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Featured in the Summer 1995 issue of MODEL A TRADER.
Ford's first attempt at mass producing a true "dual purpose" vehicle came in 1929 with the introduction of the Model "A" Station Wagon. Designated as type 150-A, the unique design could accommodate up to eight passengers with baggage, or reconfigured to carry cargo by removing the three rear seats.
The wooden bodies for the Station Wagon were assembled at both the Murray Body and Baker Raulang Companies from subassemblies supplied by Ford. Finished assemblies were then mated with the chassis on Ford's own production line. Bodies were constructed of hard or soft maple, paneled with birch plywood. Spar varnish was applied to completed bodies to protect the wood.
Passengers entered the Station Wagon through four doors, secured to the body with continuous piano type hinges. Baggage was accommodated on a foldable tail gate. This arrangement required the spare tire to be carried in a fender-well on the left side of the car.
Exterior color selection on the Wagon was limited to Manila Brown, with wheels, fenders, and most of the remaining structural metal finished in Black. Outside door handles were chrome plated on the 1929 model, changing to stainless steel in 1930-'31.
Protection from inclement weather was provided by removable rubber lined side curtains, stored in a steel compartment under the rear floor. Celluloid windows provided visibility when the curtains were installed.
In June 1930, the type 150-B was introduced. Similar to the 1929 model, the 1930 Wagon eliminated the windshield sunvisor and slightly changed the roof line over the front door. Side curtains were also redesigned to include a cardboard filler panel sandwiched between two layers of rubberized fabric.
The 1931 Station Wagon, still designated type 150-B, was virtually identical to the 1930 model with several additional metal parts painted Manila Brown instead of the Black finish used in the previous year.
Less than 12,000 Model "A" Station Wagons were built during its three years of production. Because of the small number of Wagons produced and the rather limited longevity of the wooden body, only a few "Woodies" remain on the road today.
Fortunately for the enthusiasts, a Special Interest Group has been formed to preserve and maintain the last remaining examples of this interesting vehicle. For information, contact Tim Johnstone, Woody Wagons Club, P.O. Box 341, McAllen, TX 78501. Telephone 210/686-8162. (JY)