Santa Cruz celebrates California’s surf culture this weekend by showcasing the classic surf wagon - the woodie. Over 200 restored woodies will line the wharf in Santa Cruz on Saturday, June 26 from 10am to 4pm for its annual Woodies on the Wharf. Besides spiffy cars, there’ll be music, food, memorabilia and prize drawings. The event is free.
Photo: Santa Cruz Woodies On The Wharf
Automakers such as Plymouth, Ford, and Chevy built the first woodies in the 30’s and 40’s. They’re aptly named because the rear portion of the car’s bodywork was crafted of wood. In America, however, they were originally called station wagons because they were used to transport passengers and luggage at railway stations.
Image: 1950 Dodge Coronet Woodie (Dodge Dealer brochure)
Woodies were mass produced and hugely popular after World War II, especially with families. Popularity of woodies peaked in the 1950’s and by the late 50’s and 60’s, drivers were looking to ditch their wood-sided cars for something new.
Photo: 1941 Plymouth Woodie used in the film "Bugsy"
Surfers took notice of the woodie’s low resale value and discovered a perfect-fit car for their lifestyle. The woodie was cheap, had loads of room for surfboards and beach buddies and it attracted attention from bikini-clad females. Every surfer wanted one.
Photo: Ford Woodie
The woodie became synonymous with surfing in the 60’s. It was woven into song lyrics by beach rockers Jan and Dean and featured in those loveable Frankie and Annette beach party movies. Today, Woodie Club members throughout California and the USA restore and promote these iconic wooden cars, which can sometimes sell in the six figures.
More Information: Woodies On The Wharf – Free AdmissionLocation: Santa Cruz Wharf
400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz, Ca
Saturday, June 26, 2010, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Santa Cruz Woodies website