What do you do if you have a passion for the wood-adorned station wagons and vans of the past, but want the comfort, safety, and convenience of a modern-day vehicle? It’s a tricky dilemma, but Dennis House, a news anchor for Channel 3 in Hartford, Connecticut, managed to work out a solution with his local Cadillac-Buick-GMC dealership.
As House told me in a brief phone interview, he always had a passion for wagons and has fond memories of the so-called “woody” option that many automakers used to offer, having grown up riding around in a Ford Country Squire. When he went to buy his 2019 Buick Enclave, he asked his dealer, Scranton Motors, if it would be possible to apply vinyl graphics to the car to make it look like it had wood body panels. The dealer said they could probably pull it off, and the rest is history.
Before the vinyls were applied, a renderer hired by Scranton Motors hopped on the computer to try and mock-up the wood graphics and decide the best way to place them. House initially considered applying the fake wood paneling to a first-generation Buick Enclave, but the more angular styling of the vehicle didn’t look right with wood panels laid overtop. He also did a woody mock-up of his wife’s Buick Regal TourX for fun, which looks great if you ask us.
For added effect, House also hopped on eBay and picked up some throwback badging for the vehicle – creating the world’s first Buick Enclave Estate Wagon – however unofficial it may be. He’s only owned the vehicle since April, but says it has already received a ton of attention from people out on the road and at the gas station.
“Two twenty-somethings even posed in front of it at the grocery store,” he added.
House believes there’s a small contingent of 30- and 40-somethings, along with some millennials, who have fond memories of woody wagons and vans and would tick the box for such an option if it were offered today. He says he may even be able to convince GM of the business case for such a product if he were to ever find his way into a product-planning meeting.
“I think with the woodies being featured in (modern-day TV shows like) Young Sheldon, Riverdale, Stranger Things, and the Goldbergs, what are (the automakers) waiting for?” he said.
Feel free to let us know what you think of this fun throwback creation in the comments below.
Photos and renderings courtesy of Dennis House/Scranton Motors