The 1949 Ford Woody Wagons were nearing the end of a long legacy of of wood enhanced, and even completely wood cars of yesteryear. By 1949, the woody had become a largely all steel body car, with real wood panels added to the outside at final assembly. The Ford version Woody sat on a 114″ wheelbase, or if you had the Mercury, it was a bigger 118″ wheelbase.
The Ford Woody is said to be a 3,545 pound station wagon which was heavy car by standards of the day. Fords 239 cid flathead V8 was the power plant, and at 100 HP it was only just enough. Coupled to a 3 speed manual transmission the little woody chugs along giving all a breath taking view. 3.91:1 rear end gears were used in place of the 3.73:1 gears used in other Fords to give the heavy car a little extra.
The car pictured here is owned by the fifth owner (that is known of). She underwent an extensive rebuild from the wheels up. Great attention to detail was made even though available literature from the era is sketchy. The wood sides were carefully restored to life, maple strapping enhancing the look.
The front end is basic Ford Deluxe as is the interior, the dash and front seat. A rear bench seat was for passengers and the back area offered plenty of cargo space. Cloth seats with leather backs were restored as closely as possible.
Driving one of the cars is a bit like floating down the road; the front end was considerably lighter than the back half and this made for almost a power steering feel when piloting the car. The gauges are very basic, speedometer and gas gauge only in this car, but hey it does have a radio! The column shift manual transmission operates pretty smoothly and with little effort on the pedal. Overall an enjoyable car to drive.
As the title suggests, everyone needs a woody, a woody wagon that is, and this is a fine example of vintage car beauty that is truly a rare car on the road today. It is difficult to put a price on such a car, and I can only estimate its value to be in the $30,000 to $40,000 range. Perhaps its higher. Go get a woody today . Happy hunting!
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