Custom wooden cars, trucks, cranes and trains are often proudly displayed
on the shelves and desks of collectors ranging from lawyers to heavy
operators. Why? Most manufacturers agree that it’s because hand-made
wooden items never lose their value. Others say it’s because the purchaser
a replica of their own vehicle or a classic that they fell in
love with long ago.
Model A 1930 Packard Touring Car
Custom wood toy manufacturers, usually small and family-owned, tend
to build items one at a time in a workshop or garage. While all offer
a range of items for sale, custom orders are also available. But be prepared
to pay a hefty price tag for these works of art.
Bill Chase’s company, Wood Classics
of Sweet Home, Oregon, uses exotic hardwoods to create his unique pieces.
His Model A, A-400, is crafted out of
black walnut with aspen for the top and bumpers, while his 1930
Packard Touring Car is crafted out of maple burl.
“My wood dealer supplies me with Zebrawood and Padauk from Africa, as
well as Coco Bolo from South America,” said Chase “If you want a truly
exotic and elegant collectible piece, it just doesn’t get any better than
Prices range from $95 to $300 for the cars and $200 to $500 for dump
trucks, excavators, road graders, etc.
WWII Automated Planes
Customwoodtoys.com in Madison, Wisconsin, produces
wood collectibles with and without motors. The company’s detailed, hand
replica of a county fair haunted house ($135) has a 1.5 volt electric
motor; a push of a switch sets it in motion. Spinning propellers highlight
the WWII Automated Planes that turn on and off with
the touch of a button ($55-$95), while the Viking ships have fully automated
rowing oars. Items can be ordered with custom paint or personalized with
1933 Seagrave Firetruck
Big Boy Toys in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, handcrafts
vehicles that imitate the real thing with working parts and wheels
– from a 1933 Seagrave Firetruck to a heavy duty crane
that swivels with an extending boom. Big Boy Toys offers wooden creations
with prices ranging from $100 to $350.