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Wooden cars ffs

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Wooden cars ffs

Old 9th Mar 2020, 00:30
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Wooden cars ffs

I was watching Endeavour season 6 last night and they had a Morris Traveler in it. I remember knowing people who owned those and watching then sand down the woodwork and re-varnish it

Looking closely at the on in the programme it seemed lie it was ALL wood - I mean the wood wasn't just a trim piece glued onto a metal structure.

Only in England would people consider a wooden car acceptable



On a different note, I was alive then, I mean at the time Endeavour is set, not when I was watching it, but it doesn't really depict a world that I remember. Is it me? Have I forgotten my roots? or is that a fairly accurate depiction of the world of the sixites? (apart from Fred Thursday's hat). I bet Loose can tell me.

I thought it would be interesting to watch Endeavour side by side with Mad Men as both of them were set at the same time. Both had an episode that revolved around the Apollo 11 mission


Spoiler alert: Remember in Mad Men when the English guy tried to kill himself by feeding the exhaust fumes into the car, except it was a jag so wouldn't even start? lol - I think that was a writer settling an old, old score

btw I saw 6 e-types side by side here in Dallas at a car show a few years back. Bloody frightening vehicles really. No crumple zone and the battery sitting right in front of the front seat pax, just waiting for the collision
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Old 9th Mar 2020, 00:36
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I built a wooden car, but it wooden work.
So, I built a car from wood and steel, but it steel wooden work.
Then I built one from copper, and sold it to the police.
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Old 9th Mar 2020, 00:38
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The old Morris Traveller had a lot of wood in it. There was an episode of Wheeler Dealers in which one was restored and there was quite a bit of woodwork that needed to be done by a professional.
"Only in England..." And the famous "Woodies" of the US? Plymouth, Ford, Buick etc etc?
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Old 9th Mar 2020, 00:42
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Fair point, but I *think* that was just paneling stuck on the outside - and depending on how old the vehicle was, it wasn't even wood

There was a guy in Dallas, who lived in a house that by a quirk of the way three roads connected, had a single triangular lot. He had several station wagons parked round his property, all the same type and with the plastic wood on the side and I often wondered if he bought the place just for the extra parking

Here you go - the Ford Country Squire: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Country_Squire he had loads of them
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Old 9th Mar 2020, 00:55
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Originally Posted by Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! View Post
Only in England would people consider a wooden car acceptable


If I could afford one I'd buy it..


All Morgan cars are expertly crafted using three core elements: ash, aluminium and leather
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Old 9th Mar 2020, 01:38
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Didn't wooden things help to win the war? I've grown to like working with wood structures after years of living near Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

My mate worked his Traveller hard. He was a fisherman and taking the vehicle near to the quayside made it vulnerable.

I recall him machining the curved pieces out of solid wood, not a task of the feint hearted. Not a problem for him as he makes beautiful rifles, hand crafted to fit like a glove. He made a pistol out of a cut down .762 Odd how a weapon can be so, erm, ornamental. It found its way on to the front page of Guns Review after some success at Bisley. However, the thing really bit back, so he cut an exact copy out of solid stainless steel with cavities filled with lead.

Of course, all the hardware had to be handed in after law changed.
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Old 9th Mar 2020, 02:51
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Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! : Re E-Types When I was around 10 years old I was walking with a friend on a rural lane when we heard a car crash. We got there before the ambulance and found that a cabrio E-Type had gone straight on at a bend through a hedge into a field. The bonnet had come off and taken the driver's head off. I recall us poking our feet in the grey matter that was his brains. Oddly I bumped into my friend decades later and he had an E-Type that he was renovating.
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Old 9th Mar 2020, 02:56
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In the '50s my father had a Morris 8/40 which started life as a tourer (ragtop), but had been converted from the firewall back into a station wagon. The body was wooden framed, with laminex (plastic wood) panels. It was in an accident and hit on the rear corner by a bus, which broke the corner post and some trim, and crumpled the mudguard.
These days, I would have simply cut the curved corner post on the bandsaw, but the old cabinetmaker who lived behind us shaped it with an adze, an almost lost art these days.
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Old 9th Mar 2020, 02:58
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cashash, you beat me to it re Morgans.
Here in Japan you mention a Morgan, and the standard reply and knowing look is, "Yes, but they are made of wood, aren't they!"
Part of the year it is so humid that wood warps; only the rich can afford to house their Morgan perpetually in a controlled environment.
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Old 9th Mar 2020, 03:12
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This is the Morris 8/40 wagon.

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Old 9th Mar 2020, 03:12
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The E-Type was an incredibly dangerous car. Wheels way in under the bodywork and tyre technology nowhere near that of the later XJ6 Dunlops, which had a long way to go, but they were to set a new standard in grip.

The E was the fastest car I've ever owned. It needed the air spoiling to keep the front wheels on the ground above 130 mph. That is not urban myth, I put that to the test early on. With the air ruffled under the bottom lip that car would go around the clock and off past the 160 mark. The RPM gauge would confirm the speed with a generator off the cam. It had the same movement as an AVO test meter and was spot on at 4000 rpm, so probably near at whatever it was it went to. I only did it once, but 140 was a non-event. The only tuning was getting the needles to plop down evenly and ColourTune the spark plug colour.

The 4.2 was a smoother ride and gear change, but not nearly as quick. I sold both of them - a few years apart - for £750 each. Something well got rid of.

The kind of problem was seeing the gravel of the road going by in a side window. A drop-link had come off the anti-roll bar. It was only held on by the rubber bush!!!!! It just needed a washer biger than the steel of the bush surround, but there wasn't one. The car was an unfinished missile.
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Old 9th Mar 2020, 03:37
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The Marcos had a chassis made from bits of plywood stuck together, just like a Mosquito! But they later went with steel.. termites probably.

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Old 9th Mar 2020, 03:41
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Originally Posted by Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! View Post
Fair point, but I *think* that was just paneling stuck on the outside - and depending on how old the vehicle was, it wasn't even wood
Mmm - you didn't look far enough back in history. The US built its real-wood-through-and-through car bodies before WW2. The Morris Traveller was just late to the party.

Model T, 1914: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statio...-_DSC03225.jpg
Model A, 1929: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statio...tion_Wagon.jpg

Wood was fine (cheap and easy to handle) so long as the goal was just maximum flat-sided enclosed cubic volume. Often they were home-builts.

We called them "station wagons" because they were mostly used to haul people, baggage and cargo from the railway station to the hotel, farm or ranch. In the UK they were called Estate cars or Shooting-brakes, because only folks rich enough to have an estate or a hunting stable could afford one.

After WW2, while the UK was still recovering from being bombed flat in places and had shortages of this and that - we over here now had plenty of steel, and were beginning to chase the curvaceous, streamlined airplane look (eventually resulting in the abomination of tail-fins), so real wood construction became passé. Although part of the market still liked the "I own a ranch" symbolism - in the suburbs. Thus the optional faux-wood paste-ons from the 1950s through the 1970s.
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Old 9th Mar 2020, 04:09
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Pattern_is_full, thanks, you just answered several mini questions I had bouncing around in my head. Informative post!
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Old 9th Mar 2020, 04:44
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I owned a Mini Countryman with wooden bits stuck on to it, circa 1965. First thing I did was take them off, and varnish the undersides and a second coat all around, but they were bolted to the steel body and I could have just taken them all off, except there might have been some problem with fixing the rear door hinges, which were bolted to a fairly chunky bit of wood. Forget details now.

I created an interior matching screen across the back of the rear seats, so that our Boxer dog had his own area, which he fiercely protected via the side sliding windows, that could be opened as required to give him air and biting space to inquisitive ( thieving ? ) hands, but couldn't climb out of.

[/QUOTE].This is the Morris 8/40 wagon [QUOTE]

Sloping front grille looks like a Morris 10 to me, not a Morris 8 totally different front body shape. Passed my one and only driving test in a Morris 8 in 1941.
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Old 9th Mar 2020, 05:14
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My first car was a Singer Nine. Aluminium body on a wood frame.

Later I had an Etype. I made a straight trade for my 7 year old MGB, which kind of tells you what kind of condition it was in. I was taken in by the looks and the trader who brought the E Type into my gas station. Shortly I found it had no grommets in the chassis access ports and at 100 mph the carpets rose up around me, much to my consternation.

The brakes pulled to the left, which I suppose was better than the right, (in the UK) all the core plugs leaked and the steering was ‘vague,’ but it went like sh*t off a shovel except in the wet when it would spin if you tried to turn when you did not have much time at the traffic lights.

I loved it for a while but yes it was hideously dangerous.

It was not the most dangerous car I drove in the UK though, not by a long way. That was a Unipower. Mid engine space frame and fibreglass body based around Mini components. I worked for the factory and the demonstrator had a Mini Cooper engine uprated to about 125 hp and the thing weighed in about a hundred weight and a half less than an actual mini. Mid engine and rear wheel drive should have been great but it was unstable at anything over 80mph and at 90 the nose got very light indeed. It easily did 125 mph, 25 more than I dared drive it. Oh, and the noise inside was unbelievable.



When we got to Canada the first thing we did was go out and buy an Olds Custom Cruiser, a wagon with fake wood on the side. (Our first brand new car.) I loved it, it took a 4x8 sheet of plywood and had three rows of seats. Mrs VJ loved it till she got both sides scrunched on her way from one mall to another because “they had cheaper onions.” Now she just says “We are never having another Doris Day car.” I have a 20 year old Extended Yukon instead.
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Old 9th Mar 2020, 07:45
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Problem with wood??
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Old 9th Mar 2020, 07:56
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Come to think of it, in 1962 my dad (a child-of-the-Depression cheapskate) sold two postwar Dodge coupes to acquire a five-year-old 1957 Ford "Country Squire" to move the family 1800 miles cross-country. I've always remembered it as beige/brown two-tone, but I guess it was actually beige with wood panels. (Wikipedia says Ford still used real wood for the trim in that year - I wouldn't know).

About like this, but with beige base paint instead of white. Had minimalist fins and chrome (at least for a 1950s American car) and I'm sure my anti-conspicuous-consumption dad was tickled to find one in a color that minimized the contrast with the wood as well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_C...try_Squire.jpg
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Old 9th Mar 2020, 08:07
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[/QUOTE]

Sloping front grille looks like a Morris 10 to me, not a Morris 8 totally different front body shape. Passed my one and only driving test in a Morris 8 in 1941.[/QUOTE]

Definitely an 8/40. This is the 8/40 tourer with the same grille.
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...(Series_E).jpg
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Old 9th Mar 2020, 08:30
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The E-type was not really any more dangerous than many cars of the 1960s which often had the structural integrity of a biscuit tin.
Wooden cars? Anyone remember the Cortina mk1 estate with the plastic wood stuck-on panels?
The Morris Traveller's Woden frame was Ash and structural. The metal panels were aluminium. That's why there's a rubber strip on the roof between the front and rear of the car to prevent steel/aluminium interaction.
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