Ted Griffin and I have been looking for this car for nearly 40 years. Ok….maybe 40 years for Ted, and less time for me. Ted first saw this Woodill Wildfire in much better shape in the early 80s. I’ve been hunting for it for about 15 years ever since Ted shared with me that a Woodill Wildfire should be lurking somewhere near Spring, Texas. But l digress.
Ted’s interest started with Wildfires since he built his own around 1955 – a car that he still has and that he and his family are very proud of. Check out the photos of it below – a wonderfully historic sport car that was restored perfectly and won an award at the 2015 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
Click here to read more about the history of Ted Griffin’s Woodill Wildfire
Over the years, Ted and I have looked for this car without luck. I came close in bringing a car home from near Spring, Texas though. But it was the 1949 Monte Carlo Packard show car – not the elusive Wildfire.
Finding The Wildfire
But just a few weeks ago I got a call from someone new who had discovered and bought a Wildfire and it was found near Spring, Texas. Brian Meyer was the lucky individual who “landed” this car and he wanted to know more – what was it (others told him it might not be a Wildfire) who built it, when was it built, etc. I hadn’t seen photos yet, but he advise me that they were forthcoming.
But I did share with him how we successfully research cars as follows. Here’s a recent story. of how we identify cars based on the characteristics of the individual car.
Click here to read the research-based story on a Buick Woodill Wildfire where we successfully identified the heritage of the car
And I reviewed some of the basic characteristics needed to be successful in this research such as:
- If a car hasn’t been altered significantly over the years, we can match it to articles or photos if they are in our database.
- Conversely, if a car has been modernized significantly, there may be little or no trace on what the car was “back in the day”
- Dashboards are often the key – firewalls as well as long as there are photos. Click here to read a story on the importance of dashboards in researching the history of your car
And believe me you, research is not for the feint of heart. It’s taken sometimes more than 10 years to identify a car – or find one that we’re looking for. Much of the time it takes is about gathering information and relating it to the subjects of study. But that’s something that I like to do more than anything else. So let’s have a look at what Brian has found.
Photos of the Brian Meyer’s Wildfire
Photos at Brian’s Home
So it took some time to free the Wildfire from it’s home of decades, and when Brian got it home, he cleaned it up a bit and took it out for some photos which are shown below.
So….the car surely needs alot of work. We’ve tackled far more difficult projects here at Undiscovered Classics, but it looks like Brian Meyer (newly minted member of Undiscovered Classics – how ’bout that Brian!) is up to the task with great experience in restoration projects.
But what did he find? The Wildfire’s dashboard appeared original and nearly every dashboard was unique to every car built. And what about those 1956 Chevrolet taillights. There’s something familiar about those taillights….could it be the missing….
To learn the answer to that question, you’ll have to tune in to the next story on Brian Meyer’s Wildfire “find.”
Hope you enjoyed the story, and remember…
The adventure continues here at Undiscovered Classics.
what a find, can’t wait to see it restored
Geoff, if you look through the photos of Wildfires that you got from me, I think you’ll find an example with similar opening for tail lights. And look at the old “registry” Beekman in Texas. Compare the details.
Geoff and Brian
This is quite a find . It will be a standout ,even among other Wildfires when brought back to original condition . The ’56 Chevy tailights with the covered spare look great in the original photo . Looks like a Pontiac 287,Hydromatic? Powered it with similar era Pontiac dash,how cool!
I Noted the super elagant Lincoln door push buttons also . They are in good company ,as GMs blue chip ’38 Yjob got a set of those in a fourties freshening up.
Can’t wait to see this Wildfire brought back to life !!
Allied Fiberglass used those Lincoln door push buttons on most of their bodies as well! Must have been a big postwar sale on those.
Good morning Geoffrey: What an amazing story. I’ll be looking in very closely as this car takes form once again. Just curious what those wheelcovers on Ted’s red Wildfire came from, also the low mounted master cylinder on the Meyer car looks familiar but I can’t think of its origin either.
Hey friends, Kudos to you all as you take this glass ship from its slip in the harbour into forthcoming choppy waters. Cheers Alvin Shier. Columnist Old Autos Newspaper.
Thanks for the awesome introduction of my project. I’m looking forward to restoring this beautiful car back to its former state. I appreciate all the help you’ve provided so far, and look forward to working with you throughout the process. Its been mind-blowing what I’ve learned about this car just over the past couple of weeks. I’m confident the Undiscovered Classics community will be excited when they learn the identity and impressive history of this special Wildfire. It was also an honor to talk with Ted Griffin today. I appreciate you introducing us.
Welcome aboard Brian and glad you’re ready, willing and able to manage your Wildfire. You’re going to get a blast talking to the family that built it soon. Remember….after the stories are posted we’ll post stories on your restoration progress too. Nothing restful about being part of the Undiscovered Classics team. Go get ’em! Geoff