Question of the Week: What is the best car with wood cladding?

Wood paneling is likely the easiest way to spot a vintage vehicle, since no manufacturer has even imitated the look since the Chrysler PT Cruiser in the early 2000s. That is not to say that the mix of sheet metal and wood grain will ever get old—because it won’t. The look is timeless.

There are plenty of true composite-construction models where the wood was structural, but on most woody cars it’s purely ornamental. Case in point would be the Morris Minor or Jeep Wagoneer—both of which look absolutely dashing with an accent of natural texture. Even when it’s just stick on vinyl.

Wood body panels trace their history as far back as the automobile and almost every manufacturer has utilized the style, with varying degrees of success. Therefore we want to hear from you—which car is the best looking woody?

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By all means the 41 Ford wagon!

1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Final Edition

1949 Buick Roadmaster woody wagon in maroon.
I missed one by ten minutes years ago, and still mildly regret that.

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1941 Chrysler “Barrel Back” Sedan, bar none!

1950 Mercury. Dark green with whitewalls. I was seven years old. Of all the cars the old man owned, including the Lincolns, that was my favorite.

1932 Ford …duh!

I have to say the 1953-1971 Morris Minor Traveller, which I think has the highest production of any wood-bodied wagon: 215,000 of them over 18 years.

They’re not as glamorous as the bigger and sexier U.S. woodies, but they’re durable, virtually every part is available, and they invariably make people smile. Also complete wood kits and all rust-repair panels are available, so they’re practical to own and restore … if not all that fast.


…certainly my next choice. My brother had a 1960 Morris Minor 1000 and it is still the car he remembers most (after owning Porsche, Corvette, Alfas, etc.)

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'47 Plymouth Custom Deluxe Wagon

I had a '41 Merc woody, I think that would be hard to top for a classic woody.

1949 Ford Woody. Dark green.
Handsome, stylish, and usable.

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I would like to submit, for consideration, my 1932 Rolls Royce Phantom II converted to a shooting break by Murphy & Schwartz and then used for Safaris in East Africa for the next couple of decades.

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I had both a 1949 Chrysler Town and Country convertible and a 1950 Chrysler Town and Country hardtop. Beautiful cars, but keep them out of the weather.

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Packard produced some really nice woodies. I think the 48-49 are great looking.

Here are a couple photos of the Safari Rolls



The Safari Rolls is a beautiful woody! It should have been produced.


My 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser Factory Woody GT Turbo (260HP) wagon!
Okay, second is 1949 Ford woody wagon I owned several years ago. Guy who bought it from me cut it into a “hay hauler” for his farm! It was in pristine condition!!

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