Woodies, Outriggers, and Art on Saturday

By Robert Bernstein

Woodies were back at the Beach again on Saturday! Here are all my photos!
Actually, it was at Santa Barbara City College West Campus!

But you could kind of see the beach from there:

Early cars were often a mix of metal and wood, taking their styling from horse-drawn carriages. The structural components were metal, but large parts of the bodies of many cars were wood. Some of it was economics and some of it was what people were used to and expected.

As metal fabrication techniques developed, metal won out over the many challenges of hand crafting wood car bodies. Metal also offered greater durability and safety. And easier maintenance.

It was the 1960s surf culture that revived the woodie. Not for style, but because so many old woodies were rotting in back yards and garages and were available for dirt cheap.

Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame and Jan Berry of Jan and Dean fame explained this in the 1963 hit song “Surf City”:

I bought a ’30 Ford wagon and we call it a woody
(Surf City, here we come)
You know it’s not very cherry, it’s an oldie but a goody
(Surf City, here we come)
Well, it ain’t got a back seat or a rear window
But it still gets me where I wanna go

Real woodies are quite a treasure now, selling for over $50K.

Owner David Holmes made it very clear he would not sell his 1947 4×4 Mercury woodie for any price, ever:

Here are a few more real woodies:

Some owners clearly were having fun retro-fitting old cars to become woodies like this VW:

The show was also a chance to display other vintage cars that were not necessarily woodies, but still cool looking works of art:

Speaking of art, after biking over to Woodies at the Beach, we headed over to Gray Space Gallery in the Funk Zone for a show of Geoff Pocock:

Be sure to visit the gallery and/or their web site to find out when Geoff will come and talk about his art.

And before we climbed the hill to Woodies at the Beach, we watched the Outrigger Canoes at West Beach:

While plenty of other people watched, too:



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