Each decade has its own personality in regards to fashion styles and trends. During the ’40s through the early ’60s, many car enthusiasts found that customizing their car gave the perfect balance of style and comfort. One of these customizations were the Woodie.
1930’s The Woodie Becomes Iconic
Despite the economic depression of the time, the auto craze had everyone purchasing cars. Many of them, tradesmen and carpenters. The original modifications were developed to showcasing the skills of these workers. They would often replace steel side panels with various scrap wood. The idea was to showcase the ability to introduce wood to newer sleeker designs. Once these few cars were introduced, many auto-manufacturers hopped on the bandwagon and started to incorporate more wood paneling in their cars.
The 1940’s Post-War Customs
During the post-war era of the United States, many of the soldiers who found themselves with a new life and bank accounts bought new houses and started families. The era of golden America had begun and with speculations rising towards the Soviet Union and the Cold War, the customization of the Woodie became a staple in a free-market showcase. Ford, Plymouth, Pontiac, and many other car companies started to re-introduce the wood paneling as a customized option and many out-right loved the look. The wood siding gave a sense of custom class and turned heads whenever an individual drove down the street.
1950’s And the Discontinuation of the Woodie
By the 1950s, the times were changing. Many car companies opted for the “all-steel” styles of vehicles. This was marketed as an upgrade to the wood-siding customizations of the previous decade. At this time, the idea of wood-paneling became obsolete. Reports had come in stating the safety concerns for many drivers. Namely, if a car got T-Boned, it would send shards of splintered wood exploding at passengers. This would increase the hazard rate and did not bode well with consumers. This prompted many to switch over to newer more secure bodies.
1960’s Surf-Craze and The Recycling of The Woodie
By the time the ’60s came around, many had abandoned the idea of the Woodie. Sleek design implementation and many other features moved far away from the car of the ’30s. Also, at this time, many children of WW2 were starting to drive. A lot of these Woodies were hand-me-downs for the younger generation and became a staple in many recycled cultures. Namely, surf culture fully embraced this old-time wagon. Many of the surfers who would go on to develop their own surfboards found that the woodworking technique of shaping came in handy when trying to shape other woods. Thus the reemergence of the style came back with a new fresh lacquer and paint job. As quickly as the style came back into the fray, it fell-out. Muscle cars and van-lifestyle living changed the ideology of vagabond culture. Many dropped the wood-sided panels for a V-8 engine.
Dormancy from the ’70s -Today
With many vehicles who used wood paneling now deemed “unsafe” by many vehicle owners, different methods were developed to keep the image alive. Many automakers switched to other materials like vinyl and plastics to replicate the authentic wood look. Although not nearly as effective as real wood, this provides a safety feature that classic woodie’s lack. Although a custom woodie can still be obtained, many automakers have switched the public eye towards newer metallic and sleek designs. Often the woodie is looked at as “your dad’s car”, but we still think it rocks.
Own A Woodie?
Do you have a vintage Woodie? Driving that across country can be a real pain. Not only that but the hazards of driving it long distance can cause engine problems as well as accidents. You’ve maintained your car long enough, why risk it? Car Transport Depot has an amazing exotic car transport program! Let us know how we can safely and securely ship your Woodie!