Woody wagons have become emblematic of beach culture, often depicted with surfboards on their roofs even when located in Kansas, but there is certainly so much more to the affection for and collection of vintage woodies than “surf’s up.”
Matter of fact, most woody hobbyists (or “woodie,” as an alternate spelling) must get mighty sick of all the surfer references from bystanders. I know I would.
Case in point: The Pick of the Day is this lovely 1935 Ford woody 4-door wagon advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Hailey, Idaho, that never has been nor is expected to ever be connected with surfing.
Wood-bodied wagons were classy conveyances back in their day, most often purchased at a premium price by the landed gentry or used as passenger vehicles by premium hotels and resorts. Wood was no longer a crucial component in the construction of automobiles by the 1920s (not including commercial vehicles), but wood remained popular for charm and aesthetics.
Henry Ford was so certain about the future of wood bodies that in 1920, he purchased 400,000 acres of Michigan forest as a steady source of lumber for Ford vehicles. In that way, Ford was able to build its own wood bodies in house rather than using outside specialists to supply them, as did most of Ford’s competitors.
This example of a classic Ford woody looks to be in superb condition and with all the right ingredients.
“This 1935 Ford woody is powered by a flathead V8 and has a manual transmission,” the seller says in the ad. “The woody is in fantastic condition thanks to careful ownership. Garage kept and stored on jacks when not in use.
“It’s such a treat to drive; it was a lot easier and smoother to drive than I thought it would be. Easy start-up, easy shifting, and tight driving.”
As a sidenote, this Ford has a remote historic connection going back to the birth of the nation, as shown by the subtle signage on its doors, which is a sure indication that this woody has had a gentrified existence right out of Country Life magazine.
“The signage on the doors does have important history to this Ford and our country,” the seller notes. “’Cross Trees’ was the name of the residence and property of a college roommate of the current Woody’s owner. His relative, Oliver Wolcott, was a signer of our Declaration of Independence.”
There’s no info in the ad about restoration history, but the wagon looks to be in too sharp condition to be all original. Wood trim needs a high degree of continuous maintenance to keep it looking fresh and avoiding stains and rot, but it still gets weathered-looking over time, ideally to an attractive patina.
The large gallery of photos with this ad shows how fresh the wood looks, as do the paint, chrome and interior. Note how beautifully the wood extends into the passeger area, which was a major selling point for these upscale vehicles when new.
The asking price for this attractive woody (with no surfboard in sight) is $53,000.
To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.