Pick of the Week: 1951 Ford Country Squire Woodie Wagon

Hagerty Marketplace / BlakeW

Unveiled on November 2, 1950, Ford’s 1951 lineup of cars garnered huge attention for good reason. For starters, you could choose from seven body styles, two engines, and three transmissions. New features abounded—Ford’s brochure counts 43, to be exact. They included a Key-Turn Starter—”No reaching for a starter button!”—and a Waterproof Ignition System, which protected the spark plugs with snug synthetic rubber boots, and Double-Seal King-Size Brakes—which reduced braking effort by precisely 35 percent. Imagine!

The 1951 Ford retained much of the handsome lines of its 1950 predecessor. From the front, though, it was clear you were driving a new car: The Dual Spinner Grille (versus 1950’s single spinner fascia) and bewinged hood ornament made sure of that, as did the Multi-Protection Bumper, with its additional, horizontal guards. For the customer who needed maximum roominess, and was willing to pay extra to stand out from the crowd, Ford introduced an entirely new model for 1951: The Country Squire Station Wagon, equipped with a dual-hinged tailgate and paneled in luxurious mahogany.

This brings us to the car you see here, a remarkably well-preserved “woodie” up for auction now on Hagerty Marketplace. It is offered at no reserve from the collection of Roger Boman, who clearly took to heart the spirit of the 1951 brochure, which claimed that the new Fords were “Built for the Years Ahead!”

To ensure that this midcentury woodie was ready for the 21st century, Boman made a few key modifications. Under the hood, in place of either the 100-hp V-8 or the 95-hp six-cylinder offered by Ford for 1951, is a 350-cubic inch Chevy V-8 backed by an automatic transmission. Naturally, the brakes are also upgraded, from drums to discs. Inside, Boman added a Vintage Air A/C system and a digital gauge cluster. (It displays 2468 miles at the time of listing, but true mileage is unknown.) Judging by the buttons on the door cards, and the absence of window crank handles, Bowman also added electric windows. (Whoever buys this should come up with a ’50s–appropriate name: How about One-Touch Gliding Glass?)

1951 Ford Country Squire Woodie Wagon hagerty marketplace
Hagerty Marketplace / BlakeW

The interior presents very well: The mahogany panels on the front door cards are free of any ugly scratches or gouges. That modern A/C system is tucked well out of sight, and the round, digital gauge cluster sits within a chrome bezel right where the factory one would, behind a newer, three-spoke, wood-rimmed steering wheel. The seats, which appear to be modern ones re-upholstered in tan leather, have neither crease nor wrinkle—but they do have seat belts. The buff-colored carpet looks perfect.

Under the hood tells a similar story of understated modernization. The aluminum and stainless steel finishes on the port-injected Chevy RAMJET 350 crate engine give a cohesive look, the hoses are tucked neatly into the firewall, and the wiring is similarly tidy.

1951 Ford Country Squire Woodie Wagon hagerty marketplace
Hagerty Marketplace / BlakeW

If you love the look of the Country Squire, and imagine yourself sharing this wonderful ’50s woodie with your kids or grandkids or significant other, this subtly modernized example might be exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t wait too long to make your move, however: as of this writing, this Ford sits at $22,000 with 10 bids and six days to go. Bidding closes at 3:10 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26.


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    I like a lot of things about this car. Not crazy about the seats – they look too modern and thus out-of-place to me. And I’m sure that many purists balked at the 350 Chevy in a Ford thing. But for the most part, it’s an attractive build, and probably a reliable driver. Of course, woodie ANYthings bring higher money, but I do think that this one might have gone for a little bit too much.

    Wow. An SBC. How original. (not a purist, but kinda sick of this trend)

    Very pretty car, nonetheless.

    I actually saw a vintage (’35, I think) hot-rodded Ford truck with a Ford engine in it last weekend. I was shocked. I thought that was against the law!

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