HomePick of the Day1948 Pontiac Silver Streak woody wagon

1948 Pontiac Silver Streak woody wagon


The Pontiac's wood trim looks to be in great condition
The Pontiac’s wood trim looks to be in great condition

By the end of the 1940s, wood-bodied stations wagons were nearing the end of the road. Faux-wood paneling would live on in steel and plastic and applique, but actual woodies were a dying breed.

The Pick of the Day represents one of the final examples and it’s a beauty, a 1948 Pontiac Silver Streak woody from the last year that the GM brand would produce such a thing. Gorgeously detailed with wood-slat head-liner, wooden inner door panels and bed, and a well-finished body in what looks like mahogany and spruce, this woody seems more like a bygone cover car from Country Living than a surfer wagon.

The wagon was Pontiac's top model in 1948
The wagon was Pontiac’s top model in 1948

The Pontiac has been restored, according to the seller, a dealer located in Fredricksburg, Virginia, advertising the car on The body and interior look great in the photos with the ad, although it could use come cleaning up under the hood. The seller says the original straight-8 flathead engine runs well, the three-speed manual transmission shifts smoothly and the car drives as it should.

Pontiac woodies “were rare in 1948 and much rarer today,” the seller says. “Our example is particularly nice: great paint, wood is complete and largely well-varnished, the straight-8 engine runs nicely, (and) the interior is excellent, complete with varnished wooden head-liner.

“This car also has what appear to be the original radio and clock; however, they both appear to be stuck in 1948. All of the engine/systems monitoring gauges appear to work properly.”

The interior seems quite charming with its solid-wood paneling and details contrasting with the art-deco elegance of the dashboard.

The body is described as being like "a classic wooden boat"
The body is described as being like “a classic wooden boat”

“The seat upholstery is in very good condition,” according to the seller. “The door panels and carpeting are in nice condition as well. The wooden head liner is in excellent condition, and the workmanship is reminiscent of the interior of classic wooden canoes.”

This rare piece of vintage motoring is priced at $59,500, which is a fraction of what it would cost to restore. Be prepared to maintain the Pontiac’s wood paneling with regularity, which the seller notes is like caring for “a classic wooden boat.” The payoff would be all the attention you get.

“Whether at a car show, dinner at a special restaurant or a night out for ice cream, you can be assured that this car will be noticed and admired by everyone who sees it,” the seller says.

To view this listing on, see Pick of the Day

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.
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