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Saratoga bill

Wood Chevy suburban 1936

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Do you know who made the suburbans when new for the Chevys you have, or are you using a chassis that stared off with another body and want to restore what you have to be a suburban with a body designed and made to look like something that you could have bought in 1936. ? The Cantrell Co. of Huntington, NY built suburbans on a variety of chassis  and did so to a limited extent for Chevrolet in 1936 too.

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If I'm reading your post correctly, you have one wood kit and half of another. The complete kit can be used as patterns and there are several very competent companies that can duplicate any wood you need. While you are calling your vehicles Suburbans, do you mean "Woodie" Station Wagons? There are several specialists that build "Woodie" bodies that advertise in the Woodie Times, the magazine put out by the National Woodie Club. I, along with other Woodie owners that communicate on this site can also recommend wood body fabricators.

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All four are 1936 Chevy Suburbans- all the same not made by another company- Same as the one (1935) that resided in Hershey for a few years but it  did not have the correct duel C127C38D-B855-410A-9F29-7161B4EF8E71.thumb.jpeg.450407f324bda155582326f25c537a0e.jpegwindow upper tailgate. 
no name on the wood kit produced before 1987 or so. 

AD3E00D6-579C-49C7-9D8C-10D803D00533.jpeg

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Interesting! I am trying to remember, wasn't that the first year for Chevrolet's Suburban? I didn't think very many of those still survived.  Although they were in fact a continuation of many makes and models of what we now call crossover personal/commercial cars, they were an important step forward with a body built more durable than the woody wagons. The wood framework covered in steel as most bodies had been for nearly thirty years at that time, was more resistant to the weather, and vibration loosening the framework joints. Woody station wagons may be more popular today (and for good reasons), but the Suburban lead the way to the many similar heavy duty family workhorse vehicles used to this day. Chevy's Suburban has, except for the break during WWII, been produced continuously for more than eighty years!

 

As for the needed wood? Any good (GOOD!) wood shop with an understanding of antique automobile body construction should be able to duplicate what you have. The most difficult part of rewooding most era bodies is having a pattern to follow. Very careful fitting and squaring of the framework will be required!

There is a regular on the Model T Ford Club of America forum that has rewooded several model T sedans. Over the years he has posted lengthy threads with lots of good information about the process of doing wood framed bodies. Try searching for "rewooding a four door sedan" on their forum.If you can't find it, letme know and I will try to find some links for you.

Edited by wayne sheldon (see edit history)

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18 minutes ago, wayne sheldon said:

Interesting! I am trying to remember, wasn't that the first year for Chevrolet's Suburban? I didn't think very many of those still survived.  Although they were in fact a continuation of many makes and models of what we now call crossover personal/commercial cars, they were an important step forward with a body built more durable than the woody wagons. The wood framework covered in steel as most bodies had been for nearly thirty years at that time, was more resistant to the weather, and vibration loosening the framework joints. Woody station wagons may be more popular today (and for good reasons), but the Suburban lead the way to the many similar heavy duty family workhorse vehicles used to this day. Chevy's Suburban has, except for the break during WWII, been produced continuously for more than eighty years!

 

1935 was the first year, from what I heard less the a dozen survived. 

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A good friend of mine owns two both restored and were at the Ocala AACA Meet last year , I could put you in touch with him if you would like

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I would give the Kline Family Workshop a call at 717-266-8696. Tom and Mike did the woodwork for my '46 Station Wagon and I would highly recommend them. Although they specialize in 1942-1948 Ford wagons and Chrysler Town and Country, I know they have done other make vehicles. With the patterns you have they might accommodate you. If you are in Saratoga NY, it wouldn't be too far to transport your wood to their shop in PA. Your vehicles are very rare and deserve restorations. Keep us posted.

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Great that you clarified what you are seeking the wood for. This is structural wood that has a sheet metal exterior body. Pre WWII most station wagons ( as we now all them ) were called suburbans or depot hacks. Suburbans was the word of choice not station wagon, depot hack and "woodie" was a much later collector type description of what we perceive. I am finishing up a story on J.T. Cantrell and Company of their production and pre WWII they called their "wood station wagons" SUBURBANS . This ( some) confusion here - what the body builders called them and what ( with the debut of the steel covered bodies) the car manufacturers called them - Like Chevrolet - needs to be cleared up. Photos help as does a bit more information.

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Cantrell actually contributed to the birth of the Woodie, Station Wagon. In the early '20s, Cantrell put their Depot Hack bodies on Model T's and other makes. Henry Ford took note of how many were being built for delivery services, hotels, etc and built 5 prototype, Model A Station Wagons in 1928. In 1929 Ford went into full production of the Wagon line and continued until 1948.

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To confuse issues even further, much like the term "speedster" has been used by numerous manufacturers in their sales literature to describe differing styles of cars over a few decades. Only then to become usually referring to a cut-down bodied car modified to resemble a racing car of the period. "Suburban" was not exclusive to station wagon type automobiles. It was also for a time used by several manufacturers for a type of limousine. Pierce Arrow, among others, used the term. A good friend of mine has such a 1915 Pierce.

 

Linguistics in itself is a complicated and fascinating subject. Words must mean something. Yet, language must be fluid and change as needs arise. When we study history, it can be very confusing to keep the language straight.

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