Casting : Classic '31 Ford Woody

The Hot Wheels Classic ‘31 Ford Woody is a 1931 Ford Model A Station Wagon. The name “station wagon" refers to the early use of these vehicles at train stations to pick up passengers. The cars were also known as "depot hacks", as they were commonly used to transport people and luggage as taxi cabs. Of course, the name "Woody" is a nickname that was made popular by West Coast surfers, and refers to the wooden body panels that ran from the cowl to the rear of the vehicle.  Ford used so much wood in the construction of car bodies, that the Ford Motor Company owned and operated a saw mill in the western end of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the 1930’s.

  The Mattel version of the hot rod Woody wagon is a good representation of the vehicle lucky surfers may have owned in the 1960’s. The hot rod changes include the hood removal, and the V-8 engine. The Mattel designers oddly added open headers exiting at the side, and also large mega-phone exhaust pipes at the rear.  The black roof represents the fabric covered top of Ford’s wagon. On the toy, it comes in two styles. The early run cars have a flat black roof, and the later run versions have a glossy black textured roof. The texture varies from car to car from a fine grain, to a larger texture. The larger texture is sometimes called a "fingerprint-textured" roof.

A pair of '31 Ford Woodies with textured (L) and flat (R) black roofs.

The interior is found in three colors: white, bronze (or tan, or champagne), and dark brown. From the beginning of production, all three interior colors were used.  At some point during the production run, Mattel appears to have phased out the bronze and dark brown interiors. This is supported by the fact that only white interiors are found in Woodies that are painted with second generation colors (hot pink, magenta, and true yellow).

Woody interior colors: brown, bronze and white.

Four chassis styles have been identified, and will be referred to here as A,B,C and D.  The four chassis types are as follows:

"A" Chassis: Straight side pipes; round, open rear alignment hole; small ‘R’ after HOT WHEELS. Note that A chassis are rare.

"B" Chassis: Radius added to side pipes; round, open rear alignment hole; LARGE ‘R’ after HOT WHEELS; ‘C’ for copyright enlarged.

"C" Chassis: Radius on side pipes; rear alignment hole elongated, and closed; large R; chassis casting lengthened at the rear (It now covers the rear portion of the body casting. It’s hard to see, unless you compare these to earlier castings.)

"D" Chassis: Radius on side pipes; rear alignment hole elongated, and closed; large R is replaced with a small ‘TM‘ after HOT WHEELS; Large ‘R‘ moved to the end of CLASSIC 31 FORD WOODY; chassis casting long at the rear.

  Four different body casting revision letters also have been found. The body casting letter is visible on the inside bottom surface of the roof. A,B,D and E castings have been found. A bodies have only been found on unpainted prototypes, and at least one brown Woody. This proves brown Woodies to be early production, or possibly prototypes. B bodies are common to flat black roof cars, and have been found to be very common. No C bodies were found in a survey of over 200 Woodies. D and E bodies are common to late run cars, with D bodies being more abundant. There is also an E-2 body which indicates a second die tool was in parallel use.
Brown is by far the most difficult color to find, and there may be only a few dozen or less, including some prototypes. A few colors are available only on early run cars with a flat roof; these include olive, antifreeze, and creamy pink. Other colors are found on both early and late run versions, including red, orange, green, rose, blue, aqua, lime, and purple.  Magenta, true yellow, and hot pink have only been found with textured roofs, late bodies, and white interiors. The Woody has not been found in salmon pink. Nice green Woodies are getting harder to find, as the late run greens are prone to fading to an icey aqua color. Early greens do not fade.  One harder to find variation is the transitional car that has both a textured roof, and a bronze or brown interior. Not many collectors care about such minute details, but since the change to textured roofs and all white interiors would not have been done at the same time, these transitional cars can be found. These have been found in red, aqua, blue, and purple.


Color chart

aqua common
orange common
red common
purple uncommon
lime uncommon
rose uncommon
hard to find
creamy pink
hard to find
hard to find
hard to find
light blue
hard to find
hard to find
very hard to find
very hard to find
hot pink
very hard to find


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