WOODIES... THE CLASSIC AUTOMOBILE LOOK IN THE 1940s
Peter Lawford shows off his Woodie! During the World War II, wood construction saved steel for critical war-time uses. After the war, the middle class found mass-produced woodie wagons perfect for family travels. The popularity of woodies for personal transportation peaked mid-century. By the late fifties and sixties, used car dealers had plenty of cheap, poorly maintained wood-clad cars. Surfers found these bargains perfect for hauling their longboards in search of the perfect wave. A sub-culture and a car became legend. Clark Gable and his new 1940 Buick Estate Wagon starred in a Buick magazine advertisement. The car was one of only 501 produced for that model year and listed for $1242. Roland and Mary Conklin of Huntington, N.Y., made house-car travel a family experience. Their bus factory built the Gypsy Van, shown above, and in the summer of 1915, the Conklin family set out to see America.