Real Woodies you love to drive

The woodie Story

How it Started

This was my first woodie 1962 $25.00


My love affair with Woodies and Brothers

My brothers and I bought our first car, a 1941 Plymouth Woodie, for $25. We knew it was a great deal because it had two new tires.  This was 1962 and I had just turned 16 years old and was the oldest of four brothers.  The good news was when the Woodie started, we would get to school on time with three of the brothers push starting it.  When it didn’t start, we had to run to school.  

The brothers drove the Woodie for two years, push starting it most of that time and running out of gas 2 or 3 times a week. We’d pool our money from working at the school cafeteria to get enough gas to go surfing. When I graduated from high school and got my first summer job, I realized that the unreliable Woodie made it difficult to get to work. One day while surfing at Bolsa Chica State Park (also known as Tin Can Beach), we decided that we were tired of the push start. We used surfing wax to paint a for sale sign on the side window. (Picture of old Woodie in 1964) A driver on Pacific Coast highway made a U turn and agreed to pay the outlandish $125!  What an entrepreneur I thought I was.

Many years later after traveling the world and raising a family, it was time to build a reliable Woodie.   I had learned enough mechanical skills building Bonneville record-setting race cars and motorcycles as “Team McLeish Brothers”.  (Picture of Silverrod).   I enlisted some of my race car friends to help with the project and discovered these kinds of projects take a lot longer than you think, but the Woodies live on.

The idea was simple. Chevrolet made 500,000 pickup trucks per year and during World War II Campbell and Cantrell made wood bodies for them. They had a template to convert your sedan or truck for more passengers and you would save precious steel and get gas rationing during the war. I wanted a modern Woodie with all the amenities that I didn’t have to push start.