Preppies love old things, from well worn tweed jackets to furniture handed down through the generations. This may help explain why preps gave their blessing to the woody, that classic American car that originally came with real-wood side panels reminiscent of polished antique furniture.
While those in-the-know grew up around woodies, the rest of the country learned about their prep associations when "The Official Preppy Handbook" became a bestseller in 1981. In the chapter entitled "Prepmobiles," the OPH santifies the Ford Country Squire station wagon and the Jeep Wagoneer.
Well last week lovers of prep-sanctioned Americana lit up the Internet with buzz over Jeep's annoucement that the Wagoneer will return in 2018 — with faux wood, of course.
In an article saying fans are freaking out over the possible return, AdWeek wrote:
No idea what all this is about? Then you're not among the thousands of Americans who've been in mourning since June 20, 1991, when the last Jeep Grand Wagoneer rolled off the line in Toledo, Ohio. It wasn't just that the 4WD vehicle—widely credited with being the world's first luxury SUV—was tough, powerful and stylish, it was the last Woody in regular production: Jeep decorated the Wagoneer's side panels and hatch with plastic laminate trim that resembled the actual wood panels common to midcentury American cars like the Ford Country Squire. ( click here for full article )
The woody's history reflects all of America, from the east coast to the west. Out in California the car was immortalized in song by surf duo Jan & Dean, as well as The Rip Chords, another surf-rock band who recorded a 1964 tune called "This Little Woody."
The 1930s woodies that were made into hot rods and surfmobiles in the '50s and '60s received a tribute when Chrysler introduced woody versions of its retro-inspired PT Cruiser.
The rumor of the Wagoneer's 2018 return was started by a Jeep dealership; Jeep itself has not confirmed whether it will happen.
On eBay Motors prices vary widely for past models (see here), from $8,000 to $44,000 for this low-mileage 1990 model for sale by a Wagoneer specialty business called Classic Gentleman, which calls it the finest model they've ever seen.
Men were men, women were women and car were Cars! What a time for some to have missed!