It's time for the Family Truckster to make a comeback. Jalopnik readers know ten new cars that deserve the dignity of wood paneling.
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Just about all station wagons in the first 40 or 50 years of the automobile were made partially out of wood. Making longroofs fully out of steel was a technical challenge that only came into the mainstream with the 1941 Chrysler Town & Country.
After Chrysler established you could make modern, streamlined, steel station wagons, making the sides of your car out of wood became more of a sign of old fashioned class than anything else. At a certain point, the wood itself wasn't even necessary. Ordering your Jeep Wagoneer with fake wood paneling on the side advertised that you vacation in the Hamptons just as well as real wood.
But what was old fashioned and dignified became old fashioned and passé. That's a shame, because some cars just look better with wood on the side.
Photo Credit: Joe Harmon Design
Audi has been racking up sales by offering modern, clean designs that look as much like the future as any car out on the market. That's exactly why they need a traditional throwback like woodgrain, if only just to screw with peoples' heads.
Suggested By: MixItUp, Photo Credit: Jason Torchinsky
Rolls-Royce is famous for its classic wood-bodied shooting brakes. The Wraith seems suitably aristocratic to warrant the wood treatment.
Suggested By: KDS, Photo Credit: Jason Torchinsky
Even Mini toyed around with wood accents on its little two-door wagons back in the day. Maybe addding some wood to the Paceman will give the new little crossover a reason to exist.
Suggested By: ZekeStone, Photo Credit: Jason Torchinsky
If there is one car today that captures the spirit of the classic American station wagon, it's the ready-for-Wally-World Ford Flex. Woodgrain only seems appropriate.
Suggested By: $kaycog, Photo Credit: Jason Torchinsky
With the Pentastar V6, the new Grand Caravan is a surprisingly capable performer on the road. Behind the wheel, you can blow the doors off of a lot of lower rung sports cars, which would be only more hilarious if you had '80s style fake wood running down the side.
Suggested By: 472CID, Photo Credit: Jason Torchinsky
Given that it's just a box on wheels, you might as well make the original toaster Scion xB out of wood, right?
Suggested By: HateBox, Photo Credit: Jason Torchinsky
Honda's slab-sided adventuremoble was supposed to be the kind of car that 30-somethings drove to Yosemite for a week of mountain kayak free climbing or whatever hippies do these days. Making the Element out of wood could only make the car seem more nature-friendly.
Suggested By: The First Element, Photo Credit: Jason Torchinsky
It's the OG Hamptons-mobile. That Jeep doesn't already offer the Grand Cherokee with traditional plastic wood is a travesty, frankly.
Back in the 1930s, luxury sports car builders wanted to streamline their cars, so they gave them pointed, trim 'boattails' like this 1932 Talbot. What'd they make them out of? Wood! It's time for Morgan to bring that yacht-on-wheels style back, and they have just the car/bike/thing to do it with.
Suggested By: Demon-Xanth, Photo Credit: Jason Torchinsky
Nothing says 'screw you' like blowing past someone in a 556 horsepower station wagon. Add wood paneling to that equation and you have the ultimate makes-no-sense performance car.