Originally owned by the legendary aviatrix and entrepreneur, Pancho Barnes, this station wagon automobile originally was used to transport guests between Los Angeles and her Happy Bottom Riding Club dude ranch located in the Mojave Desert, where they were treated to laughter, camaraderie, live music, excellent meals, drinks and adventure.  It was later gifted to one of Pancho’s hostesses as a wedding gift to ensure safe cross-country driving to Connecticut, where the automobile spent many years.  It was well cared for by the hostess and her family, and eventually was sold to a car collector in Southern California.

This 1951 Ford “Woody” Country Squire, an automobile built for both passengers and cargo, was given new life and conserved by world-renowned car collector Nick Alexander at our request.  The station wagon, a testament to endurance, wore its age with pride, its original parts and finishes still intact, though in need of conservation. Raven Black paint, early and authentic, clung to the car’s frame, its patina and blemishes marking it as a true survivor car. The Woody’s namesake, its exterior wood panels and trim, demanded the most attention. Original structural panels and nearly all the mahogany veneers were conserved, while the remaining maple trim pieces were preserved with minimal replacement. Inside, the dash and three rows of seating stood in astonishing condition, the original floor mats and panels bearing witness to the passage of time.  The glass windows (stamped correctly), and all the original chrome pieces remained, having withstood the years. 

The Woody’s cargo area, lined with ‘space-age’ linoleum, showed wear but retained its original charm. Only the textured paint covering the wheel well covers was replaced, having suffered too much wear for future use. 

During the preservation, the headliner, delicate and mostly intact, proved too fragile to conserve. Nick Alexander found a bolt of vintage fabric and skillfully installed the new old-stock headliner.

The Ford’s 3-speed transmission and flathead 8-cylinder engine were in remarkable shape, needing little attention.  To make the car more freeway drivable, a vintage-correct BorgWarner overdrive was added to the transmission.

The rear tailgate, originally painted to resemble wood from a distance, was authentically restored. A vintage visor and spare tire wheel cover were added, enhancing the Woody’s character and comfort, recreating how the automobile originally looked when it carried Pancho Barnes’ guests to and from her famed Happy Bottom Riding Club.