DEARBORN – Outside of most ’30s era Fords, few hot rods draw as many smiles as a Ford ‘Woodie’ wagon, as we explained recently after the National Woodie Club (NWC) held its first nationwide Woodie Meet this past fall in Dearborn. That’s why we think you’ll find this video on swapping a modern 5.0 Coyote into a 1941 Ford Woodie Wagon so cool.
The bespoke 1941 Ford Woodie belongs to Tim Foss of Riverside, California. Foss is the General Manager for Hot Rod Network. Many years ago, he had the opportunity to see this car being restored at a small shop in Yuma, Arizona, circa 1979. The Woodie was being rebuilt for an area restaurant owner to drive in a local parade. But shortly after the car was restored and used in the parade, the owner of the Woodie passed away.
By the mid-‘80s, his widow decided to place an ad in the newspaper listing a “1941 Ford” for sale. Despite the classified ad being quite vague, Tim’s dad went to look at the car and was both surprised and delighted to find, after removing a parachute covering the vehicle, that this 1941 Ford being sold happened to be a very collectible and desirable Woodie wagon. It was a no-haggle deal; the car was purchased on the spot for the exact price she was asking.
The Woodie stayed in the Foss family but it needed to be restored once again, as it had spent years parked outside with just the parachute as a cover. It took two years to get it back on the road. The Woodie had an original Flathead Ford engine, so in the spirit of going fast ... er, the goal of restoration Number Two was to help turn it into a modern street rod, complete with a conventional small-block V-8 and automatic transmission.
Fast forward to 2017, where Street Rodder (a Hot Rod Network publication) partnered with Ford Performance Parts while the Woodie Wagon went under the knife for the third time in its life. Tim’s goal for this project was to impress upon everyone who saw the car that for the most part, 5.0 Coyote swaps are possible even in vehicles that may not seem like likely candidates.
The complete powertrain solution to re-power this 1941 Woodie with 2017 technology was the “Coyote Power Module” (Ford Performance Parts #M-9000-PMCA). Once the basic accommodations were made to fit the new Mustang GT-based 5.0L into the 1941 chassis, Foss made the video to show the surprising results. As you might imagine, the modern 435-horse 5.0-liter Ford Coyote V-8 made an amazing difference in both the power and drivability of the Woodie wagon. Together with its 6R80 six-speed automatic transmission, engine controller and wiring harness, Foss says the refinement gained by the package was well worth the investment. The Woodie was even displayed in the Ford Performance Parts booth at SEMA 2017. Tim now drives the Woodie frequently, and raises eyebrows every time he raises the hood.
FORD PERFORMANCE VIDEO COURTESY TIM & RYAN FOSS / STREET RODDER