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Ken Burns

Ken at the 2007 Eastern National Meet in Fairfax, Virginia
Ken's '41 Woodie as it appeared in the 2006 NVRG Calendar

I guess you could say I've been a Ford Woodie fan most of my life. This picture was taken during the summer of 1946 in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

My folks bought the '38 Woodie in 1941, just before the US entered WW II and kept it until the fall of 1946 when it was replaced by, are you ready for this, a 1946 Chevrolet Woody. Yikes, what was my father thinking? Family legend has it that I attempted to demonstrate why the rear doors on the '38 Woodie were called suicide doors sometime shortly after my father returned from military service as a Coast Guard officer in WW II. According the oral tradition passed down, my folks were in the front seat and I was in the back with the teenage girl who lived next door. Legend doesn't record where we were all headed that night but quicker than you can say "I wonder what this chrome handle does," I opened the passenger side door and disappeared into the darkness. Fortunately, the shoulder was unpaved and I bounced to a rather dusty stop. I guess my father gave Henry's new and improved cable actuated brakes a real test and came to a halt not too far from where I ended up. I was shaken up but basically unhurt. My folks took me home and called the doctor who said he'd be right over. After examining me, the doctor pronounced me to be in fine shape. But when he looked at my mother, he observed that she had been rather shaken up by the whole affair. He ended up prescribing nothing for me but ordered up a strong sedative for her!

Helen and I currently own two 1941 Woodies. The first one, Woody I, is a very early model year car, which I purchased off a used car lot in Chula Vista, California, in 1969. The car has been completely restored and has all original wood except for the plywood. The other car, Woody II, is a late production vehicle, which I'm currently restoring, and will use all
new wood from Cincinnati Woodworks.

Woody I at Local Car Show

Woody I at President James Madison Visitor Center, Montpelier, Virginia.

Woody II fresh out of the barn, October 1992.

Bringing Woody II home, November, 1996.

I guess this is what folks call a basket case.

Helen & Ken wish all of you Happy V-8ing.
Updated 12/04/07