleasant backyard barbecues (Kingsford Charcoal originated when Henry Ford sought a way to turn his wood scraps into cash), I'm going to go with the Packard this time around.

  • AteUpWithMotor

    The problem with real wood is that the upkeep is a pain in the ass. In that sense, the Packard was the worst of both worlds, because some of its wood trim was plastic, but the tailgate and the horizontal spars were real.

  • Packard is absolutely beautiful. Especially the quality of that dashboard woodwork. You could almost imagine floating down the turnpike in an old Chris-Craft.

    Also, exterior always reminds me of this:

    <img src="http://theinvisibleagent.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/loewy-train1.jpg&quot; width=500>

    Massive plus point.

    • marmer

      The dashboard woodwork on the Packard and many other cars of the period is painted metal, right? Admittedly a vey nice example.