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Woodie Madness! New York's Saratoga Automobile Museum Hosts Classic Woodie Display

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On: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 4:33PM | By: Chris Weiss


If you love woodies (and who doesn't really), now is the time to plan a trip to the Saratoga Automobile Museum in Saratoga Springs, NY. Running between now and October 21, the museum's Woodies! exhibit features classic wood-bodied models from the 1940s and 50s, a must-see for admirers of woodie station wagons.

The woodies featured in the show are on loan from collectors Charlie and Marie Montano, of Gloversville, New York. Charlie Montano said of his passion for woodies: "The woodie is an American institution. They were hand-crafted cars. I find the color and the warmth of the wood to be especially appealing. Marie and I enjoy sharing our cars with people who appreciate them."

He explained that his love is more than skin deep: "I leave wood refinishing to the experts, but I take the cars apart; I do most of the mechanical restoration, and I reassemble each one."

A splendid collection of 15 individual cars, the Montano's stable includes a 1942 Oldsmobile, an unrestored but well-preserved 1946 Buick Roadmaster and a rare 1947 Nash Suburban, along with a number of Chrysler Town and Country woodies. Due to space issues, the museum is only able to show 14 out of the 15—still an impressive collection.

Those who'd like to see an artistic intepretation of the woodie, will also be treated topaintingsbyestablished automotive painter Al DiMaurro. Upon a visit, the museum asked DiMaurro to offer his own painted version of one of Montano's woodies.

Art director Brandon Salls explains: "The quality of his work just blew me away. I immediately asked him for prints of his work to display in the museum and sell in the gift shop. Then when I started to prepare the graphics for the new exhibit featuring the woodies of Charlie Montana, it hit me that we needed Al’s interpretation of a woodie wagon as part of the exhibit. Al had mentioned wanting to give back and help out with the museum’s development and my wheels started turning as to just which car we’d ask him to do. We finally settled on doing one of the cars that will actually be in the exhibit so that people can appreciate how realistic his work is."

According to the museum's website, admission is $8.00 for adults, and hours run daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.Beginning in October, the museum is closed on Mondays.

The Woodies! exhibit has been on display since spring and will last until October 20.




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