CHASSIS NO: 99A-131377
• Original body, including several pieces of Birdseye and Tiger Maple wood
• Well-known history
• A well-optioned example
239 cid L-head V-8 engine, 100 HP, three-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension, rear semi-elliptic leaf springs, hydraulic brakes; wheelbase: 114”
Edsel Ford became president of Ford Motor Company in 1919, but Henry still firmly held the reins. Edsel, however, had an eye for design, and the aftermarket wood bodies that Ford dealers were offering were appealing. Murray was supplying metal stampings and even complete bodies to Ford, and Edsel approached them regarding a wood body for the new Model A chassis. The solution would come from the 313,000 acres of timberland that Henry had acquired and named Iron Mountain. The new plant would be the source for all of Ford's wood products and prove to be one of the best business moves Ford had made.
The 1940 Deluxe Station Wagon would be the first to be built by Ford at the Iron Mountain plant. They were fully integrated as well, from the harvesting of the timber to loading the finished bodies on the boxcars. Quality was also greatly enhanced and noticeably better coming straight from Ford’s timber yard, it became the first one-stop shop for wood-bodied cars the nation had seen. The war ended automotive production, but the Iron Mountain plant stayed busy building almost all of the U.S. wood gliders. This would work in Fords favor, as they were able to retain their workforce during that period. After the war ended, Ford resumed automotive production and offered its 1946 Ford Wagon with a V-8 and, later in the model year, a six-cylinder engine. It was priced at $1,422 and sales were right on target.
This amazing Ford “Woodie,” incorporating numerous pieces of original Birdseye and Tiger Maple, was purchased new on January 2, 1947, by Jeanette Schaffer of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ms. Schaffer was a longtime Milwaukee bookseller who operated a bookstore from Belleview Avenue for over six decades, longer than anyone else in the city, and likely the wagon was used for the business. It remained in the Milwaukee area until 1985, when it was sold by Fred Paddon of Hustisford to George Apolzon of Austin, Texas. Mr. Apolzon would hold onto this “woodie” and take superb care of it. The next and current owner would be The Rockhound Collection when it welcomed this cheerful Deluxe Woody Wagon into their facility in 2018. Upon acquisition by The Rockhound Collection, it was painted a period-correct Pine Green from its Maze Yellow, which was not a color offered by Ford in 1946.
The wooden bodywork is in good condition for its age, with very minor staining around several of the bolts and joint areas; only one small area on the right rear has been refinished, with much of the original varnish remaining intact. New material was installed in the drip rails over the doors. The chassis and underbody are both very solid, and the next owner will be pleased to know it comes with a few extra accessories, like a spotlight, heater, and a box filled with extra parts. Always cared for in its 70-plus years, this Super Deluxe Woody Wagon will be a great automobile for any enthusiast to acquire, drive, and take to the local drive-in.