Before the turn of the 20th century many vehicles sported wooden bodies and even wooden chassis. Generally speaking, a ‘Woody’ consisted of custom made rear wooden bodies added to a standard chassis and front end. In the UK they were known as ‘Shooting Brakes’ and used by the wealthy for transporting dogs and gun parties during the hunting season. In America they were known as ‘Depot Hacks’ and, latterly, ‘Station Wagons’ as their first usage was to transport people and luggage to and from railway stations.
With the advent of mass production, styling changed considerably and many standard vehicles were modified by specialist coachbuilders for multi-purpose use. In time, major manufacturers such as Ford and Pontiac would make their own versions of the Woody for the open market.
The heyday of the Woody lasted for around twenty years, roughly from the late forties to the early sixties when they were replaced by the ‘estate’ cars and ‘Sport Utility Vehicles’ we know today. During this time the Woody became popular with the young and trendy surfing crowd in the US due to its ability to hold an above average number of passengers and their surf boards.
This Ford Woody represents an era of practical body styles that were firm favourites the world over. Today it is almost impossible to find a Woody that has not been extensively restored - this one is no exception due to the wooden body being so susceptible to the elements and in need of constant and time consuming maintenance.