I was perusing the latest postings at the Cohort when this Packard (1948 or so) woody wagon shot by Lee Perrin at a museum caught my eye. Ouch! That is not the right way to do a woody wagon, mostly by just by slapping planking on the steel doors.
Just a few years earlier (1941), this is how Packard built a proper woodie wagon. Understandably, wood was giving the way to steel after the war, but perhaps there was a better way?
Admittedly, it was better from the rear. The tailgate appears to be the only thing actually made out of wood, as the rest of the inner wagon structure is steel.
Apparently, Packard saw the error of its ways (frankly, the pudgy 1948 models were an error well beyond the wagon) as the new 1951 models had a much better side treatment, with wood planking the whole door.
But the tailgate is now a hybrid. Oh well.
The 1954 brought some more changes, although it’s hard to say for better or for worse. It was the end of the line for Packard woody wagons, or any genuine Packard wagons, as there apparently were none for 1955 and 1956. The Studebaker-based ’57 Packard did have a wagon, but it was neither a woody nor a genuine Packard.
Update: these later models are strictly custom made, and at a later date. See the very detailed story on all of these Packard wagons in the comment thread below.