Wood Bodied Cars

Ash & Maple Marvels:Wood Bodied Cars 1910 – 1953

September 24, 2010 – January 31, 2011

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The “woodie wagon” has long been an iconic part of American automotive culture. Motorized work vehicles and eventually station wagons with real wood sides made their debut in the early 20th century and the trend continued today, at least in terms of style and design, with the imitation vinyl side stripes found on cars like the PT Cruiser. The AACA Museum’s upcoming exhibition, Ash and Maple Marvels: Wood Bodied Cars 1910 to 1953 will explore this subject with a 25 vehicle display that covers the entire history of wood as the actual structural exterior finish elements in the body of the car, truck or station wagon (as opposed to steel). This trend began with early work trucks and became more mainstream with the debut of the Ford Model T “Depot Hack.” When used to finish the exterior of a vehicle, wood offers a beautiful and unique surface that is both expensive to construct and costly to maintain. The use of wood was employed by all the major automotive manufacturers to one degree or another up until about 1950. Most auto enthusiasts are familiar with the “woodie” wagons offered by Ford, but this exhibition will also showcase outstanding examples from Pontiac, Buick, Chrysler, Rolls-Royce and Pierce-Arrow, among others. Ash and Maple Marvels will also highlight early commercial vehicles that employed wood as a structural element along with the Chrysler Town and Country, probably the best-known wood-bodied convertible ever built. The exhibition concludes with the 1953 Buick Station Wagon, the last production vehicle to employ a true wooden structure. The exhibition will run from September 24, 2010 through January 31, 2011. For more information and a complete list of vehicles, please visit our website at: www.aacamuseum.org

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Vehicle Exhibit List

Also available as a PDF Download.


1941 Buick

  • Museum Loan: Guy & Anita Bennett, Wayland, NY
  • Manufacturer: Buick Division of General Motors Corp, Flint, MI: Hercules Body
  • Model: Model 49 Special Estate Wagon
  • Base Price: $
  • Engine: Overhead Valve, Straight 8-Cylinder, 248 C.I.D, 110/120 hp.

Buick only made 838 ’41 Estate Wagons and the survival rate of these automobiles was not high. This car was sold new by Davis Buick Inc. Westminster, MD. In 1941, to the Reese Farm in Owings, MD. It stayed with this family for 42 years. In Nov. ‘83 it moved to North Wilkesboro, NC, where it was put in storage in poor condition and where Guy Bennett Jr. first saw it.

Chassis restoration was done at Jenkins Restoration Shop in NC, and the Hercules wood body rebuilt in New York state with the help of Wm. Bergstron of Massachusetts. Lastly, Leif Drexler of Quakertown, PA, completed the upholstery trim-work on the car.

It won it’s AACA First Junior at Hershey in the fall of 2006. The following spring, 2007, it received it’s Senior award at Binghamton, NY. During the Burn Prevention Foundation Concours d’ Elegance of the Eastern Ubited States, 2008, it won Best of the Wood Bodies Class.


1926 Ford

  • Museum Loan: Noble & Donald Teat, Crumpton, MD
  • Manufacturer: Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, MI
  • Model: TT Huckster
  • Base Price: Unknown
  • Engine: Side Valve, Straight 4-Cylinder, 20 hp.

Ford’s Model T success inspired Dodge and Chevrolet to introduce light trucks, but Ford introduced a true truck, rather than a truck-bodied car. The One-Ton Truck chassis known as the TT (Model T Truck) was Ford’s response to requests for a vehicle with greater carrying capacity. Doubling the payload was accomplished with a beefier frame, longer wheelbase, heavier springs and larger wheels (available with pneumatic or solid tires). The Model T’s 20hp engine and two-speed planetary transmission were retained; a worm-drive axle replaced the car’s bevel-drive. Loaded with 1,000 pounds, performance was poor! Ford produced this truck in all 30 U.S. plants and in South American, European and U.K. facilities. Of the over 15 million Model T’s produced, an estimated nearly 250,000 survive including Mr. Teat’s TT with its huckster body of unknown origin. He personally restored the car completing it in 1975. This 34-year old restoration is a testament to Mr. Teat’s quality workmanship and care.


1934 Pierce-Arrow

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Mark Smith, Melvin Village, NH & Lynchburg, VA
  • Manufacturer: Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Co., Buffalo, NY; Cantrell Body
  • Model: 836A
  • Base Price: Unknown
  • Engine: Side Valve, Straight 8-Cylinder, 366 C.I.D., 135 hp.

Originally a 836A Club Sedan, it went to J.T. Cantrell & Co. For conversion to a wood station wagon. The original Cantrell decal is still intact. The body plate reads Body # 1. No other example of this is known and it is thought to have been a one-off special built for a New York State client. It is equipped with Stewart-Warner mechanical power brakes and Bendix “Startix” Automatic Starting. The car is largely original and has always been well kept. All of it wood appears original. Just over 20 feet long, it is also equipped to tow a Pierce-Arrow Travel Trailer. A former owner was an active AACA member who frequently drove it from upstate New York to fall meets at Hershey. It will continue to be preserved with no plan for it ever to be restored. August 2010 it was entered in the Pebble Beach Concours – for the Pierce Arrow featured marque class.


1914 Hahn Huckster Truck

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Don & Carol Barlup, New Bloomfield, PA.
  • Manufacturer: Hahn Motor Truck and Carriage Co., Hamburg, PA
  • Model: B
  • Base Price: Unknown
  • Engine: 4-Cylinder, Continental

This is the oldest known Hahn truck in existence. Company owner, William G. Hahn, founded the business in 1898, and concentrated on truck manufacturing in 1913, in Hamburg, PA. Mr. Hahn was president of the company until his death in 1937. The company later manufactured fire apparatus until its demise in the early ‘90’s. Bought new by the Milton Hicks family of Strausstown, PA, the truck hauled produce from their farm to Lebanon markets. It was sold during World War II scrap drives for $40.00, but fortunately saved by an early collector. It then found its way in the 50’s to another collector who stored it in his barn until the mid 80’s. This unique truck is AACA HPOF Certified, runs excellent and will remain original for all to see what they really did look like coming from “the Barn.” Don and his wife, Carol, are founding sponsors of the AACA Museum, Inc., and are members of the “161 Club.” Don served as AACA Museum, Inc. Board of Directors President in 2000 & 2001, during the museum’s ground breaking.


1948 Packard

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Ronald Althoff, Columbia, SC
  • Manufacturer: Packard Motor Car Co., Detroit, MI
  • Model: Station Sedan
  • Base Price: $3,425
  • Engine: Side Valve, Straight 8-Cylinder, 288 C.I.D., 130 hp.

Packard’s station wagon for 1948 thru ‘50 was called the Station Sedan because it used mostly sedan body stampings with bolt-on ornamental wood, design patented to George T. Christopher, November 29, 1949. Production for1948 was 1,786. Packard options on this car include radio, heater, defroster, sun visor, fog lights, front bumper guards, vanity mirror, and cormorant hood ornament. The car also has an after market roof-mounted luggage rack. This car was sold by the Earl C. Anthony Distributorship. First owner is unknown, but the second owner was Sheldon Fay (deceased) of California, co-producer of Charlie Brown movies for TV. After passing through three more owners in California, the car ended up at G&G Classic Automobiles in Bellevue, WA, where its current owner found it. Restoration was limited to refinishing wood, new paint (original color Egyptian Sand), re-chroming and re-upholstering of seats with duplicate of original material.


1950 Chrysler

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Nicola Bulgari, Allentown, PA
  • Manufacturer: Chrysler Corporation, Detroit, MI
  • Model: Town & Country Newport
  • Base Price: $
  • Engine: Side Valve, Straight 8-Cylinder, 323.5 C.I.D., 135 hp.

Chrysler built the first 2-door hardtops in America and the only woodie hardtops ever. Seven prototypes were built in 1946, one in 1949 and a total of 700 production models in 1950. Mounted on Chrysler’s New Yorker chassis, this 1950 “Newport” has a longer overall length of 223 inches. New CLEARBAC rear window provided “open car” freedom. Only this model and the Crown Imperial featured Chrysler’s self adjusting, self-energizing disc brakes. 1950 was the last year Chrysler used real wood in its body work. This car sports the optional black top; most hardtops came with white tops. This example is completely original with only 4,676 miles on the speedometer. It still has the Dealer MSO (Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin). A Chrysler dealer ordered the car new and stored it without titling it. That was how the car was purchased. This rare aspect of the car was maintained. Another rare feature of this car is the Imperial emblem on the rear roof panel. No other car has it, believed to be specially ordered by the Chrysler dealer.


1948 Chrysler

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Nicola Bulgari, Allentown, PA
  • Manufacturer: Chrysler Corporation, Detroit, MI
  • Model: Town & Country Convertible
  • Base Price: $
  • Engine: Side Valve, Straight 8-Cylinder, 323.5 C.I.D., 135 hp.

Unique, dashing Town & Country convertibles were favorites among the affluent. Movie celebrities such as Bob Hope, Clark Gable and many others had them. Production of Town & Country models continued from ‘46 through ‘48, with minor differences. This was the last full year of production for this series Town & Country convertible. Chrysler sought to reduce some the costs associated with the largely hand-built bodies. The dark wood panels, made of mahogany veneer since 1941, were changed to a decal called Dynoc, laid over steel panels. The change was almost imperceptible. This car, with just 26,000 miles, is all original except for top and tires, an exceptional example of a true survivor car. The original owner must have intended only to drive in warm weather; the heater controls on the dash do not function; the car has no heater. A life of being garage kept allowed this car to survive the ravages of time.


1948 Chrysler

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Todd Librandi, Middletown, PA
  • Manufacturer: Chrysler Corporation, Detroit, MI
  • Model: Town & Country Convertible
  • Base Price: $
  • Engine: Side Valve, Straight 8-Cylinder, 323.5 C.I.D., 135 hp.

Chrysler in 1946 planned for five body styles in the Town & Country line – convertible, sedan, custom club coupe (hardtop), roadster and 2-door brougham. Only the convertible and the sedan reached production, with the convertible and 100 sedans on the 8-cylinder 127-1/2 inch wheelbase New Yorker chassis, and the remaining majority of sedans on the 6-cylinder, 121-1/2 inch wheelbase Windsor chassis. The unique, dashing convertibles were favorites among the affluent. Movie celebrities such as Bob Hope, Clark Gable and many others had them. The Chrysler Town & Country convertible, like no other car, is an icon of the immediate post World War II era. Production of these Town & Country models continued from ‘46 through 1948, with minor specification differences.


1940 Buick

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Nicola Bulgari, Allentown, PA
  • Manufacturer: Buick Division of General Motors Corp, Flint, MI: Biehl Body
  • Model: Model 59 Super Estate Wagon
  • Base Price: $1,242
  • Engine: Overhead Valve, Straight 8-Cylinder, 248.1 C.I.D., 107 hp.

This year marked Buick’s first factory-offered station wagon. The 1940 Super Woody Wagon is one of only 495 built by Biehl Coachworks in Reading, PA. Just five remain in the United States. The spare tire on Buick wagons is in a unique position inside a specially designed compartment hidden above the bumper, so it was accessible without lowering the tailgate. For ‘41, Buick changed to Hercules wagon bodies as Biehl was deemed unable to handle the 1,000 forecasted units. This particular car was featured in many films starring Bette Davis, most notably Now, Voyager, where the car has a starring role in the film as the vehicle driven by and camped out in by Bette Davis. Warner Brothers later gave the car to Bette Davis as a gift.


1942 Buick

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Nicola Bulgari, Allentown, PA
  • Manufacturer: Buick Division of General Motors Corp, Flint, MI: Hercules Body
  • Model: Model 49 Special Estate Wagon
  • Base Price: $
  • Engine: Overhead Valve, Straight 8-Cylinder, 248 C.I.D, 110/120 hp.

The 1942 estate wagon was built on the Special chassis. The front door, as on all GM wagons in ‘42, was redesigned to accommodate the new front fender sweep. The ‘42 model year would be shortened with the declaration of war in December, 1941. The very last pre-war Buicks built were the estate wagons, with a production of 326 units. It is believed that not more than three of these wagons survive today. This car was purchased in 1974 seriously dilapidated and comprehensively restored by Maurice De Angeli in the ‘80’s. After an accident with a tree in upstate New York, the car was restored agaijn by Precision Motor Cars in Allentown, in the late ‘90’s, leading to the facility’s involvement in the restoration and maintenance of the entire Bulgari Collection today.


1953 Buick

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Dick Beckley, Lewisberry, PA
  • Manufacturer: Buick Division of General Motors Corp, Flint, MI: Ionia Body
  • Model: Super Estate Wagon
  • Base Price: $
  • Engine: Overhead Valve, V 8-Cylinder, 322 C.I.D., 135 hp.

This was the last automobile to use structural wood in body construction. The Ionia body remained virtually unchanged from 1950 through 1953, available in both Super and Roadmaster series. This ‘53 Buick is an original car except for a repaint in 1991 and new carpet, otherwise nothing replaced. Dick Beckley, a former President of the National Woodie Club and an AACA member/Gettysburg Region, is the second owner. Having purchased it in 1982, he drove it home to Maryland from Colorado. It had 33,000 miles when purchased, now 67,000. Dick has refinished the wood a few times but it is original.


1948 Oldsmobile

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Lisa & Daniel Jobe, Greenbelt, MD
  • Manufacturer: Oldsmobile Division of General Motors Corp, Detroit, MI; Fisher Body
  • Model: 66 Deluxe Station Wagon
  • Base Price: $ 2,739
  • Engine: Side Valve, Straight 6-Cylinder, 238 C.I.D., 100 hp.

Prior to 1948, Oldsmobile station wagon bodies were built by Hercules. For 1948 only, they used Fisher bodies, common with Chevrolet wagons, but with nicer appointments. 1948 marked the last year for the all-wooden body station wagon at Oldsmobile. This woodie was ordered with the deluxe equipment package and optional Hydra-Matic Drive. It is powered by a 238 CID straight 6-cylinder engine. There were only 553 Oldsmobile deluxe station wagons built in ‘48.


1939 Chevrolet

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Theodore Holz, Castile, NY
  • Manufacturer: Chevrolet Division of General Motors Corp, Detroit, MI; Campbell Built, Mid-State Body Co. Inc. Waterloo, NY
  • Model: Master Deluxe Station Wagon
  • Base Price: $883
  • Engine: Overhead Valve, Straight 6-Cylinder, 216.5 C.I.D., 85 hp.

1939 was the first year that Chevrolet offered a station wagon in their factory lineup. Placement of the spare tire on the right front fender interfered with the unique, side-opening ‘39 Chevy hood, requiring a hinge on the right hood side that other Chevys did not have.


1939 Chevrolet

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Lorne Richards, Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Manufacturer: Chevrolet Division of General Motors Corp, Detroit, MI; Campbell Built, Mid-State Body Co. Inc. Waterloo, NY
  • Model: Master Deluxe Station Wagon
  • Base Price: $883
  • Engine: Overhead Valve, Straight 6-Cylinder, 216.5 C.I.D., 85 hp.

1939 was the first year that Chevrolet offered a station wagon in their factory lineup. Placement of the spare tire on the right front fender interfered with the unique, side-opening ‘39 Chevy hood, requiring a hinge on the right hood side that other Chevys did not have.


1937 Dodge

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Chris Lawrence, Virginia Beach, VA
  • Manufacturer: Dodge Division of Chrysler Corp, Detroit, MI; U. S. B. & F. Body
  • Model: Westchester Suburban
  • Base Price: $ 800
  • Engine: Side Valve, Straight 6-Cylinder, 218.06 C.I.D., 75 hp.

Dodge constructed fewer than 500 of these Westchester Suburban wagons, then ceased woodie production entirely in 1938. In 1937, Dodge commercial chassis were sent to the U.S. Body and Forging Company in Tell City, Indiana, for construction and fitting of wooden body and interior. Final assembly and trim work was completed by Dodge. The body is fabricated from white ash with cottonwood paneling. Interior door panels are birch, decorative belt molding immediately below the windows is of red gumwood. Wheelbase is 116 inches, and commercial cars were equipped with a truck-type transmission, three speeds forward, one reverse. Special ordered by landscape watercolorist and photographer, Jim Lawrence, for a year’s tour of south western USA & Mexico, this suburban had features suitable for extended travel: inside storage compartments above the windows, side-hinged rear doors, an extra 25-gallon gas tank and a modified rear bumper for a camp kitchen. The Lawrence family removed the car from Nevada storage and had it restored frame up in 2005 by White Post Restorations, VA.


1940 Plymouth

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Patrick & Nelson Thorpe, Bloomfield, NY
  • Manufacturer: Plymouth Division of Chrysler Corp, Detroit, MI; U. S. B. & F. Body (USHCO)
  • Model: Special Deluxe Station Wagon
  • Base Price: $970
  • Engine: Side Valve, Straight 6-Cylinder, 201.3 C.I.D., 84 hp.

No longer a commercial car, the former Plymouth Suburban was now the DeLuxe Plymouth Station Wagon. Production totaled 3,126 with an additional 80 built on the Plymouth Roadking chassis for export. The spare tire was no longer fender mounted, but moved to a special floor well and mount on the rear of the front seat. After years of wanting a station wagon, Nelson & Patrick Thorpe purchased this one in 1987 at an auction in Newark, NY. It was stored immediately. Restoration began later, in 2001. Son, Patrick, was deployed to Afghanistan in 2002 and missed half of the 21-month restoration. The car received its AACA First Senior award in October, 2003.


1947 Plymouth

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Bob Wallace, Upper Darby, PA
  • Manufacturer: Plymouth Division of Chrysler Corp, Detroit, MI; U. S. B. & F. Body (USHCO)
  • Model: Special Deluxe Station Wagon
  • Base Price: $1,765
  • Engine: Side Valve, Straight 6-Cylinder, 217.8 C.I.D. , 95 hp.

The costliest and heaviest P-15 Plymouth in 1947 was the Special DeLuxe Station Wagon, weighing 3,402 lbs. No exterior appearance changes were made from 1946 through ‘48. In those years, Plymouth produced 12,913 8-passenger station wagons, with USHCO bodies. Customers had a choice of mahogany (on this car) or light maple panels. This vehicle was purchased in 1993 by Vince Altieri of Pittsburg in extremely poor condition from a Long Island Nursery, where it was used as a delivery, service and family vehicle. Ground-up restoration was finished in 1999 when it received its First Junior Award, and won the Walter P. Chrysler Award. It took First Place Award in 2002 at the Plymouth Owners Club Spring Meet. In November it received the AACA Grand National Senior Award. Bob Wallace was looking for a woody wagon and when this vehicle became available, he couldn’t resist. Its wood is new white ash with honduran mahogany panels, all formed and fitted to perfection. Body paint is exact-match battalion beige.


1927 Dodge Brothers

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Dr. Bob VanZandt, Media, PA
  • Manufacturer: Dodge Brothers, Inc., Detroit, MI; Cantrell Body
  • Model: Suburban
  • Base Price: Unknown
  • Engine: L Head 4-Cylinder “Fast Four,” 212.4 C.I.D., 35 hp.

Dodge Brothers/Cantrell advertising stated, “The many exclusive, patented features of the Dodge Brothers Suburban, combined with its comfort, convenience, and smart appearance, make it an ideal car for the suburban home or country estate.” Gearshift was changed this year to standard 3-speed “H” pattern. Also new in ‘27 were separate starter and generator, replacing the previous single unit. This car was found 40 years ago in Media, PA, three miles from the VanZandt home, through an ad in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Dr. VanZandt and his two sons worked together for several years on the restoration, with components farmed out to various specialty shops for rework. The rebuilt body was constructed from red oak, all of which came from the same tree. The fully reconstructed & restored vehicle earned its AACA First Senior Award in 1986, the First Place Grand National Award in 1998, and has won many additional awards.


1940 Packard

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of George Simone, Sterling, CT
  • Manufacturer: Packard Motor Car Co., Detroit, MI; Hercules Body #213
  • Model: 110 Station Wagon
  • Base Price: $1,195
  • Engine: Side Valve, Straight 6-Cylinder, 245 C.I.D., 100 hp.

This Packard has been in the Simone family since 1959. It was originally bought by the Catholic church to transport priests, nuns, brothers, and servants to Our Lady of Providence Seminary in Warwick, RI. The car survived because it was well taken car of mechanically and was sanded and varnished every spring. George Simone’s father ran a used car business in Warwick, RI. News of this Packard’s being traded on a Ford station wagon reached Mr. Simone, and he bought it immediately for $225, one of many cars Mr. Simone would buy as a “keeper,” this one meant for son, George, then only 10. When George’s dad finally gave him the car in 1982, what started as a cosmetic restoration ended up being far more complete. The “reversed” wood tones of this wagon, mahogany-stained ash framework with light birch panels, was an option Packard & Hercules offered purchasers.


1947 Nash

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Nicola Bulgari, Allentown, PA
  • Manufacturer: Nash-Kelvinator Corp., Kenosha, WI
  • Model: Ambassador Suburban
  • Base Price: $2,227
  • Engine: Overhead Valve, Straight 6-Cylinder, 234.8 C.I.D., 112 hp.

Unlike most manufacturers, who produced ‘woodie’ wagons, Nash entered the postwar market in 1946 with a wood-bodied four-door sedan. The Ambassador Suburban Sedan was the rarest of the post-war Nash body styles. During three short years of production, only 1,000 woody suburbans were produced, with 1947 accounting for 595 cars. Currently, there are about 20 examples known to survive. The design of the woodie suburban was based on the Nash Ambassador series, but had a separate chassis and frame construction with a nine-inch longer wheelbase than other Nash models. The frame work is made of white ash wood and the panels of mahogany. This example is an amazing, all-original survivor.


1930 Ford

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Ray & Grace Kuntz, Hummelstown, PA
  • Manufacturer: Ford Motor Co., Dearborne, MI; Murray or Baker-Raulang Body
  • Model: Model A 150B Station Wagon
  • Base Price: $650
  • Engine: Side Valve, Straight 4-Cylinder, 200.5 C.I.D., 40 hp.

The Ford plant in Iron Mountain, MI, had been built in 1920 to make wooden parts for the Model T. By 1929, the Model A contained very little wood, so the company no longer needed the facility’s production capacity. Station wagon bodies had become an after market addition to Model T’s, so Ford decided to build its own wagon bodies. Thus, in 1929, Ford added the station wagon to its line of Model A body styles and advertise them. Iron Mountain was used to build wood kits to be shipped to Murray Body Co. in Detroit or Baker-Raulang in Cleveland for assembly into bodies. For 1930, there was little change in the body – mainly a more round and sloping front roof line. All Model A wagons were Malibu Brown on hood and cowl to coordinate with the wood body, with black fenders & wheels. Side curtains were of rubber-interlined material, tan-gray to harmonize with the body finish.


1932 Ford

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of John & Karen Jackson, Mechanicsburg, PA
  • Manufacturer: Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, MI; Baker-Raulang Body
  • Model: Model B 150B Station Wagon
  • Base Price: $600
  • Engine: Side Valve, Straight 4-Cylinder, 200.5 C.I.D., 50 hp.

Built by the Baker-Raulang Company of Cleveland, OH, the 1932 Ford station wagon body had all the same hardwood craftsmanship of the Murray Company, which couldn’t handle the production for this model year. The tailgate hinged down onto leather-covered chains to form a luggage platform. New for ‘32 were unique, sliding side curtains which stored in the ceiling on brass channels. Production for the year was 1,032 with 4-cylinder engine and 351 with V-8 power. The latter could be identified by V-8 emblems on the headlight bar and hubcaps.


1941 Ford

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Orlo Gilbert, Detroit Lakes, MN
  • Manufacturer: Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, MI; Ford Iron Mountain Body
  • Model: Super Deluxe Station Wagon
  • Base Price: $1,265
  • Engine: Side Valve, V 8-Cylinder, 239 C.I.D., 90 hp.

One year after complete wood body assembly began at Iron Mountain, everything about the Ford station wagon was new for ‘41. The chassis was also new this year, riding on a wheelbase of 114 inches. Production totaled 9,484 Super Deluxes and 8,128 Deluxes. (1/3 of the Deluxes were assembled by Ford Canada for the British war effort.) This example began life in Sarasota, FL, purchased by a couple from Wisconsin. It was used for hauling chores between Land O Lakes, WI, Sarasota, FL, and a summer residence in Lake Melissa, MN. The car got constant usage, accumulated between 250 and 300 thousand miles and steadily deteriorated. The last year registered was 1956, but was used afterward around the Minnesota farm until finally retired in 1960. Mr. Gilbert purchased it in 1978 and began a total restoration in the mid ‘90’s. Completed in 2001, the car is considered well worth the effort and has provided Mr. & Mrs. Gilbert with trmendous pleasure.


1947 Ford

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Chris Liebensberg, 3 Dog Garage, Boyertown, PA
  • Manufacturer: Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, MI; Ford Iron Mountain Body
  • Model: Sportsman Super Deluxe Convertible
  • Base Price: $2,150
  • Engine: Side Valve, V 8-Cylinder, 239 C.I.D., 100 hp.

Ford chief stylist, Bob Gregorie said, “The Sportsman was more of a shot in the dark after production was started. We just took a production car and modified it . . . and it turned out to be a masterpiece of work, really.” Sedan delivery rear fenders were used; the regular, wrap-around convertible fenders wouldn’t work. Automatic window lifts were from the Lincoln convertible. Seats were richly tailored with full, genuine leather facings French stitched, in a choice of red or tan. Production of the Sportsman numbered 1,209 in 1946, 2,250 in 1947, and 28 in 1948. Glamorous and crowd-pleasing as it was, the Sportsman was not an easy sell in 1947, even after its price had been reduced from ‘46 level. Buyers were skittish about upkeep. For dealers, however, it was great for bringing upscale buyers into showrooms.


1947 Mercury

  • Museum Loan: Courtesy of Bill & Betty Miller, Fredericksburg, PA
  • Manufacturer: Lincoln-Mercury Div., Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, MI; Ford Iron Mountain Body
  • Model: Model 79 Station Wagon
  • Base Price: $1,849
  • Engine: Side Valve, V 8 Cylinder, 255 C.I.D., 100 hp

Mercury Station Wagons, while sharing nearly identical bodies with their Ford siblings, had a longer wheelbase (118 vs. 114 inches) plus upscale interiors. Production of these Mercury woodies numbered 3,558 in 1947 and 1,889 in 1948. They could be distinguished from 1946 models by a shorter beltline molding with Mercury badge on hood sides, a fully chromed grill, and different hubcap design.