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FINALLY! Enough Woodies And Wagons To Have Brought Big-ish Bucks At Auction (But Didn't). Thanks For Trying, Mecum!

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On: Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 12:38PM | By: Andrew W Davis


FINALLY! Enough Woodies And Wagons To Have Brought Big-ish Bucks At Auction (But Didn't). Thanks For Trying, Mecum!

You have NO idea how badly this “wagon guy” wanted to cover his favorite body style in one of these features, and thanks to Mecum’s Oct. 6-8 sale, I can.

The ratio of sales vs. non-sales on the ten lots offered wasn’t in sellers’ favor—$108,500 vs. $130,500, respectively—but not for a lack of variety. Ranging from a 1926 Ford to a ’79 Mini Clubman—with representatives from nearly every country and time period in between—most everyone could’ve had the five-door of their dreams.

[Except me. But I already have two of them, and that’s enough for now. Or so my wife says. I, on the other hand…]

[Cars are listed in the order in which they appeared at the auction. The term “No Sale” is used when the highest bid offered failed to meet the seller’s mandated lowest price.]

T(hursday) 105.1: “1926 Ford Model T Woody” [SOLD for $10,000]

“The Wagonmaster Coach Works is a true testament to early original Woody wagons everywhere; The craftsmanship throughout this early collector car glorifies the 1st generation of Fords iconic Model T; Original 4 cylinder 20 hp motor with factory mountain brake handle; Vehicle runs and drivetrain is in good shape, but needs service to original magneto ignition; This is truly a one of a kind extremely collectable Woody Model T”.

Yes, kids, there was a time when the wood on a station wagon wasn’t just a sticker. [And while we’re on the subject, those are wooden-spoked wheels, too.] But no matter its configuration, there really isn’t much to a Model T, even a late-model wood-bodied one like this lot. Not only is it low in amenities, but “performance”—if that word can even be used here—is glacial at best. If you’re looking to putt-putt around your farm or take a place in the local harvest festival—and so long as everything is present and working as advertised—then for ten grand this ain’t bad.

T 94: “1948 Crosley Woody Station Wagon 44 CI, 3-Speed” [SOLD for $21,000]

“Complete professional restoration recently completed; new interior, chrome, window seals, gaskets and wide white walls; era-correct luggage and custom luggage rack”.

No, folks, that’s no typo; the ’48 Crosley really had a 44 cubic-inch inline-four and all of 26.5 horsepower. Known officially as the “Series CC Four two-door station wagon,” this cute-as-a-button mini-wagon was actually the company’s top seller in 1948 with nine times as many sold (23,489) versus all the other body styles—two-door sedan, Sport Utility two-door sedan and convertible coupe—combined. Thanks to its as-new condition and wealth of “custom” features, this Crosley will sell near the upper end of the scale, but seeing as how that scale is as short as the car itself, someone will be getting a guaranteed smile-generator for credit card money.

F(riday) 15: “1929 Ford Woody Automatic” [$11,500 NO SALE]

“Custom restored 1929 Ford Woody; steel hood and cap with fiberglass body; front disc brakes; center console with AM/FM cassette; new tires; SEE NOTICE ON VEHICLE WINDOW CONCERNING VIN”.

Oh, the Seventies. How they loved to build things like this old-timey Shaggin’ Wagon, with nary a care regarding authenticity. But what’s this? The word “restored”? Sorry, folks, but RESTORED means returned to ORIGINAL(-ish), not bastardized and remade in plastic. [By the way, putting the word “custom” in front of “restored” doesn’t help things.] And it seems the local DMV doesn’t cotton to your shenanigans either, probably balking at your use of “1929 Ford” on something that is probably only 16 percent Ford and most definitely ZERO percent 1929. The high bidder dodged a bullet here.

F 37: “1966 Chevrolet Nova Station Wagon 350 CI” [$19k NO SALE]

“1966 Nova pro street wagon; Chris Alston front clip; Entropy Radiator; 350 Chevy small block; Holley top end kit with pistons and cam; 700 R4 4-Speed automatic transmission; new tires front and rear; full roll cage; laser straight paint and body; all steel glass hood; all glass excellent.”

Referred to in its description as a “fun car that always draws a crowd” this nuclear-grade Nova likely produces more horsepower than every Crosley built in ’48. But unlike the Crosley this beast has little in the way of “personality,” and could likely be one of many similar cars seen anywhere cars like this congregate. Still, black—especially with a honkin’ V8—goes with everything….

F 47: “1957 Ford Ranch Wagon 292 CI, 3-Speed” [SOLD for $23,000]

“Car has undergone a high quality restoration; 292 V-8; 3-Speed manual transmission; ordered with special Two Tone Red and White paint exterior and Two Tone Red and White Deluxe interior.”

It’s sad to think of it this way, but as the description states, this really is likely to be “one of the few stock Ranch Wagons left.” Regardless, this one’s a beauty. But it begs the question: If this red and white color scheme inside and out really was a “special-order” deal, wouldn’t that mean that Ford lacked the common sense to build them this way themselves? I find it hard to believe that including “red-and-white-all-over” in the stock color palette never occurred to them. Still, she’s stunning, and would be a welcome addition to my—or anyone’s—garage.

F 53.1: “1970 Toyota Corona Mark II Show Wagon” [SOLD for $6,000]

“This custom show winner has over $30,000.00 invested; No money was spared bringing this gorgeous wagon to show quality; opening the door you'll find the custom leather interior in perfect condition with Limo lighting throughout; The DVD and sound system made this a hot item at the nationally acclaimed SEMA audio show; flawless new paint and tons of customization make this Corona one of a kind; excellent running and driving”.

If I am any kind of example—what with my Volvo 245 and last-of-the-dinosaur late-1980s Olds Custom Cruiser (Woody!) fetish—there are fans of just about every car, make, model, year, etc. extant. But we fall into two basic categories: bone-stock and over-the-top. This little Corona is an example of the latter. While it retains its bodywork and basic interior layout, nearly every other aspect of this “pimped” grocery-getter has been overdone to the (claimed) tune of $30k. [I say “claimed” as things like the 99-cent rubber floor mats and hanging-down under-dash wiring don’t exactly say “expensive redo.”] Still, if you wanted the most tricked-out ’70 Corona Mark II—and God help you if you do—this “Limo”-lit raspberry metallic number would’ve been just the ticket.

F 145.1: “1979 Mini Cooper Clubman 1275 GT wagon” [SOLD for $12,500]

“This gorgeous Mini Clubman wagon can very well be one of only a handful in the country was limited built in the UK. Features the 1275cc engine which was the largest offered by Mini and found in the 1275GT version with matching 4 speed manual transmission. A magnificent miniature collector UK import reflecting Autocross style restoration. This is a fun and fast Mini that is extremely rare and offer the most fun you will ever have in a collector's automobile.”

There really isn’t much to add here other than I think it odd to have chosen the Clubman for autocrossing-conversion. And yellow? It may be cliché but why not use British Racing Green ala the Lotus Cortinas? As-is this looks like a soft-boiled egg to me….

F 163: “1931 Ford Delivery Truck” [SOLD for $36,000]

“1931 Ford Deluxe delivery truck; complete recent restoration; correct in every way; runs perfect; dual side tire mounts; whitewall tires.”

They really didn’t have much to say about this old-timer, other than the things I just mentioned and this final cryptic statement: “Look underneath.” I assume that refers to the underside of this as-new 80-year-old trucklet being as clean and correct as its exterior. Speaking of which, I hope that the “Desert Rose Florist” graphics aren’t painted on so that a prospective buyer won’t have too hard a time adding their own business’s name in its place. What we have here is an eye-grabbing billboard for anyone’s business which also just happens to be a fully-functioning vehicle.

S(aturday) 31: “1958 Ford Country Squire Street Rod 390 CI” [$40k NO SALE]

“This customized wagon is ready for car shows, the lake or the beach [with] an ice chest, picnic basket, "Boogie Board", and fishing poles in the back; It features awesome paint and the legendary "Woodie" treatment, along with some serious upgrades [including] a fully rebuilt, powerful 390 V-8 with 4-barrel carburetor, electronic ignition, dual exhaust, chrome dress up kit, custom American Racing 5 spoke wheels, and BF Goodrich radial tires; the two-tone NOS original style interior is super nice with a folding rear seat, full headliner, padded dash, AM radio, full gauge package, tissue dispenser, and air conditioning; the luggage rack will help on those long trips.”

Horsepower levels seem to be coming and going like waves here, with a few mellow stockers book-ending the more bare-chested of beasts like this 390 V-8-powered custom woodie wagon. Previously owned by Hemmings Motor News’ Dave Mann, it would seem to be the perfect blend of stock authenticity with enough custom touches to generate serious excitement. Hopefully it can also generate excitement in bidders when it crosses the block.

S 125: “1963 Pontiac Tempest Station Wagon 434/785 HP, Automatic” [$60k NO SALE]

“There is literally only one 2-door 1963 Pontiac Tempest station wagon in the world, and this is it, the fascinating result of a twenty-year pursuit by the late Randy Williams to build the ultimate “no holds barred” test bed for his Pontiac racing engines. Williams worked with his friend and fellow Pontiac stalwart Scott Tiemann to put together this one-of-a-kind machine employing state-of-the-art techniques and a 434 cubic inch, 785 horsepower engine. Built with fiberglass fenders, hood and front bumper, Lexan windows and sturdy but lightweight chrome moly tubing, the finished car weighs in at just 3,150 pounds and dashes to sub-10 second elapsed times at 135 MPH. Built at a cost of over $180,000, this exceptional Tempest wagon is more than ‘just’ a drag racer; it is a unique styling exercise that showcases the vision and talents of its builders and brims with the sort of details that set a car-guy’s heart aflutter.”

Hmm, a high bid that’s only one-third what’s been “invested” in it so far, despite awards, “heaped acclaim” and a “sanitary engine bay that bears Arnie "The Farmer" Beswick's stamp of approval.” It certainly seems to have all the things a draggin’ wagon like this would need, including nearly 800 horsepower and the grunt to run 9.93-second ¼-miles. I can’t help but wonder, though, if it would run even quicker if all the “show” parts were discarded. Then again, it would show better if all the “dragster” parts went instead. Seems fence-straddling might not be the best idea if you’re looking to attract the highest numbers—and number of bids—at auction....


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