Archive for July 2nd, 2009

California Auto Museum ‘Woodie’ Opening Party Tonight

The Cal Auto Museum (formerly the Towe) is opening their Woodie exhibit tonight from 6-9pm. They’ll also be showing Endless Summer and Big Wednesday– if you have never seen Endless Summer, this is a great chance to see a true classic. I’ve never seen Big Wednesday (John Milius’ debut film) but have heard good things about its depiction of mid-sixties surf culture.

Also on tap will be the Retronauts playing surf music.

Midtown Monthly is one of the sponsors of the exhibit and we’ll be there tonight. I’ll be there manning a MM table and trying to catch Big Wednesday

The exhibit, Carved Elegance: Woodies, Wheels, and Waves, opens tonight and will run through September 19.

To most car enthusiasts, Woodies bring back memories of lazy California summer days on the beach, complete with surfboards and campfires. But long before they were considered cheap transportation and an icon of the Beach Boys, Woodies were prized by elite customers for their unique styling and craftsmanship.

“In their early years, Woodies were not produced on an assembly line, but were hand-made by independent craftsmen that added a look of carved elegance to what began as an unfinished body,” said Karen McClaflin, Executive Director of the California Automobile Museum. “Later, U.S. car makers turned to wood to re-create that elegance in cars that stood out from the crowd as buyers were starved for a new, stylish look after years of war when no cars were produced at all.”
The cars in the California Automobile Museum’s exhibit this summer represent that era when car makers embraced the warmth and color of wood to create an upscale, suburban “town and country” look with model names that suggested the affluence of the “Country Squire.” The exhibit includes eight varieties of Woodies including Ford, Pontiac and Dodge models from the early 1930s through the 1960s, detailing the evolution of the Woodie Wagon. To compliment the vehicles, various art pieces, vintage surfboards, and period memorabilia will also be on display.