Old Woodies for Enthusiasts of Wood-bodied Cars and Trucks

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French Woodies - 1920 to 1929 - Skiffs

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1926 Hispano-Suiza H6B

A unique 1921 Hispano-Suiza H6B Torpedo Skiff bodied by Duquesne. The body is made of copper-riveted mahogany and aluminium. It is seen here at the 2000 Megève-Simplon, the French 'Grand Tourisme' rally reserved for pre-war cars.

Courtesy of and © 2000 by Megève-Simplon

1923 Amilcar C4 skiff

Mahogany clad 1923 Amilcar C4 skiff displays skiff styling originated by Henri Labourdette.

Photo Source: Auto Breizh (French)

1920's Amilcar CGS skiff

1920's Amilcar CGS skiff with a mahogany body, seen here in a modern competion for vintage cars.

Source: MotorLegend.com (French)

1924 Panhard 40/50 hp Labourdette skiff

1924 Panhard 40/50 hp French coachbuilder Henri Labourdette, who before the war had introduced the carvel-built skiff body, produced this exotic masterpeice on a big Panhard chassis for the Paris Salon of 1924. He called it a skiff-cab. To enter the little house at the back, you had first to fold the windscreen forward on the hinged decking, then to raise that before opening the door.

Caption and drawing from: 'Automobiles and Automobiling'
by Ronald Barker & D.B. Tubbs
Drawing by Pierre DuMont

24renault_lr.jpg (54576 bytes)

A mahogany decked 1924 Renault Henri Labourdette torpedo skiff shows that European woodies could possess style and elegance never to be seen on the beaches of California. View the feature story on this car.

Photo courtesy Jeff Brock

1924 Hispano-Suiza 'tulipwood'1924 Hispano-Suiza H6C

The 1924 Hispano-Suiza H6C 'Tulipwood' Torpedo was commissioned by André Dubonnet who, at the age of 26, was an accomplished aviator and racing driver. The Dubonnets had amassed a fortune from the aperitifs and cognacs that continue to bear the family name.

Dubonnet contracted the Nieuport Aviation Company to build a lightweight body suitable for both racing and touring. Nieuport craftsmen formed a frame of wooden ribs measuring up to 3/4-inch thick which were covered with 1/8-inch wooden veneer. Strips of mahogany (earlier thought to be tulipwood) of uneven thickness and length were fastened to the veneer with thousands of brass rivets.

The body was then sealed, sanded and varnished; when fully equipped, the body was to have weighed approximately 160 pounds. The torpedo tail enclosed a 46-gallon gas tank for long distance racing. In 1924 Dubonnet entered the Hispano-Suiza in the Sicilian Targa Florio and he finished sixth; he also finished fifth in the Coppa Florio and first in the over-4.5-liter class.

Courtesy of the Blackhawk Museum, where it is currently exhibited
Photo Source: VintageWeb

1925 Hispano-Suiza dual-cowl skiff

Dual-cowl mahogany-decked 1925 Hispano-Suiza skiff seen at the 1997 Palos Verdes Concours d'Elegance in California

Source: Palos Verdes Concours D'Elegance Archives

1914 Panhard & Levassor Labourdette skiff

1925 Panhard One of several Panhards built to take long-distance international speed records. With a 4835 cc four-cylinder production engine, it covered 115.4 miles in an hour during August 1925.

Caption and drawing from: 'Automobiles and Automobiling'
by Ronald Barker & D.B. Tubbs
Drawing by Pierre DuMont

Panhard skiff by LabourdettePanhard Labourdette skiffPanhard woodie skiff

19xx Panhard - Henri Labourdette designed the body like the hull of boat, with three layers of mahogany riveted to create an exceptionally strong shell. It is the wall of the hull which ensures rigidity, the frames being used only to give the form. The body is not painted, but simply varnished, leaving the mahogany exposed. Double-click the thumbnail close-ups to see the riveted wood details.

Photos and information: Belles d'Antan (French)

1925 Hispano-Suiza bodied by Loweree & Todd

1925 Hispano-Suiza H6B dual-cowl skiff. The design was created by the owner and his son, then built by Lowery & Todd. It is shown here at the 1999 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

Photo courtesy mercurypress.com --- Representing
dozens of photographers and journalists around the 
world. Stock photos and assignment work available.

1926 Delage DISS Kelsche skiff

1926 Delage DI-SS Kelsche skiff with a wooden body.

Photo courtesy of Delage - Les Amis de Delage (English & French)
and Louis Delage: l'aventure d'un homme de passion (French)

1926 Peugeot 'skiff'

This photo, taken in 1926, depicts a Peugeot with skiff styling taken to an extreme.

Source: Cars, The Early Years
The Hulton Getty Picture Collection

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