The annual Wavecrest Woodie Show is one of the world’s largest All-Woodie Homecomings. It is one really laid back party on Saturday, September 21, 2019, from 8 am to 5 pm. Last year, they announced that 195 woodies were registered and on display here on Moonlight Beach. The event is sponsored by the San Diego Woodie Club, one of the largest all-woodie car clubs in the country.
It is just simply jaw dropping to see so many wood-bodied vehicles on display in one place. Woodie passenger wagons were produced from the 1910’s through the early 1950’s. They are a part of Califonia’s culture because they were the preferred transportation for surfers over the years. Not only were they relatively inexpensive in the 1950’s and 1960’s, but they could easily carry a longboard on the roof. The San Diego Woodie Club observes the lifestyle and the woodie car culture every year at the Wavecrest Woodie Show. Meet and greet starts on Thursday and woodie owners will have events all day on Friday. Then on Saturday morning the main event is the big concourse at Moonlight Beach, historically one of the top surfing venues in California.
Once again this year, Cars On Line.com is on hand to bring you photos and videos of the Wavecrest Woodie Show for 2019. Woodies will be here from all over the U.S.
Here is a slide show of some of the interesting wood bodied cars that we saw at the Wavecrest last year.
Sunday Cruise to Oceanside
On Sunday morning, the woodies gather for a ceremonial cruise up Historic Hwy 101, from Encinitas to the beach at Oceanside. At 8 AM the cruise to Oceanside begins at the Encinitas City Hall. You have to witness this to get the excitement of seeing dozens of old wood-bodied cars cruising along Hwy 101, skirting Pacific beaches all along the way. The 25-mile cruise is a great opportunity to see these cars in action. Here is how it looked under the pier at Oceanside on Sunday last year:
Read the Cars-On-Line.com Car Show Calendar to get times and locations.
Short History of the Woodie Wagon
“It’s An Oldie, But it’s a Woodie” read one of the bumper stickers here in Encinitas as the downtown is filling up with classic Woodie Wagons for the 40th Annual Wavecrest Woodie Show. It was an obvious reference to a Jan and Dean song called “Surf City.” To understand the impact that wood-bodied wagons had on the car culture, you first have to know what place they took in automotive history.
As the 20th century rolled in, most every form of transportation was framed out of wood … boats, horse-drawn carriages and even planes. It didn’t seem unusual at all back then that wood might be used to frame out the rear of a multi-passenger motorized depot hack. And so the “station wagon” was born. “Hey, Joe, go down to the station and pick up our guests,” the hotel manager would say.
Somewhere along the way, wealthy rural land owners began to think it was trendy to own an out-dorsey looking wood bodied wagon as a utility vehicle around the estate. Ford came out with the first factory made wood-bodied transport around 1929. By the time Chevrolet joined in in 1939 these vehicles were alreay known as station wagons. These wood-bodied station wagons were never profitable for the auto manufacturers. They had to be hand assembled, and the wood was hard to maintain. Yet they stayed in the American rubric until the 1950’s.
It was simply a random happening that the wood-bodied wagons became a cultural icon during the 1960’s. Surfers in California, totally unbeknown to themselves, brought the wood-bodied wagons back to life. They found that these old wood-bodied utility wagons were very cheap to buy, and they could carry a longboard on top rather easily. Perfect. Along came the Beach Boys, a California rock group that wrote songs about the surfing culture. At that point, the name “woodie” was coined to describe the wood-bodied wagons. Unintended as it were, they became “cool.” The surfers didn’t restore them though. They just tried to keep them running.
According to an article written by Charlie Crowell, the National Woodie Club was organized by Will O’Neil of Hawthorn, California in 1973. Already at that time, woodie owners were organizing to combine their knowledge to preserve these wood-bodied treasures. They could not have known what woodie wagons would mean to car collecting in the 21st Century. Today, fully restored wood-bodied cars, trucks and wagons can command mind boggling prices.