ZEN AND THE ART OF WOODIE WAGONS



the Wanderling


"...as a young teenage boy growing up in Southern California I owned an immaculately spotless early model wooden Ford station wagon...spending what seemed to others an enormous amount of time maintaining and reworking the wood in an exacting and meticulous standard never before dreamed of by the manufacturer."








"...when I noticed the man next door had stopped to look at the wagon. In a mellow, almost Shakespearean voice he told me how beautiful he thought the wood was and how he had admired for all these months both the beauty of the wood and my endeavors to keep it so. He asked if it would be alright to touch the wood and, as I nodded in approval, he ran his fingers over the surface in such a strange and exacting manner that he and the wood seemed as one. No racehorse trainer could have stroked or curried a prize thoroughbred in a more loving way. When we made eye contact for the first time I was set aback, almost stunned, by the overwhelming calmness and serenity that seemed to abide in his presence. Never had I experienced anything like it. He thanked me, smiled, and tipping his hat, nodded slightly and strode off."

THE ABOVE FROM: Zen Enlightenment...the Wanderling writes of his first encounter with his to-be Zen mentor.



BEFORE THE START OF WORLD WAR TWO MY STEPMOTHER BOUGHT A BRAND NEW
FOUR WHEEL DRIVE FORD WOODIE FROM THE FACTORY JUST LIKE THE ONE ABOVE

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A) 89HP at 3600RPM - Stock 100HP Ford flathead V8 (corrected)

B) 114HP at 3800RPM - Same engine with dual intake manifold.

C) 124HP at 4000RPM - Same as B with 8.5:1 compression heads.

D) 140HP at 4400RPM - Same as C with 3/4 race camshaft.

E) 145HP at 4500RPM - Same as D with special exhausts.

F) 177HP at 4500RPM - Same as B, bored 1/8 inch, stroked 1/8 inch, ported, relieved, 9:1 heads.





THE WOODIE PARKED OUTSIDE HOWARD RUMSEY'S LIGHTHOUSE
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IS IT REALLY ZEN AND MEDITATION? FIND OUT WHAT AN OUTSIDER SAYS:


GUIDE TO FINISHING WOODIE WOOD


OF COBRAS, SCARABS, MASERATIS, AND ZEN


THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES: 1942 UFO



Fundamentally, our experience as experienced is not different from the Zen master's. Where
we differ is that we place a fog, a particular kind of conceptual overlay onto that experience
and then make an emotional investment in that overlay, taking it to be "real" in and of itself.


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ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT IN A NUTSHELL



THUNDERBIRD SITE LIST

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ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT


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THE WANDERLING

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MARMON-HERRINGTON 4X4 FACTORY BUILT FORD WOODEN STATION WAGON


BEFORE THE START OF WORLD WAR TWO MY STEPMOTHER BOUGHT A BRAND NEW
FOUR WHEEL DRIVE FORD WOODIE FROM THE FACTORY JUST LIKE THE ONE ABOVE

The very same day I met my soon-to-be Stepmother for the very first time I was exploring around the house and grounds of her place when I came across a combination garage-workshop large enough to hold four or five cars, although at the time there were only two cars parked inside. One was a brand new late model Cadillac Fleetwood. The other car was an early model 1940s wooden Ford station wagon, albeit like no station wagon I had ever seen.

My stepmother's driver told me she ordered the woodie specifically from the Ford Motor Company because she liked going back and forth to Alaska and the Northwest Territory in Canada. She got a hair up her ass one day (his words, not mine) thinking it would be great to drive all the way up there. Being told she would probably need a four wheel drive vehicle she asked around and discovered Ford had some kind of a four wheel drive conversion deal with an outfit called Marmon Harrington. You ordered you woodie from the Ford factory and they would ship it down to the Marmon-Herrington plant in Indianapolis, where all of the conversion work was done. So that's what she did:


"The vehicle was stripped of its body, drivetrain, and in the case of a light-duty vehicle, the transverse front leaf spring, wishbone and front axle. Crossmembers were added to the frame to support the added weight of the four-wheel-drive transfer case as well as the installation of a beefy Warner four-speed transmission with an 11-inch clutch. The front drive axle was more or less a modified Ford rear axle with the ring-and-pinion housing offset to line up with the output shaft from the transfer case and constant velocity joints added at the axle ends to allow the wheels to steer. When the work was finished, the buyer would pay a steep premium for his new rough-terrain capability as the Marmon-Herrington conversion nearly doubled the price of a Ford wagon."

THE STEPMOTHER

1940 Marmon-Herrington 4x4 Ford Woodie

1940 Ford Marmon-Herrington Standard Station Wagon

SOTHEBYS: Ford Marmon-Herrington Standard Station Wagon


The driver said once the car was delivered and she came into look at it she said the car was too beautiful to drive all over a bunch of rocks and mountains and changed her mind. For the most part the car just sat and far as he knew she had never driven it or rode in it. He did agree with her assessment that the car was beautiful. I open up the door and sat in it on the drivers side and after that I always knew I would have to have my own woodie. What happened to her 4X4 woodie I have never been able to clarify. Years later I was told it was discovered to be just plain gone.






THE JEEP, NEVADA, AND THE RED-HAIRED GIANTS




1940 Ford Marmon-Herrington standard station wagon photos by David McNeese. Courtesy of RM Sotheby's.