If you’re looking to acquire that icon of post-War America–the wood-paneled station wagon–check out the offerings at this weekend’s Raleigh Classic Car Auction. This is another great posting over at Automotive Traveler. Author Sam Fiorani wrote the piece focusing on some of the classic American Station Wagon, including “Woodies”, and Faux Woodies. The Raliegh Classic Car Auction, which is being held this weekend, has over 229 cars and trucks of all vintages. However, the focus on this article was the Wagon, and being wagon aficionados here at Hooniverse, I thought it was a natural fit. Now in Sam’s words:
Ford is probably best known among the makers of woodies, and this 1934 model is especially interesting. Powered by a flathead V8, it has only 48,000 miles and has had few owners over the last seven decades.
However, it was the postwar wagons that are of special interest here, and here is a nice 1948 Chevrolet. Like most 1948’s, this would be the last edition before the introduction of the all new 1949 editions, in which all wood wagons would soon be replaced with steel bodied editions, but I digress….
Harold Zulik of Houtzdale, Pennsylvania purchased this original from a Philipsburg, Pennslyvania dealer in 1953. He kept the car for about four decades before spending a small fortune restoring it. The restoration went so well it was awarded a Grand National, the Antique Automobile Club of America’s highest honor. After 55 years, Zulik parted with his prized Chevy, but it remains in amazing condition both physically and mechanically.
Chevrolet’s corporate cousin Pontiac also got into the woody market. A fully restored 1948 Pontiac Wagon will be on the auction block this weekend, and is illustrated by the Blue Wagon at the top of the page. The mid 50’s are represented by two very interesting Ford products, a 1954 Mercury, and a 1958 Edsel.
Ford’s sibling Mercury will be represented at the auction by a 1954 nine-passenger wagon. Auctions America claims this particular vehicle is “probably the finest example to be found.” With a claim of 40,184 actual miles and one owner for the last 27 years, the wagon is definitely in rarified air. The Merc-O-Matic transmission, fog lights, chrome luggage carrier and outside mirrors, fender skirts, and factory radio are all in fine condition. The original leather interior is in showroom condition. The auction house says the vehicle “drives as great as it looks.” Probably the most interesting wagon at this weekend’s auction is from 1958. Ford’s ill-fated Edsel division built a unique Bermuda wagon for the president of the Southwestern Cattleman’s Association of California. Unlike most woody wagons, most of the wood-grain trim (probably Di-Noc) is toward the front of the car, starting just behind the headlights and running under the robin’s egg blue inset gracing the bottom edge of the side windows. Having spent much of its life in California, this promotional Bermuda is in beautiful condition. And while 700 Bermuda wagons were produced, this is the only one that was hand-built and features “real cowhide interior.” The nine-passenger wagon has a rear-facing rear seat, factory tachometer, spinner wheel covers, and the large E400 V8 engine.
The last two wagons that were highlighted in the article are almost modern by comparison, but still Hooniversalustworthy, in my opinion.
An extremely rare, original-condition 1961 Country Squire with only 53,000 documented miles demonstrates the long, low look of the 1960s. Yet like the Edsel, the Country Squire only pays homage to the first woody wagons. Its wood-like trim is attached well below the door handles and extends over the front fenders. “Real” woody wagons had all-metal front fenders and all-wood doors and rear fenders. And unlike the earlier woody wagons, this 1961 sports many of the modern features we have come to expect. Things like power steering, power brakes, a factory push-button AM radio, air conditioning, and a padded dash are included, as well as accessories such as a luggage carrier, fender skirts, and a rear-facing, third-row seat. Taking the woody idea one step more modern is the 1977 Country Squire offered for sale here. Among the last of the really big American cars, Ford’s Country Squire showcases fake wood sides across almost all of its 225-inch length, from front side marker to taillights. This particular example has only had one owner and 44,000 miles. In original condition, it features every power convenience available, plus the third-row seating (center-facing, which allowed pseudo-seating for four more) and luggage rack, as well as the original factory tires.