A woodie is a car body style, especially a station wagon, where the rear bodywork is constructed of wood framework with infill panels of wood or painted metal.
After the demise of actual wood construction, manufacturers used simulated woodgrain sheet vinyl — sometimes augmented with three-dimensional, simulated framework — to recall wood construction.
1930s and 40sAs a variant of body-on-frame construction, woodies originated from the early (pre mid-1930s) practice of manufacturing the passenger compartment portion of a vehicle in hardwood. The woodie was popular in the United States and were produced as variants of sedans and convertibles as well as station wagons, from basic to luxury. They were typically manufactured as third-party conversions of regular vehicles — some by large, reputable coachbuilding firms and others by local carpenters and craftsmen for individual customers.
They could be austere vehicles, with side curtains in lieu of roll-up windows (e.g., the 1932 Ford) — and sold in limited numbers (e.g., Ford sold 1654 woodie wagons). Eventually, bodies constructed entirely in steel supplanted wood construction — for reasons of strength, cost and durability.
1950s and 60sWoodies were produced in the greatest numbers before the end of the 1950s, before safety regulations would effectively have made them obsolete.
In 1950, Plymouth discontinued their woodie station wagon. Buick manufactured its last woodie in 1953. By 1955, only Ford and Mercury offered a woodie, evoking real wood with other materials including steel, plastics and DiNoc (a vinyl product). Ford offered its wood models as the Country Squire trim level in numerous model ranges from the 1940s to the 1990s.
The British Motor Corporation (BMC) offered the Morris Minor Traveller (1953-71) with wood structural components and painted aluminum infill panels — the last true mass-produced woodie. Morris' subsequent Mini Traveller (1961-69) employed steel infill panels and faux wood structural members.