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Homepage. This page: B&W photo of a freshly-constructed Ford 7W-based woodie, late 1930s.

Ford 7W estate car.

Firstly I must extend thanks to Stephen Creasey for permitting me to share this photo on OCC. His family's business in the early 20th Century and onwards was coachbuilders H.G. Creasey & Sons, of Knebworth in Hertfordshire. Over the years they bodied many vehicles, a number of which now feature in old photos across my site. Some of the vehicles are particularly rare nowadays, and some are no doubt extinct, only existing in fantastic old photographs such as the one shown here.
At first glance, this woodie/estate car/shooting brake looks like it could be based on a Ford Pop chassis, or perhaps the E494C Fordson/Thames commercial variant. But on closer inspection, this isn't the case. The registration - EKX 328 - is a Buckinghamshire series introduced in November 1937, long before the Pop came along. Other features visible on this vehicle prove that it can't be an E494C, or even the earlier E04C. These include the headlamps fitted with particularly bulbous lenses, the opening screen and chrome-plated surround (with twin wipers above), and the bumper with the distinctive dip in the middle. Most obvious though is the distinctive grille, with its three main apertures. All these point to this intriguing woodie being based upon the Ford 7W of 1937-1939.
As was often the case with coachbuilt versions of Ford 8s and 10s, the supplier would sell a full running chassis fitted with the standard factory panelwork, as far back as just above the screen. From there back, it was down to the chosen coachbuilder to clad the remainder of the chassis as his client requested. In this case, clearly Creasey's customer wanted a compact estate car. Note the stylishly curved rear windows, set into the two back doors that are just visible through the side windows.
Town and Country tyres have been fitted to all four wheels, and clearly this car has seen mud judging by its tyres. The highly-polished letters on the numberplate though suggest that it had only recently been completed, at the time of this photo.
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
Coachbuilt Ford 7W estate car
In the background there is an imposing National Benzole petrol pump, part of a multi-marque dealership building in the windows of which signs for Morris, Wolseley, Austin and Hillman are proudly displayed.
Ford 7Ws were most often encountered in saloon form when they were current, as shown on the 7W saloon photo page, in either two- or four-door form. There was also a natty-looking "Sports Tourer", of which few remain today. Similar to the estate car shown above was the Brakenvan. It too had a woodie body matched up to 7W running gear and front tinwork, although had two doors on either side, the rear of which was reverse-hinged (ie a "suicide" door). A year after the 7W had been replaced by the E93A Prefect, a number of chassis/scuttles were built and subsequently bodied as YMCA "tea cars", similar to the NAAFI vans, with lift-up serving hatches set into their rear coachwork.
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