A woodie is a type of car, more specifically an early station wagon (US) or estate car/shooting brake (UK), in which the rear portion of the car's bodywork is made of wood. Frequently this wood is visible, since it is covered in a clear finish, either over the entire wooden area or sometimes just on the framework with the interior panels painted.

The vast majority of woodies were produced before the end of the 1950s at which time safety regulations and changing automotive fashions meant the effective end of the style. Woodies were generally not produced by the original car manufacturer, but were third-party conversions of regular vehicles. Some were done by large, reputable coachbuilding firms, while others were built by local carpenters and craftsmen for individual customers.

It is a derivative of the body-on-frame method of car construction. Earlier cars generally had aluminium or steel panels bolted on top of the wood framing. Woodies were originally cheaper because they didn't need these panels and their fitment and painting. So railway stations used them for hackwork of luggage and petty shipments; hence the name, station wagon. The tradition of the woodie remains in the woodgrain decals and plastic beams attached to a structural steel body of many station wagons. These imitations are considered deceitful for the same reasons that modern architects maintain Adolf Loos's statement, "Ornament is Crime."

This car body style was popular both in the United States and the United Kingdom. Woodies were produced from all kinds of cars, from basic to luxury, but the most popular conversions in the US were large, powerful but not highly luxurious models. By contrast, in Europe early woodies were usually built on luxury car platforms such as Rolls-Royce. In the 1960s the Morris Minor and Mini Traveller were more basic vehicles factory built in woodie style.

In the 1960s and to some degree the 1970s woodies were considered undesirable, unfashionable old vehicles. California surfers, among others, realised the potential of these cars; they were cheap, large enough to carry a good number of people, surfboards and equipment, and could be fixed up with woodworking skills. Thus, the woodie became the archetypal vehicle of the surfer; the popular surf-pop group The Beach Boys directly referred to them in several of their songs. There is probably a higher population of surviving woodies in California than anywhere else, aided by the area's ideal climate for preserving the vehicles; warm, dry but not desiccating, with rare rainfall and less snow—hence, no road salt.

These days, woodies are highly collectible antique cars and a good example can fetch a very large amount of money. The wooden bodywork has often not survived all that well, increasing the rarity.

External links

* [http://www.nationalwoodieclub.com/ National Woodie Club]
* [http://www.oldwoodies.com/index.htm Old woodies page]
* [http://www.dodgepowerwagon.com/woody/waterloo.html Waterloo's Campbell woodies]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • woodie — ☆ woodie [wood′ē] n. alt. sp. of WOODY * * * wood·ie (wo͝odʹē) n. Variant of woody. * * * …   Universalium

  • woodie — ☆ woodie [wood′ē] n. alt. sp. of WOODY …   English World dictionary

  • Woodie — Verkauft sich mehrheitlich als Variant (Kombi): VW Passat Ein Kombinationskraftwagen oder kurz Kombi ist eine Karosseriebauform für PKW mit besonders großem Ladevolumen. Die Bezeichnung leitet sich von der Kombination von Pkw und Lkw ab, da das… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • woodie — noun a) An early station wagon or estate car in which the rear portion of the cars bodywork is made of wood. Well, for one thing a Woodie is the last remnant of the true coach builders art, dating from a time when wood […]. But a Woodie is also… …   Wiktionary

  • woodie — n American 1a. an American estate car or station wagon. Wooden exterior trim was a fea ture of the models manufactured in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. 1b. any vehicle used by a surfer for trans porting people and boards to the beach. Old or… …   Contemporary slang

  • woodie — noun see woody II …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Woodie — 1. (car sales) one who is easily duped; a naive customer; one who gives in easily in the bargaining; 2. erect penis …   Dictionary of Australian slang

  • woodie — Australian Slang 1. (car sales) one who is easily duped; a naive customer; one who gives in easily in the bargaining; 2. erect penis …   English dialects glossary

  • Woodie — Woodmansee; Woodrow …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • woodie — wood·ie …   English syllables

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