West Coast Classics are proud to present this extraordinary AACA 'Grand National Award Winning' example of a 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster 216 CID 6 cyl 'Woody' Wagon in original 'Oxford Maroon'!
Advertised in 1948 as an 8 passenger, 4 door, 7 window woody with drop & lift rear gates these desirable wagons found niche buyers in parts of the USA. Throughout the 3 years of production the station wagon was the rarest of body styles. This particular example was the recipient of a no expense spared restoration in the early 1990's. Following the restoration the car was entered into AACA events and won Grand national honors.
This 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Woody Wagon is an example of arguably the most now iconic and desirable body style of this generation, the Estate Wagon. Wood-bodied construction was nearing the end of its popularity, and this generation of woody wagons showed how well integrated the wood could be with more modern styling. Its older restoration shows very well, with a lovely finish on its wood surfaces including the veneered door panels and interior trim. A previous AACA 'Grand National Award Winner', this example is sure to be a welcome addition at the home of its next steward.
Postwar continuation of the basic 1942 design but with the grille now going full width in 1947 before going ornate in 1948. The 1948 therefore is clearly more desirable than the earlier 1946-47 model and a very rare and collectible model today, especially in Woody wagon form! In '48 the Fleetmaster was chosen as the Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500 Race, Chevy's very first time being selected as the official pace car.
Standard equipment included adjustable front seat, front rubber floor mats, rubber covered running boards, front door armrests, dome light, clock, dual sun visors, deluxe steering wheel, window frame and beltline moldings, steel cowl, windshield pillars and underbody with mahogany and natural wood finish framework, reinforced leatherette top, single tail and stop light, and major options included deluxe in dash heater & defroster, windshield washer, deluxe pushbutton radio, radio antenna, hubcaps, wheel trim rings & whitewall sidewall discs.
The car includes all its original features including its original Maroon hood, fenders and roof with correct ash and mahogany wood panels, and is equipped with its original and rebuilt 216.5 c.i. 'Stovebolt' inline 6 cylinder engine, 3 speed column shift manual transmission, turn signals, heater with two-speed blower, pushbutton AM radio, a fully functional dash clock, fender skirts, Firestone Deluxe Champion wide white walls, bumper guards and fender stone guards, rear under seat storage compartments to hold the tool kit and lug wrench. Of special note is the LOF Hi-Test Safety Plate glass that is date coded to 1948!
In addition there is a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania inspection sticker on the front windshield dated from 9/25/1948 and the car resided in PA for almost its whole life, having been bought new in Philipsburg by its first owner who owned the car for some 5 years until being purchased by its second PA owner, the late and legendary Harold Zulick who was both an avid and well known and respected collector and long time AACA & CCCA member and who was to go on to own the car for some 55 years and who commissioned the no expense spared restoration in the early 1990's. Following this thorough and complete no expense spared restoration the car was entered and displayed in AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America) events and won Grand national honors including in 1991 the highest award possible; "THE AACA GRAND NATIONAL WINNER'!
The car was sold by 'Auctions America' at their Ft Lauderdale, FL auction in 2012 for $91,300 before eventually in the year 2020 the wagon was acquired by a southern California enthusiast who went onto restore the car further; restaining the clearcoat after stripping the wood, installed vintage air conditioning with condenser and electric fan, converted to 12 volt with alternator and new A6M battery, rechromed the grille and bumpers, new Coker whitewall tires with 7" Artillery powder coated wheels & accessory steering wheel ETC.
For fans of genuine wood-bodied wagons, this 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Woody Wagon is amongst the absolute pinnacles of desirability.
If you're under 30 years old, you may not understand why cars like this 1948 Chevrolet Woody Wagon speak to collectors here in the 21st century. Everyone else, however, remembers spending awesome summer vacations in cars very much like this, travelling the country and seeing why America is great. And if family travelling by highway was your thing, the woody wagon represented first class accommodations that were unmatched by just about everything else. In short, these were the finest, most luxurious wagons ever to be built in America and everyone knew it.
The car reportedly came from the factory with 'Oxford Maroon' paint, and thats what its wearing today. Its a lovely Maroon that glows in the sunlight and contrasts brilliantly with the restored woodwork that makes this wagon so dramatic. The integration of wagon bodywork with the steel panels is seamless, creating a sleek profile that looks expensive from any angle. Of note, it appears that the woodwork is the product of an older restoration and mostly all original, with a soft golden hue that comes from some beautiful maturity, although every piece has a glowing layer of varnish and which has been recently clear-coated to keep it looking its best for years to come. The doors fit well and close with authority (no swollen joints here) and the mammoth hood, which opens from both sides, sits neatly between the fenders.
All of the chrome and stainless trim on the car has been recently and expensively restored, from the toothy grille to the massive bumpers to the lovely taillights out back. The stainless trim along the flanks has been fully polished and the tailgate hardware is virtually irreplaceable, but fortunately the hinges and handles are in excellent condition.
For sheer eyeball appeal, its hard to beat the Oxford Maroon over a Dark Tan leather interior in a Woody wagon, and this cars passenger compartment is the pinnacle of late-40s style and elegance. Beautiful mahogany door panels and leather upholstery remain in excellent condition with almost no signs of wear. The driver sits behind a massive steering wheel that makes guiding this big car effortless and gauges are arrayed in round pods, with the speedometer front and center and auxiliary dials on either side with the clock on the passenger side with the AM radio in the center of the dash.
With a quality restoration performed some years ago and recent expensive refurbishments, and enough driving to ensure that it is definitely properly sorted and dialed in, this is an excellent example thats ready to use and enjoy and to win some shows immediately! These rarely come to market, so its a genuine honor to have it in our inventory, and we invite you to come see and drive it, because thats really the best way to appreciate these wonderful machines.