Road Noise: 2009 Ford Flex Woody
- August 22, 2008
- Ford, Road Noise
- Posted by George Peterson
- 3 Comments
Right in Our Own Backyard
On my way home from a meeting yesterday afternoon, this “beauty” caught my eye. And, yeah, I had to stop in and see how much they’re asking for it and if anyone’s actually buying them. We’ve known that the option would be available, though not supplied by Ford directly, has been floating around for a while, but this was our first in-the-vinyl-and-tin sighting.
Though it seems that the same people who talk about how ugly such options also bemoan the use of vinyl to create a wood look over heavy, expensive, and difficult-to-maintain real wood, the Flex actually wears this niche choice as well as possible, and far better than just about any other modern-day car.
It is better looking than the fake-wood-slabbed Chrysler PT Cruiser, or maroon vinyl-topped dusty pink Mercury Sable, or many of the crazy aftermarket appliqués and add-ons we’ve seen over the years. Can’t exactly say it is a stylish choice, but it has personality. According to the sales staff at Rochester’s Huntington Ford, where this Flex was spotted, they’ve sold three so far, with this one the fourth they’ve had made up. Apparently, a few people around here dig it.
The fake wood is an aftermarket add-on, in this case done right at the dealership before you drive away. Available in any color you can get your Flex in, we think it looks as cool as it can in black with the black roof.
If you’ve already picked up your Flex, the site www.ptwoody.com will sell you the Flex kit for $899; Huntington Ford charges $1195 for the option, installed. As we’re hearing some initial grumbling about Flex’s pricing ladder and that initial units have been of the fully optioned $42,000 variety, we noticed that this particular Woody Flex was a base model, with only the wood paneling and rubber floor mats for options.
Checking out the PT Woody site, it’s easy to see that the Flex is the best example of the treatment, and easy to spot some outrageous examples. The Flex’s door and tailgate ditches break up the slab look, and the wide, tall bodysides allow for a more uniform covering. Try taking a look at the site’s photos of the Jeep Liberty woody, and how the trim sits above the Jeep trapezoidal wheel arches, or the first-generation Scion xB paneling that abruptly stops ahead of the front wheelwell. Another unusual take is this chrome and wood applique package for the HHR; there are even two available for the Chevy.
The Flex’s package looks most like the station wagon and Jeep Grand Wagoneers of old that had real wood on the sides and which inspired the look. In fact, the PTWoody web site is as entertaining as the Flex woodside itself. They’ve even got a kit for the Hummer H3 and Ford Freestyle. PTWoody looks to Autotech Plastics as a supplier, and PT Woody’s Flex page implies they’ll offer more accessories later.
I like it. A little to much on the sides but the rear is awesome. How does it look on other colors ?
Over-all, not a bad treatment. I might like to see wider “borders”, and have the wood treatment stop at the bottom groove instead of going all the way to the running board. But if I were buying a Flex, this would definitely be on my short list of options.
I knew this would happen. I am only surprised that they didn’t put on Vogue whitewalls and wire wheelcovers.