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ng8264723

1939 Pontiac Woodie advice

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I’m not sure if it is worth finishing if not real.  I may just sell it and buy one done.  This does not seem like a deal at all.  A replica is really not worth much.  It was not advertised as such.  I wonder if he found an original VIN?  Is there any way to decipher the VIN’S

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Maybe you should just sell the car and the spares to someone who really wants a woodie and is prepared to put the labor and cash in.  It will be a nice, fun car when done.  There are many cars on the antique car circuit that do not have original bodies.  The auctioneer woman told me that Mark had said he thought there was another 900 hours of work to finish the car.  At Mark's $90/hour rate (cheap), it would have been over $80,000 to have the car finished by him, may be why it never got done.  The pity is that some street-rodder will probably wind up with it.  As of this past Tuesday at 4:00 pm, the auctioneer had only an offer of $7,500 for the woodie and parts cars package, so you got it cheap.  Maybe one of the people reading these posts will make you an offer.

 

There were no "VIN" numbers in 1937, but the car's original serial number plate is probably still on the cowl or elsewhere on the car.  It would link back to the 1937 sedan that was used for the chassis.  That's all that is needed to register it, along with a bill of sale.  Title on old cars not required in Mass.

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If you are in the market for a Woodie, then I would suggest joining the National Woodie Club. In the current issue of the Woodie Times there are about two dozen cars for sale at various prices. The car you are looking at has potential for a resto-rod and with the right marketing should sell. As with any "phantom" or re-creation there are a number of issues and as long as someone isn't trying to deceive anyone, it's ok. I don't think $7500 is out of line for what work was done to the car but the issue is how much money and parts are required to finish it. If I had the space I would pay the $7500, I can't wait to do another Woodie.

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16 hours ago, ng8264723 said:

That’s pretty disappointing.  I may just sell it.  I found a complete done for 50k.  I rather spend the cash and buy a real one.  I don’t want to dump a lot of cash I. This and not be able to at least sell it later for 40-50k.  Really not worth it.  Mark told the auctioneer that everything was there to complete it... well see

what a drag

 

Someday I may be asked the secret to my long marriage to the same woman. I will just smile and say "I have owned over 150 cars". Disappointment and being a drag are easy to overcome with cars.

Bernie

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Gary

all cars in Ma need a title now.  I’m not sure when u last registered an old car but that law has changed.  I will grab everything tomorrow see what I got an make a decision.  Something is wrong here the auctioneer said she spoke with Mark extensively about the car and he NEVER said it was a replica.  I spoke with her today about it.  Seems like he was a straight up guy why would he lie?  I would like to prove it by some research.  I wish I could...perhaps the serial number will help

Edited by ng8264723 (see edit history)

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Mark never lied, it just seems that there was a miscommunication.  The auctIoneer was experienced at selling off auto body shop equipment, not restoration shops.  I doubt the subject ever came up.  

 

Pontiac didn’t build the woodie bodies, they were all built by Hercules-Campbell on cowl-chassis shipped from GM.  See http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/h/hercules_campbell/hercules_campbell.htm

 

 

 

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I disagree the auctioneer was told the car was a woodie plain And simple.  No misconduct there.  So I am a little upset if there was false advertising.  Anyway I will che k out the link and go from there

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If it is a reputable auction house and you talk with them I would bet they will work something out with you. Talk to them and have all of your information ready. Have the numbers from the tag and/or the frame. They may be able to determine if it was an original woody bodied car or something else. If you got it for $7500 it may still be a great deal you may want to keep. If the parts cars give you everything you need it just may be a sweetheart deal well worth working on. You may end up enjoying the process and satisfaction of completing the project. If it was just a flip with all the woodies for sale you may have a hard time making a profit anyway. Don’t just assume it is all bad or good do your homework and talk to the sellers. 

I’ll get off the soapbox now. But I would love to be in a position to have that project at that price. 

Have fun. 

Dave S 

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SC, I think that we have determined that the car started it's life as a sedan. As with any Woodie, the chassis can be restored and the car can be re-wooded. The biggest issue is all the door mechanisms, latches, pulls, brackets and all the unique Woodie parts. I have owned and researched Woodies and have owned my '46 Ford for 20 years now and I can tell you authentic station wagon parts for a '39 Pontiac Station Wagon are scarce as hens teeth. I scour the fields at Hershey every year and look for Ford Wagon parts and seldom do I find any. It would probably be cost prohibited to build this car in any way except to resto-rod it. Build it as true as you can using parts from any assortment of cars, that make this car presentable and have fun with it.

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Ok, that makes sense if you know for sure it was not a woody. I still think talking with the auction house and having a discussion regarding the original description of the car affected the reason to bid. If all you want to do is dump it for what you have in it and not have the hassle of selling it. If it’s a flip car that obviously is going to change the value. If it’s a keeper it may still be a good deal but you know it is not going to be as valuable as a true woody. Why wouldn’t you discuss the original auction description? I’m under the impression the buyer feels it was mid-represented. 

Dave S 

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Well I discussed the car with the auctioneer, the owner of the property (whom the late Mark Keilan rented space from for 30 years) and Mark's best friend.  The car is  WOODIE.  Gary has been saying information on this website that I believe he thinks is correct but that is NOT what was told to me.  I also had the auctioneer discuss the car with Mark's widow.  I am not sure if Gary is referring to my car or another but I have multiple people informing me that this is a Woodie.  I will also point out that the $7,500 offer was refused.  I will not disclose what I paid  (it is noone's business) but I will say it was not $7,500!  I have no idea how everyone came to the conculsion as to what I paid!  I also did some digging in Mark's paperwork and found a pic of the car when it was brought in.  It was not a sedan!  I will post the pic this week.  I have the windows and all the wood from the car.  I honestly believe Gary although meaning no harm is wrong.  At this point I have the auctioneer, the owner of the property, Marks best friend and his wife all telling me it is real......................

It is real as far as I am concerned.  At this point rove it is not!  I also have all the parts to finish it!

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I think Gary and the rest of the folks on the forum were just trying to answer your questions as best they could.  It’s not our job to prove your car is or is not a genuine woodie, but to offer advice on finding the truth.  This seems to be your main concern.  If you want a nice car that is fun to drive and show at local events, it makes no difference.  If you want to strive for national awards and high resale value, you’d better make sure of the car’s origin before you spend big bucks to finish the Pontiac.  The word of an auctioneer, a friend or a wife, however well intentioned, do not constitute proof that the car started out as a woodie.  You need numbers.  Trust me, if you offer the completed car at a premium price in the future, and a prospective buyer asked for documentation  that the vehicle is a real woodie, “Prove it’s not!” is not going to go over very well.

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The point I am making is, that make sure you have all pertinent parts that go to the car, if it is a true Woodie. For example '41 thru '48 Ford Station Wagon rain gutters are almost non existent . I have seen them offered for $5000. The metal strip that goes over the windshield that holds down the roof material is non existent, in 40 years playing with woodies I have never seen one offered. Woodie owners that don't have these pieces use "hiddem-welt". To the average person, it looks great and as if it belongs there and most do look great. To someone that knows '41/'48 Ford Wagons it sticks out like a sore thumb.

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 I never asked for anyone to tell me it was real or not that advice was off it it was never asked .   Obviously I want to make sure that it was real before I spend a lot of money on the restoration .   Restored many mustangs and I register them and prove that they are what they are .   I cannot find a way to authenticate this the Mustangs a really easy the VIN number tells what is with this car the serial number does not give me that type of information it’s odd .   From what I have gathered I spoke with some more people today who knew mark well was that this was the parts car for the first what he did I’ll send a picture of the parts car before he started his restoration on it .   I do love the car and will restore it but I will also register it as a woody because that’s what it is .  

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Great, now it's time to join the National Woodie Club! P.O. Box 6134, Lincoln, NE, 68506, $35 a year, plus you get a monthly magazine, The Woodie Times.

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We built a phantom '47 Cadillac Woodie for a customer. This was possible because a '48 Buick Sedan body is identical to a '47 Cadillac sedan body and Hercules started with '48 Buick bodies to build their "real" woodies. Once we made the necessary changes to the Cadillac body to mimic what was done on the Buick bodies by Hercules it became impossible to tell that the Caddy body was not "real".

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80% Street Rods in the Woodie Times, not in the issues I get. I think you might be exaggerating a bit. At Wavecrest, the biggest Woodie show on the planet, there are probably about 25% street rods and that's OK. Woodie owners all seem to co-exist with out any issues. At the Woodie shows I have attended, and I have been to the "biggies", Wavecrest and Woodies on the Wharf,  I have never heard any one complaining about a modified car parked next to a restored car. "It's all about the wood" is the term that is used.

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I think that’s great. Enjoy it and have fun with a great project. Doing a little research is much better than taking hearsay advice, no matter how well intended. As you say it will be difficult to “prove” this is an actual woodie as the ID plates don’t have any information identifying it as a woodie. I would ask for a letter (maybe even get it noterized (sp) from the best friend,/auctioneer and Mark’s wife. I would include pictures of them and the original parts car if you can. They may not be legal identification documents but history helps when selling it.  

Have fun and be sure to post your progress. Like I said before I would love to be in a position to do a project like this. 

Dave S 

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Great find, those parts are what you need. Keep posting pictures. You can see the "ghost" line on the exterior panel where the horizontal rail attaches. Those two pieces in the bottom of the picture that has the spare tire mount, might be the tailgate hangers. Gold mine!!!

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