Even at the world famous Wavecrest Woodie Show in California, it is rare to find a 1948 Pontiac Silver Streak Woodie Wagon. For a Woodie collector it is a cherished discovery. Beginning in 1949, Pontiac only built the “half wood” bodied station wagons, and later came the tin woodies in the early 1950’s. But 1948 was the last year the full wood-body station wagon was available.
Buyers on the Cars-On-Line website are in for a treat this weekend when they find out that a rare 1948 Pontiac Silver Streak Woodie Wagon has been listed for sale in their Station Wagon Section. Connors Motorcar Company out of West Chester, Pennsylvania has it in their inventory this week. Their ad includes some interesting copies of magazine ads and literature that come with the sale. (Click here to review dozens of detailed photos.)
This Silver Streak was owned by the same family for over 50 years, and they say it has been driven less than 36,000 miles from when it was new. It remains original and unrestored, including the wood, canvas top, the interior with three-row seating, and the floor mats. This is just an incredible find. Most woodies have been restored or made into street rods. But this one is just the way it came from the Ypsilanti, Michigan furniture manufacturer that built it for Pontiac.
What makes this an incredible find is the Straight Eight Pontiac engine under the hood and the Hyramatic Drive automatic transmission mated to it. You see, Pontiac first offered a fully automatic transmission in 1948. It was the first year that GM’s Hydramatic was available in a Pontiac (although Oldsmobile had been using it since 1939, and Buick and Cadillac had both already adopted GM’s Hydramatic Drive.) The lower priced Pontiacs now had the greatest invention since the self-starter. (As a comparison, Lincoln first used GM’s Hydramatic in 1949 and Ford did not come out with the Ford-O-Matic until 1951. )
The Pontiac Silver Streak Woodie Wagon was part of the top-of-the-line Streamliner Series. These were the B-body Pontiacs, the elite series with larger bodies and higher prices. (The C-body Pontiacs were the Pontiac Torpedo Series, very popular because of their low slung design and smaller body.) The Streamliner Series was more upscale and therefore even more rare. Both were available with Six and Eight cylinder engines.
The hand-built Woodie station wagon, being the most expensive model in the entire Pontiac lineup, had a 122-inch wheelbase. It was the largest woodie station wagon on the market offering seating for up to nine passengers. The rear row of seats could be removed for extra storage space. From the ground to the top of the roofline measured 65.3 inches, and the entire body was 215.8 inches long. The body was built by the skilled craftsman at the Ypsylanti Furniture Co in Michigan, where no fewer than 523 parts were made from either mahogany or Canadian maple.
The base price at around $2,500 was expensive, but remember that Pontiac had the lowest priced cars in the General Motors umbrella (save for Chevrolet.) And Pontiac offered V8 engines with the Hydramatic transmission, at a fairly low cost. Even though the Streamliners were the most expensive Pontiacs in 1948, they made up almost 66 percent of the Pontiacs sold that year, with a record 160,857 sold.
This 1948 Silver Streak Streamliner came with a lot of important options for the day. In addition to the all-important 249 ci straight eight engine (rated at 110 hp) and the Hydramatic Drive, the options on this car include,
see through tinted sun visor
safety spot light
dual tail lights
gas door guard
wide white wall tires
The Streamliner was a full sized car produced by Pontiac from 1942 to 1951. Beginning in 1949, the whole line of Pontiacs was revamped and all Pontiacs were based on the low slung Torpedo series. The A-body cars were called the Deluxe Torpedo, the B-bodies were the Streamliner Torpedo, and the C-body were called the Custom Torpedo.
The dashboard on the Silver Streak Streamliner has been described as having Art Deco design elements. Connors Motorcar Company tells us that all books and literature come with the sale of the car. It has been fully serviced and runs and drives beautifully. They remind us that this is a rare opportunity to own one of the nicest original Woodies remaining in existence.