Imagine, if you will, it is 1941*.
The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor, Franklin Roosevelt has declared War and orders the War Department to gear up for entry into the Second World War in three decades.
In 1939*, you were lucky enough to have landed a job selling a material that separates fuel and water in ocean going watercraft and landed your firm a contract to supply this material to the War Department. Your salary in 1939* was $13,000.00*, including commissions. By 1942*, your salary and commissions was $82,000.00*, with even more expected in the years ahead. The average teacher made $1,800.00* that year, an executive with the North Carolina government made $13,000.00* and Satchel Paige made $40,000.00*.
You have a serious dilemma. What automobile to purchase to get the family to that newly acquired beach house? You have a limited choice, due to the auto industry converting all of their factories to military vehicle production, and with your current salary, a used car just won't due.
Do you want a Chrysler Town and Country Woodie Wagon? Nah, that is Coach Built with Ash and Mahogany from Pekin Wood Products in Helena, Arkansas.
You want something even more desirable. Here it is:
A 1942 * Mercury Woodie Wagon. Only 792* produced and at a price of $2,955.00*, you get the Deluxe, the top of the line at the time. The average price of an automobile in 1942* was $1,100.00* At the time, the only Factory Built Woodie Wagon, with timber from Ford's own lands on Iron Mountain Hill on Lake Superior. Solid, strong, wood, durability grown in.
A four door, clam shell tailgated equipped, Honest to God, Woodie Wagon with seating for 9*.
Baby Moons, Beauty Rings, Deep Maroone Colored Wheels Matching the Body Color.
A vinyl roof and a mandatory luggage rack to carry all the items needed for a summer long stay at the Beach.
The air scoop to provide refreshing fresh air along the trip. A spot light to enhance the majestic natural views. The inbound turn signals, provided at the whim of an, unknown to you, automobile stylist.
To conserve metal, California provided you porcelain license plates for $17.00*
And, no flat six for you, you have to have the V8*.
Optional Clock, and wing vents, to add more fresh air.
The wood ribbed roof.
Maple door panels and chrome hand rails on the rear of the seats.
Streamline front grill with chome bumpers.
You love this automobile from all angles.
Rear mounted spare with Mercury scripted on it with an original Goodyear Wide White.
Just across the street from the Ormond Garage.
the Kid and I came across this rare, rare old woody today on Granada Blvd, almost across the street from the Ormond Garage. Mercury only made 792* of them in 1942*, and as of 2004*, there were only 10* left with just 3* of them restored, 2* of them in Southern California. One sold in 2000*, at auction, for $75,000.00*. That was 8* years ago.
This one is pristine. A couple paint issues, but just a beautiful longroof. Definitely the rarest vehicle I have ever seen on the street.
the Kid spotted it first and we had to whip in. We had seen an old Alfa Romeo replicar on a VW chassis earlier and I thought that might have made this designation, but after seeing this longroof, I commented to the Kid, this was definitely What I Saw Today. He enthusiastically concurred.
Good eye, Kid. See ya next week.