July 21, 2012 - Woodie Wagon Day

Back in the 1940s, steel was being salvaged for the war (WWII) effort, and so car manufacturers used wood as a replacement. Of course, the engine and axles HAD to be made of steel, but cars were built with wooden passenger compartments, or sometimes just wood panels along their sides. This style was seen in many sedans and family station wagons during the 1940s and 1950s, but then its popularity began to drop. When popularity drops, the price drops—but when Woodie Wagons became cheap, they had a revival in popularity. This time, it was young people, especially surfers who needed a looong car to hold their boards, who were buying used woodies.

Woodie Wagons are now a bit of a legend! But making cars with actual wood is long gone—the last was made in 1971. Newer woodies are made of steel with simulated wood grain and dimensional faux-frameworks. Safety regulations make cars made with wooden passenger compartments an impossibility!

But woodies live on in song lyrics, on T-shirts and key-chain fobs, and in new and used cars--and they're still popular enough, in a really retro way, to get their own "holiday"!

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