To understand the “woody cars” phenomenon, we must travel back to the early 20th century when the first automobiles, resembling motorized carriages, were often made of wood. Henry Ford later introduced mass-produced steel automobiles, yet wood remained a common material in car construction.
The expense of making and upkeeping wood led to the decline of the “woody” trend. By 1953, it was already fading, with wooden accents mainly remaining on the windows and rear door of notable cars like the Buick Roadster. The 1929 Model A Ford was the initial mass-produced “woody,” establishing a style that would last for the next 25 years.
Ford’s approach was quickly adopted by its competitors. In 1941, Chrysler introduced the Town & Country, featuring a distinctly modern design.
Back in 1936, Henry Ford made a significant move by acquiring a large piece of timberland in Michigan’s Iron Mountain area. This area was abundant in forests, and Ford intended to use this resource to meet the demand for constructing body panels. These panels were then shipped to factories across the country for the final assembly of automobiles. Henry Ford remained steadfast in his belief that wood had a crucial role to play in the automobile industry.
Ford proposed the Custom Station Wagon in 1949. It’s amazing to observe how frequently vehicles made of wood feature natural hues like green.
The emancipation of women, happy families, woodies were the perfect symbol of the American style of life during the post-war period
The increasing production costs, primarily due to the manual treatment of wood, marked the start of declining interest in woody automobiles.
Ford popularized using wood in autos in the 1930s with the Model A Woody.
As the richness of the post-war boom grew, so did changes in automobile design, manufacture, and consumer preferences.
The impressive 1947 Oldsmobile Special 66/68 Station Wagon, a classy representation of the emerging middle class in America
This market has evolved into a romantic niche as a result of changing codes and lifestyles. The leading automakers stopped producing these vehicles; the 1953 Buick Roadmaster qualifies as the “final model made.”
The stunning 1947 Pontiac Streamliner Woody that won the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Rising production costs, mainly attributed to the labor-intensive wood treatment processes, marked the beginning of the decline in enthusiasm for woody automobiles.