1950 Ford V8 Pilot 'Woodie' Estate Car
By the mid-1930s, Ford's UK operation had moved from Trafford Park in Manchester to Dagenham in Essex where production of the V8 commenced in 1932, coincidentally with that of the 8hp Model Y. Dagenham's V8 was produced in several variations as the 1930s decade progressed, the Pilot's direct ancestor first appearing in 1937 in the form of the unique-to-the-UK Model 62, which deployed the 22hp (2,227cc) 'flat head' motor in a short-wheelbase chassis. When production recommenced after WW2, the '62' was revived as the Pilot with the 3.6-litre V8, thereby creating one of the more capable family saloons of the day.
Rarest of all Ford V8 Pilots was the semi-coachbuilt 'Woodie' estate car, one of which was presented to HM King George VI in 1951 and survives in the Sandringham Estate museum. This example was first registered in 1950 and originally owner was Messrs W G French Ltd, a civil engineering company. It stayed with them until 1954, and then found new owners in Devon. In 1967, the Woodie returned to the Southeast, finding owners in Kent and Essex, and in 2002 was purchased by the Stondon Motor Museum in Bedfordshire. In June 2015, the Museum sold a number of their exhibits, and the Pilot was purchased by the current vendors.
Since then 'PVX 370' has been owned by three friends, who have carried out many essential maintenance tasks and improvements. These include a new stainless steel exhaust system, cooling fan, brake refurbishment, engine re-commissioning, tracking checked and adjusted, ignition system converted to 12 volts, trafficators repaired, new rear view mirrors fitted, and all the exterior woodwork refurbished (in 2018). Items that still require re-commissioning are the radio and the hydraulic self-jacking system. The Woodie has mainly been used as a 'fun' car, its eight-seater accommodation making it ideal for picnic trips, classic gatherings, the Goodwood Revival, and other such events.
In the last three years of ownership, this Woodie has been to the Angoulême Classic in France; carried six bridesmaids and the bride's mother to a wedding in Devon; been used on countless family outings over Dartmoor and other parts of Devon; and well as appearing on the cover of local car show programmes and the cover of a French daily newspaper! It was even used at Carfest South, when, as members of the Sporting Bears, the vendors were able to raise a large sum of money for charity by giving members of the public rides, the vehicle was very popular due to the seating capacity.
The owners are selling the vehicle as they have too many other projects to pursue, and too little time left in which to complete them! This most charismatic car is offered with a V5C document and its original buff logbook documenting previous keepers.