Henry Ford, perhaps more than any other industrialist of the 20th century, believed in vertical integration. It was said without exaggeration that iron ore and coking coal from Ford's mines arrived on Ford ships at one end of the Rouge works and Ford automobiles came out the other. When bodies were built on wood frames Ford bought miles of old-growth hardwood forests in northern Michigan and fed logs on Ford railroads into the Ford Iron Mountain mill. As all-steel bodies supplanted traditional coachwork Iron Mountain turned to building depot hack and station wagon bodies and supplying wood to other Ford suppliers. The quality of the wood, the immense kilns and mills that processed it and the skill of the Iron Mountain woodworkers became legend. That history is plainly evident in this 1940 Ford Deluxe Station Wagon. Finished in maroon with saddle interior, three-row seating, grille guard, bumper tips, hubcaps, trim rings, whitewall tires, enclosed spare mounted on the tailgate, radio, clock and heater it is, best of all, a sound and largely original car that has had a quality cosmetic restoration some years ago now with a charming patina of its own. The wood is exceptional, without the water-stained joints so often seen on old woodies. The interior upholstery has been redone and the interior wood panels are excellent. The wood has been recently revarnished (Ford said it should be done every year in regular use) without detracting from its patina. At 20 feet and 20mph it looks like a restored car, a gorgeous driver that still exhibits the skill, craftsmanship and pleasing combination of the natural variations of old-growth wood with the paint and chrome of the automobile. It's choice.
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