Restorer32

1947 Cadillac Woodie

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Customer came to us several years ago wanting to build a 1947 Cadillac Woodie. Obviously Cadillac never built one. Here is our interpretation. Still needs chrome, proper tires, interior and detailing. If I knew how much work it would be I might have said no. We built all the woodie specific hardware, hinges, latches etc as well. No real woodie was harmed in this endeavor.

1947 Cad Woodie.jpg

1947 Cad Woodie 2.jpg

1947 Cad Woodie 3.jpg

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WOW, Restorer32! I certainly hope that you saved all the patterns from that. You're going to NEED them, I'll bet. It looks fantastic. :P

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I hope the AACA will allow it to be shown, I'd love to see it.  It's still a 1947 Cadillac to me.

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Started out with a '47 Cad 60 Series body. Now, a '47 Cad Sedan body is identical to a '48 Buick Sedan body, which is what Hercules started out with to build the Buick Woodies. We basically copied my '46-'48 Buick wood, only having to modify the doors because of the difference in the pontoons. We do have another set of wood available for the Buicks. We made 3 sets, 1 to modify for the Caddy, one to restore my shabby '48 Buick Super Woodie and one on speculation. I doubt we would make any more, way too much time involved. All the wood is structural, even the roof is all wood. 

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I like the transition to the long roof. I had a '50 Buick Super wagon and have looked at some Packard wagons. That solid steel top stuck in my head. I guess this post has just raised me from dangerous to lethal. I might be tempted to get the sawzall out, well, after I neatly lay the $150,00 out neatly on the hood and stare at it for a while.

 

I do like period style modifications done with modern tools and materials. The fabricators at Hercules would be jealous.

Bernie

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More to it than just sawing off the roof. Hercules also sectioned and widened the rear floor pan of the sedan donor car by about 6" on each side, bringing the fenders out a ways. They also closed up the spare tire well and fabricated an angle iron platform so the area inside the tailgate is flat. One of the most challenging things we did was to reproduce the seat frames, which were originally chrome 1" tubing. Figuring it would be wildly expensive to have those awkward seat frames plated we chose to bend them up out of 1" polished stainless. Another challenge was reproducing the woodie specific rear door hinges. We made wooden patterns using my original hinges as guides and had them cast in bronze. A few hours machining time and they came out well. The tailgate hardware was another challenge but luckily we had my originals to go by. It's far from perfect, woodies never were, but we're happy with it. 

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The Membership Directory of the National Woodie Club lists about 10 Cadillac "Woodies" from 1931 to 1949. Your car is beautiful and a testimony to your workmanship. Ask your customer if he would like to join the NWC and you both should write an build article for the "Woodie Times". They are not as plentiful as in California but there are several Woodie shows on the east coast, sure would like to see the car in person.

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We are NWC members. I am thinking about writing an article once the pain goes away. Very frustrating, working on woodies as I am sure you know. Would be easier if the original pieces were at least close to being the same from side to side.

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I'm just the opposite. I loved doing the woodwork on my '46 Ford Wagon. I replaced from the rear doors back and all the panels. I found it to be very relaxing. I will admit that replacing "Woodie" parts and fabricating all new from scratch, is a different animal. Most people don't realize that if you make a mistake on a steel panel, you can bump it out or in and fix it. Screw up on a wood part and it's over and hard rock maple is very expensive! Before every cut I made I measured the part a dozen times. As you know, those compound curves will make you pull your hair out. Beautiful car, what type of wood are the structural parts made from?

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Guest BillP

Thanks for posting, R32! I have thought over the past few years that you are hiding your light under a barrel, or maybe I'm not seeing where you show your work.

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3 hours ago, 46 woodie said:

Screw up on a wood part and it's over and hard rock maple is very expensive! Before every cut I made I measured the part a dozen times.

 

My work on my truck was measure at least twice, three times, and maybe four times and cut once.  Even with that rule I still had to make some pieces more than once. 

 

I was using clear ash on the truck.

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