What could be better than a finely restored 1936 Ford Woody Wagon? The 1936 Fords are considered among the most attractive of the era. In 1936 Ford Motor Company sold 7,044 Woodie Wagons. This is out of a total 1936 Ford Motor Company production of about 973,000 vehicles.
Early Station Wagons
Starting out being named "depot hacks", early station wagons were at first more commercial than private vehicles. They were especially popular with hotels, resorts and rural lodges. Station wagons would meet arriving guests at the train depot and transport them and their luggage to big city, lakeside, ocean, or mountain resorts as well as country clubs. This was a time when most people traveled distances by train. For those who could afford a station wagon during the early years, owners used these vehicles to transport family and friends to their lavish summer estates.
It's interesting to note that the first station wagons were advertised along with the company's commercial trucks. It would be to about World War Two before the station wagons were considered real non-commercial passenger vehicles.
In the beginning, coach building companies such as Murray and Baker Raulang plus others took delivery of a complete chassis and added the wooden bodywork before returning it to the factory.
The very early station wagons were seasonal vehicles in as much as they didn't even have glass to protect against the elements. Instead they had primitive side curtains. Glass windows really came about for these particular vehicles during the mid to late 1930's. In regards to the wood on the bodies, the winter weather was quite hard. The first open woodies were really adapted more to southern California and Florida.
The first woodie wagons were really utility vehicles and creative design was not exactly forefront plus they were built in relatively small numbers. It would be many years later that the station wagon would be synonymous with transporting families and their children. After World War Two, the middle class found mass-produced woodie wagons perfect for family travels. These were the vehicles that eventually morphed into the SUV.
Ford Led the Way in Woodie Wagon Production
After coming out in 1929 with the first wood bodied station wagon built by one of the Big Three, Ford then became the predominant builder of wood-bodied wagons. As an example, it wasn't until 1939 that Chevrolet came out with their first woodie. With that being said, construction of woodie vehicles was not a big profitable endeavor.
In their heyday, woodies were often the most expensive cars offered by a manufacturer. The Woody bodies have the rear body constructed of wood framework and infill wood panels. This type of construction is time consuming meaning that it's expensive.
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A very good book regarding the Ford Woodies is...Famous Ford Woodies: America's Favorite Station Wagons, 1929-51 by author Lorin Sorensen and
Their construction of these vehicles was very labor intensive and almost hand built to a point. There as a lot of craftsmanship that went into their construction. In Ford's case, they actually bought a forest near Iron Mountain, Michigan for lumber used on their vehicles. In 1936 Ford opened its station wagon assembly line at its Iron Mountain mill.
The 1936 Ford Station Wagons
The 36 Ford Station Wagons kept with the same basic body adopted in 1935 however some changes were made during the production year. These included new safety glass available in rear doors and quarter panels. The 1936 Fords also had a new front end resulting in the engine moving forward about eight inches.
The 1936 Fords are considered by many to be the better looking of the era. Much of this is restyling in 1936 was credited to Holden “Bob” Koto of the Briggs Manufacturing Company. It's been said that around this time the Ford station wagons were beginning to be seen as passenger cars as opposed to merely commercial utility vehicles.
1936 Ford Woodie Wagon Specifications
The 1936 Ford Station Wagon came with a 221 cubic inch V-8 engine that delivered 85 horsepower.
Transmission was a three speed sliding gear manual.
Dimensions for the 1936 Ford Woodie Wagon included a 112.0 inch wheelbase,
The Ford Woody Wagon is a Great Collector Car
With a Ford Woody Wagon in your collection you'll be the envy during your next trip to the beach, car cruise or car show. The 1936 Ford Woody Station Wagon is a rare automobile and it's a guaranteed head turner.
The most valuable Ford Woody Wagon is the one that's most original and a 1936 Woodie that's nearly all original will not be inexpensive to add to a collection.
As of this writing we see a fully restored in mint condition inside and out 1936 Ford Woodie Wagon with an asking price of $79,000. Another sold at auction for $65,000. e also came across a 1937 Ford Wagon that sold at auction for a bit over $200,000.
(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)