ENCINITAS — The Downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association wrapped up the summerlong Encinitas Classic Car Cruise Nights with an evening hosted by Wavecrest Woodies. The Fabulous Woodies wowed the crowd as wood-paneled wagons lined Coast Highway 101.
The event was part of the four-day Wavecrest Woodie Meet. It is the 31st annual event of the largest celebration of wooden cars in the country.
As vintage woodies of all varieties parked at Moonlight Beach on Sept. 18, spectators got a closer look at a measure of history. The event drew between approximately 300 vintage cars, with woodie owners vying for trophies in categories such as “Best Wood,” “Best Sixty Surfer Woodie,” “Best License Plate” and “Longest Distance Driven.”
Bob Cohen’s classic Chrysler PT Cruiser was one of the many works in progress. The Lake Arrowhead resident said the car was converted to a unique woodie in 2003 using twisted olive wood. “We also partnered with DW Drums to make a drum kit to match,” he said, pointing out the detailed drumsticks placed throughout the body of the vehicle. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Larry Stevens, who considers himself an “amateur woodie enthusiast.”
Vintage longboards donned the roofs of several woodies. “This is what it used to look like when you drove up to a surfer’s beach,” said Red Miller, whose 1939 classic woodie wagon had a special rack for surfboards. “Guys who surfed, and it was almost exclusively guys back then, drove something like this,” he said.
The free festivities drew hundreds of spectators to each of the main events, including a caravan of woodies in the early morning hours along Coast Highway 101 on Sept. 19. “You see these cars and talk to the older guys about what life was like before their cars were considered vintage and it’s a special treat,” Sid Specter said. “It’s what Encinitas is all about — the beach culture and how we got to where we are today.”