Every year on the third Saturday of July, July 17 this year, Woodie Wagon Day is celebrated to honor the great invention of the woodie wagon. Yes, the classic wagon was a great ride at the time it was invented and was also mass-produced by numerous popular car makers. Why is the car still a legend? Because it was made of wood at a time when steel was being utilized in World War II.
Since the car is still intriguing to look at, it remains one of the favorites of vintage car collectors.
History of Woodie Wagon Day
While the woodie wagon was famous during the time it was invented, many from the current generation barely know anything about the car. A woodie is basically a station wagon of which the bodywork is made of wood instead of steel. Initially, furniture makers and carpenters made woodies as a side business and the cars were called ‘depot hacks.’ The custom-made depot hacks were used as small buses by resorts until automobiles gained popularity across the U.S.
Once woodies became famous, they started being mass-produced by companies such as Ford. The cars were even used in famous Hollywood movies during the peak of their popularity. However, though the car was in demand, production was low since the woodie was hard and costly to make. In fact, to increase production, Ford began growing and cutting its own trees. Since woodies became expensive and hard to maintain, their demand also drastically decreased by the 1950s. In 1949, Plymouth built the last woodie called the Streamliner Wagon. Around 1,000 models were produced and the wagon was officially discontinued in 1950.
After steel cars started being developed, the use of woodies decreased. By the 1960s, woodies were used by surfers to transport their boards to the beach. Today, woodie wagons are often displayed at car shows and museums. In 2010, George Barris created a woodie version of the Smart Fortwo, whereas GM also displayed a prototype woodie version of the Chevrolet at the Paris Motor Show in 2010.
Woodie Wagon Day timeline
Cars with wood paneling are mostly done by custom shops.
Ford makes the first mass-produced woodie.
Ford builds 8,700 wood-bodied station wagons.
Sales of woodies begin to reduce.
Woodie Wagon Day FAQs
What kind of vehicle is a Woody?
It is a station wagon where the rear car bodywork is constructed of wood.
Why did station wagons have wood?
Wagons were made of wood since they originated from wooden coaches. At that time, manufacturers did not know how to cut and assemble metal for an automobile.
Are wagon cars good?
Yes. This is because they are spacious and provide a fine riding experience.
Woodie Wagon Day Activities
Visit a vintage car show
Miss the woodie wagon days? Visit a vintage car show or a museum and view the different models of woodie cars that once ruled the automobile industry.
Take a ride in a woodie
Never traveled in a woodie? Now is the perfect time to experience what it feels like to travel in a vintage car made of wood. Don’t forget to take pictures!
Watch a documentary on cars
If you want to feel nostalgic, or simply learn about woodie wagons, download a documentary on the history of cars to learn all about the evolution of the automobile industry.
5 Fun Facts You Need To Know About Woodie Wagons
The old price
In 1962, a Ford woodie wagon cost $45.
The 1952 Mercury custom woodie wagon
In 2013, the 1952 Mercury custom woodie wagon was sold for $134,750.
Assembling a woodie
It would require 150 sizes and shapes of wood to assemble a woodie.
The heavy wagon
Woodie wagons weigh 200 to 300 pounds more than steel cars.
The Woodie Club
Woodie owners began the National Woodie Club.
Why Woodie Wagon Day is Important
Its a part of history
Cars have a deep history that takes a lot of research to unravel. With this educational day, historic woodie cars are brought to the forefront.
It promotes vintage cars
Just because new cars are available does not mean we forget all about the cars developed decades ago. Yes, vintage cars have their own market and are essential to highlight the achievements of every country in the automotive industry.
It encourages restoration of woodies
Vintage car restoration is also a hobby taken up by many car collectors. The benefit? The cars can be showcased at car shows, and even sold at a much higher price. Promoting cars such as the woodie wagon can motivate vintage car lovers to restore one.
Woodie Wagon Day dates