1948 CHEVROLET FLEETMASTER “WOODY” STATION WAGON
Designer: Harley Earl
Estimate: $65,000 - $85,000
Chassis Number: 20FKF11873
Decoded: 20=Los Angeles, CA assembly; F=1948; K=Fleetline series; F=June 1948 build
month; 11873=10,873rd 1948 Chevrolet scheduled for assembly at the Los Angeles plant
Engine: 216 cid OHV inline 6-cylinder
1-barrel Carburetor / 90 bhp
3-Speed Manual Transmission/Column shift
Four Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes
● Chevrolet’s Most Expensive Model For 1948
● One Of Just 10,171 Produced That Season
● The Last Generation Of Full Wood Body Wagons
The Model: Chevrolet changed very little in the way of styling for 1948, a new vertical chrome bar for the grill, a new ornament and emblem for the hood and that was pretty much it. When the 1948 models were introduced in February of that year, the industry was still trying to catch up with the demand for new cars that had existed since WWII had ended. Fielding a total of 11 different models in the Stylemaster, Fleetline and Fleetmaster series, the station wagon was by far the most expensive body style with a base price of $2,013, which could easily be taken up another 25% with just the basic accessories, and dealers like to attach everything they could to build their profits. The station wagon’s wooden bodies were supplied by both Ionia and Cantrell, featuring ash framing with mahogany panels. The top was covered in Spanish Grain Leatherette, an early version of vinyl.
The Car: This wagon appears to have been given a frame-on restoration during which most of the original wood body was restored with only a very few small repairs being made, and sheet metal in excellent condition. While the wood shows slight aging, the body is solid with doors plus tail and lift gates work as designed. It is fitted with typical accessories of the day, radio, dash mounted clock and a aftermarket heater/defroster. The original “stovebolt six” purrs to life with a simple pressing of the floor-mounted starter button. Finished in a pleasing shade of light yellow, the dark saddle brown imitation leather seats are soft and inviting with the central instrument gauge clean and presentable. Able to travel at highway speeds all day long, this Chevy “Woody” will fit in well with any collector of vintage bowtie cars or maybe even get a blue oval fan to switch allegiance.