3 June 2007
1937 FORD MODEL 78 DELUXE STATION WAGON
Chassis No. 183526745
Black with wood coachwork and brown leather interior
Engine: eight-cylinder, 221 cu. in., 85bhp at 3,800; Gearbox: three-speed manual transmission; Suspension: live axel suspension with transverse leaf springs; Brakes: four wheel mechanical drum. Left hand drive.
As the 1930's marched on Ford, capitalizing on its amazing success to date, began to evolve its line-up from the Model A. In 1937 the Model 78 was introduced and notably was the first model to have their teardrop headlamps mounted into the front fenders. This was stylishly set off by the chrome plated v-shaped radiator grill with horizontal bars. Also featured with the Deluxe models was a V-8 engine boasting 221 cid thanks to larger inset bearings and cast alloy steal pistons and a larger water pump. The interior appointments were also handsomely set off with walnut woodgrain window moldings to the exterior trim and a burled mahogany woodgrain finish to the interior. As with all of Ford's previous line-ups the Model 78 was available in literally every imaginable configuration from a 2-door roadster to station wagon.
The styling, specifically the use of wood can be traced directly back to Henry Ford. It was said that Ford had a passion for pleasure boast which at the time were predominantly constructed of wood. One needs to look no further than the early production station wagons to see this influence. Ford believed so strongly in the use of wood, he purchased over 300,000 acres of forest in Michigan's Upper Peninsula as a direct supply to the company's production efforts. The facility came to be know as Iron Mountain and was eventually responsible for all the production of the station wagon and other wood based bodies for Ford.
This 1937 Ford Woodie Wagon, for a 40 year portion of its live, was an exhibit at the Captain Paul House Model A Museum in Union, Connecticut until the museum was disbanded in the late 1970's. Apparently lightly used and regularly cared for since coming out of the collection the woodie has remained largely intact. Most recently it has had a complete engine rebuild and is reported in strong operating order. What was a facet of utility in the1930's has very much become a significant collectable today. With woodies featuring their own class at most of the major concours and many joining significant long-term collections most of the truly great examples have been tucked away. This example, having been so carefully kept in its museum setting for all those years, is such a collectible car. Be it joining a collection of simply featuring weekend trips to the beach or ice cream parlor with the kids, woodies are sure to solicit great satisfaction and a big smile from the passengers and bystanders.
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