Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Non-Wagon Woodys


Last Friday’s E-H discussion prompted P161911 to bring up woodgrain “paneling.” It was pretty popular on mid-size and full-size domestic wagons. Vinyl “wood” in various amounts was nearly a requirement on Vista Cruisers, Country Squires, Safaris and Roadmasters for many years. Rambler even amped it up to 11 with simulated bleached teakwood. Prior to that there were the real woody wagons. But how many wood motifs, whether real or faux, made it onto vehicles other than the classic American station wagon?

The most glaring and contentious example is the Chrysler LeBaron Town & Country convertible, which like the Chrysler K-wagons of the time admittedly went a little crazy with the 3-D plasti-wood framing. Many people hate the T&C with a passion. While I would probably choose a normal-looking Dodge 400 convertible instead, I have a curious, twisted fascination with the be-wooded K’vert. Has there ever been any other car where woodgrain loooked so out of place?
You know the drill, read through first to avoid duplicates.
DIFFICULTY: Surprisingly cruel.

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75 responses to “Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Non-Wagon Woodys”

  1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    I look forward to this thread, I can't think of a single one other than the T&C. We had a few station wagons over here with wood-you-believe-it decor, but that was it.

  2. Tomsk Avatar

    1968 Mercury Park Lane 2-door Hardtop (also available as a convertible)
    <img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2467/3682490609_432c76d46f_z.jpg&quot; width=640" height="346" />

  3. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Aha! Chevy Chevette.
    <img src="http://0.tqn.com/d/cars/1/0/a/n/1976_chevy_chevette.jpg&quot; width=500>
    It's woodgrain if you squint, thanks to the hi-contrast photo from http://0.tqn.com/d….

    1. Paul_y Avatar

      …but I think that's real wood. Either way, not a wagon.

  4. Mr_Biggles Avatar

    Does this count? It's kind of a woody…
    <img src="http://www.ridelust.com/wp-content/uploads/ambig_gay_penis_mobile.jpg"&gt;
    From the excellent collection of cartoon cars of all time http://www.ridelust.com/the-20-greatest-cartoon-c

  5. engineerd Avatar

    Does a PT Cruiser (at Ron Jon's in Cocoa Beach) count?
    <img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2586/3939686062_4c92df829f.jpg&quot; width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_2659" />
    Or a car with a wood frame?
    <img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4087/4847240958_aa9942dde5.jpg&quot; width="500" height="333" alt="1938 Morgan 4-4 Series 1 Drophead Coupe Prototype" />

    1. SSurfer321 Avatar

      Doesn't Ron Jon's also have a woody Dodge Magnum? Oh, wait….NON WAGON WOODYS.
      He's got wood on his bus [/double entendre]
      <img src="http://www.ronjonsurfshop.com/images/RJ_Motorhome.jpg"&gt;

      1. engineerd Avatar

        Yeah, and I have a pic of the Magnum. The Magnum and PT Cruiser are kind of horrific. The bus is, as well. Wood paneling (I know, it's just paint) on the AC unit? Weirdo.

        1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

          Maybe the "AC unit" is actually a self-launching lifeboat? Either way, the application of wood may still have been unwise…

  6. NMUSpidey Avatar

    Chrysler put wood siding on tons o' stuff, including their minivans!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1UXaNBiOPA youtube]

  7. NMUSpidey Avatar

    (sorry, should look like this)
    [youtube v1UXaNBiOPA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1UXaNBiOPA youtube]

    1. chrystlubitshi Avatar

      wow… that '95 to '96 was a HUGE styling overhaul wasn't it…. i remember it looking like a new millenium when it happened… but had forgotten how huge of a change it was… wow… Iacocca was a genius.. wasn't he.

  8. tonyola Avatar

    1968 Chrysler Newport woody – a quickie response to the Mercury coupe, and very rare.
    <img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3074/2974069455_4552cbd807.jpg"&gt;

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      1. chrystlubitshi Avatar

        the shop i worked at for my freshman year of college had a "perpetually for sale" '72 newport coupe… metallic blue.. fully restored with "original" black leather with white piping interior (it was an upgrade from vinyl to leather).. beautiful car…. the guy who put it in the shop had bought it at an auction for 3 grand.. but it wouldn't start.. needed a new distributor and plugs… he never paid the bill… the lien made it shop property.. and i did my damnedest to scrape together to 3K to buy it… but i couldn't…. and it sold….. i was a sad freshman in 2000

  9. ThrillPhil Avatar

    How about the original mini panel wagon ?
    http://image62.webshots.com/462/8/39/22/287483922

  10. tonyola Avatar

    1946 Mercury Sportsman – only 205 built (there was also a far more common Ford Sportsman).
    <img src="http://www.automotivetraveler.com/images/stories/blogs/richt/090520-05-1946_Mercury_Sportsman_convertible_front_exterior.jpg&quot; width=500>

  11. engineerd Avatar

    Quick, call jinx!

  12. Jim Brennan Avatar

    I know this is a wagon, but the original 1978 Chrysler LeBaron Town & Country Wagon was a bit over the top in the fake wood department.
    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v655/SmithAlien747/1978ChryslerTCgreen6.jpg&quot; alt="" />

  13. tonyola Avatar

    1948 Chevrolet Fleetline – this was a dealer-installed option and not structural, unlike the Ford Sportsman.
    <img src="http://files.conceptcarz.com/img/Chevrolet/48-chevy_Woody_Fleetline_GMN-06-AC_01.jpg&quot; width=500>

  14. LTDScott Avatar

    Damn you guys! You either make these posts before I get to work (as is the case today), or when I'm on my way home from work, so once I get to read them, all the obvious answers have been taken!

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

      These are supposed to run at 1 PM PST. I accidentally ran today's at 1 AM by mistake. Ooops. Seems like you found an awesome contribution anyway.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

      I had no idea. How awesome is that?

      1. tonyola Avatar

        I'd personally rather have a pre-1972. The Torinos and Rancheros became seriously fat and ugly porkers beginning in '72
        <img src="http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/1970-ford-ranchero.jpg"&gt;

  15. tonyola Avatar

    One more and the greatest woody of them all – the 1924 Hispano Suiza H6C Tulipwood Torpedo.
    <img src="http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/images/large/3859/Hispano-Suiza-H6C-Tulip-Wood-Torpedo_1.jpg&quot; width=500>

  16. loudvilledan Avatar

    Chevy Spark woody, I think it's the newest of new woodies.
    <img src=http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/12/2010/08/chevy_spark_woodie_02.jpg>

    1. joshuman Avatar

      No amount of sea and surf can make that scheme work.

  17. Juliet C. Avatar

    The Mini was probably the sorry-est excuse for a woody.
    <img src=http://assets.speedtv.com/images/easy_gallery/963221/1964_austin_mini_cooper_woody_wagon_m.jpg>

  18. Juliet C. Avatar

    Technically not a station wagon either. My family had one of these as a kid.
    <img src=http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/autopia/2010/02/1973_chevrolet_suburban.jpg>

    1. chrystlubitshi Avatar

      yes.. technically not a station wagon (and truly not one..) but always referred to (by my parents and many others) as "the fat man's station wagon" (they drive one to this day… and still have 5 boys (i'm #2 in the line-up), 2 daughters-in-law, and one granddaughter (so far))

  19. Lotte Avatar

    This is pushing it, but the Rolls drophead coupe has a wooden (teaque?) droptop cover.
    <img src="http://images.passionperformance.ca/photos/1/1/11152_2009_Rolls-Royce_Drophead_Coupe.jpg&quot; width="500" >

    1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      I was thinking about this one earlier but dismissed it. With hindsight I was wrong to.

      1. Lotte Avatar

        To be fair, I posted this because I can't think of anything else that was factory and had wood on it. My mind was all ROADMASTER! ROADMASTER! ROADMASTER!

    1. engineerd Avatar

      I had thought about it, but it's a wagon no matter what they call it.

      1. alcology Avatar

        ahh bummer. hopefully I've made up for my ignorance

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

      I'm assuming that's aftermarket. PLEASE say that's aftermarket…

      1. alcology Avatar

        It is. They put wood on anything http://www.ptwoody.com/vw_01_main.htm

  20. longrooffan Avatar

    While this might be considered a wagon, it is built on a F1 chassis
    <img src="http://www.hotpa.com.br/museus/ulbra/1950fordf1woody2.jpg&quot; end>

  21. Charles_Barrett Avatar

    How about Grandpa Munster's dragster?
    If the coffin isn't wooden, maybe there's a wooden stake in the glovebox…
    <img src="http://blog.amandanorman.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/musnsters2.jpg&quot; width=500>

  22. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    Okay, nobody posted this one, so I gotta make sure it gets included. Woodgrain Camaro 'vert prototype. Yes, this was GM's idea.
    <img src="http://www.69pace.com/images/Vintage/143848.jpg&quot; width="560">

    1. alcology Avatar

      Looks like they took the ironing board too.

    2. Alex Kierstein Avatar

      I want everything in this picture, except of course the dude. But yeah, everything else.

    3. Smells_Homeless Avatar

      That would be the ultimate Barret-Jackson car these days, because of the six produced the only one to survive would've lived in a dealer's overflow lot. Forgotten and slowly returning to earth.
      Then again, being a Barret Jackson star isn't exactly a plus in my book either.

  23. P161911 Avatar

    Growing up I remember my Dad had a 1973 or so Chevy C10 pickup that was a burnt orange color with woodgrain sides similar to the Suburban above. It might have had a white cab top too.

  24. Murdi Avatar

    Does wicker count? if so there be the Hanomag Korbwagon.
    [img ]http://www.oldwoodies.com/img/wicker/25hannomag_korbwagen_rex-schneider_rf.jpg[/img]

  25. SSurfer321 Avatar

    Since the article is about wood paneled vehicles that AREN'T station wagons, yes, nobody has posted the family truckster yet.
    It's ok BZR, we forgive you. Just blame it on the exhaust fumes from LeMons.

    1. FЯeeMan Avatar

      He's allowed, it's a "truckster", not a "wagon"!

      1. P161911 Avatar

        It was the WAGON Queen Family Truckster.

  26. jjd241 Avatar
  27. P161911 Avatar

    I just realized that for the most part the time of vinyl wood applied to the side of vehicles by the factory, including wagons, seems to coincide with the factory putting vinyl on the roof of cars. What to make of this?

    1. OA5599 Avatar

      How about applying wood to the entire exterior?
      <img src="http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/splinter.jpg"&gt;

  28. tonyola Avatar

    You're right in that GM, Chrysler, and AMC didn't start putting fake wood on wagons until the mid-'60s, which is about when the vinyl roofs started to become common. However, Ford never stopped putting wood on Ford and Mercury wagons – they just slowly transitioned from the real to the fake stuff.

    1. P161911 Avatar

      It also seemed to go away completely in the early-mid 1990s about the time of the last GM B-body and Ford Panther wagons. The B-Bodies and Panthers were some of the last cars to come from the factory with a vinyl roof. I know that the Roadmaster wagons came with optional woodgrain (probably one of the last factory woodgrain jobs) and the sedans came with a vinyl landau roof.

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

        I've always thought they should have offered the woodgrain on the Roadmaster sedan.

  29. OA5599 Avatar

    If you want to start this off with a Chrysler Town and Country convertible, use the genuine article.
    <img src="http://oldcarandtruckpictures.com/OldClassicConvertibles/1948ChryslerTown_and_CountryConvertible-g.jpg"&gt;
    Of course, woodies go back even farther than that.
    <img src="http://www.designsojourn.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/flintstones-car.jpg"&gt;

  30. Black Steelies Avatar

    Yea it is a wagon but being a BENTLEY wagon counts for something, no?
    <img src="http://www.seriouswheels.com/pics-abc/Bentley-R-Type-Woody-gr-fa-lr.jpg&quot; width="500">

  31. Black Steelies Avatar

    <img src="http://www.collectorcarads.com/Picture2/Picture179.jpg"&gt;
    Almost forgot the Lil' Red Express. See one on the way to work every day.

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