I dream of a woodie

Out & About

For Christmas 1967, my oldest uncle bought a new car for his family, and they drove from Chatsworth (Los Angeles) to Kingsville, Texas, to spend Christmas with my wise old grandmother and me.

The new car he bought was a 1968 Mercury Colony Park station wagon. I fell in love with the car because it had wood on the exterior rear and sides.

A decade later I went to a car show in Houston that featured “Woodies.” Since then I have had a fascination with surfing Woodies from the ’50s and ’60s.

Today I went to Encinitas, about 45 miles from me, to see Woodies in all their spectacular glory. This was my favorite:

Woodie in Encinitas, California, on 9-20-14

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Woodie in Encinitas, California, on 9-20-14

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Woodie in Encinitas, California, on 9-20-14

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It was for sale but, sadly, all of these Woodies were way out of my price range, including this 1951 Ford Woodie for just $7,500:

1951 Ford Woodie

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The price for that Woodie pretty much tells you the price for the restored Woodies in immaculate condition.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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14 thoughts on “I dream of a woodie

  1. songtothesirens

    The surfing “Woodies” were pretty cool 🙂 Even though I am fairly young, I still remember those station wagons. I can’t even imagine how much your favorite must have cost!

    I have a love of the VW bug. It was the first brand new car my parents bought in 1971 (the year I was born). The old VW bugs that are stock (all numbers match and parts are original) are pretty darn expensive too. I had a 1962 at one point that I just loved, and this car was 9 years older than I was, and ran me about $1000 (in 1992) which was pretty cheap. Oddly enough, it finally fell into the hands of my ex-fiance and good friend who customizes cars for a living. Karma is weird

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      My family, being from the Deep south, didn’t much care for “alien” cars. We were a Ford & Chevrolet family. But two of my dorm mates at Texas A&M University my freshman year had VW’s. One had a VW bug and the other had a VW van. The bug was really easy to park just about anywhere, and the van could take lots of us just about anywhere!

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      1. songtothesirens

        I have had both the bug and the “bus”. That VW van took me and my friends into the mountains to bravely ride bikes down trails I would never have hiked down. i miss that.

        Most of my family is from West Virginia and Texas so we have a lot of Chevies and Fords hanging around too.

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  2. Dan Antion

    I love woodworking and anything with wood on it. I wasn’t a fan of station wagons, maybe because my father had Z’s Rambler. Oddly enough , today I drive a fairly plain Jeep. Those are beautiful photos, and those cars have been restored to work-of-art status. For just $7,500, you could have a project 🙂

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  3. laurie27wsmith

    The first car I ever went anywhere in was a late 40’s Jaguar sedan. It had the wood veneers panelling on the dashboard. Hmm and real leather seats. My mother worked as a driver and car cleaner for a used car dealer in England, so she brought cars home on weekends to clean.
    btw, woodies re good.

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      After my dad died in 1961, we moved from Texas to Utah. I remember my mom’s first boyfriend in Utah having a really nice car, but I don’t know what model it was. However, it had power door locks, power windows, and leather seats. It was luxury. Ever since then, if I’m going to buy something for myself that I have to sit on, it’s going to be leather. So I have leather in the car, leather chairs, leather sofa. If could find a leather bed, I’d be willing to bet I’d buy it!

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  4. jolynnpowers

    ya for the woody I bought my HHR so I could feel like I owned one but never got around to adding the wood package to it… also thanks for stopping buy the blog again… It was nice to see you there.

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