Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 03rd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Woodies Once Again

woodie2The 1950s Santa Cruz surf lifestyle is back—at least for a day this coming weekend.

On Saturday, June 23, 200-plus antique wood-bodied cars from across the country will come together for their 18th annual reunion on the Santa Cruz Wharf. The group will include an enormous variety of pre-1952 woodies.

In addition to showing off an impressive array of vintage cars to sizable crowds, the annual event brings back a feeling of nostalgia for many of its owners, as well as Santa Cruz locals. Don Iglesias, founder and “Club Kahuna” of the Santa Cruz Chapter of the National Woodie Club, says the event takes him back to his childhood—revisiting the vehicles recalls the feeling of being “a little boy peeking over the seat” in his parents’ old woodie, he says.

 “In the 1950s,” he explains, “there were no vans, and the lifestyle at the beach requires bringing a lot of gear.” The original design of the wood-bodied car was inexpensive because of the impracticality of its material, which would easily rot. In the words of Iglesias, “it was like driving around [in] your grand piano.”  But the cars were cheap and big enough to do the job, and the woodie tradition was born.  

At Woodies on the Wharf, viewers will see many cars that are souped up, shiny, and revived to near-perfect condition. But to Iglesias and many others, some of the most interesting models are the “un-touched originals.”  One car, explains the Club Kahuna, was bought by its owner for $200 when he was in high school. Now in his 60s, the only money the owner ever put into the car—aside from gas, of course—was one replacement of the tires. “I like the funky old cars that have a lot of duct tape and are held together by wire,” says Iglesias. Back in the original surf days, he adds, nearly every woodie looked much closer to that than today’s fancy counterparts.

The 18th annual Woodies on the Wharf will be held on Saturday, June 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf.

For more information, visit or

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Making a Scene

As it celebrates its 30th year, Santa Cruz County’s Open Studios is one of the most successful in the country—and a make-or-break event for many local artists


A Ritual & Initiation

The Pope has come and gone, but his loving presence ignited new hope and goodness in many. While he was in NYC, China’s ruler arrived in Washington D.C. East (China) and West (Rome), meeting in the middle, under Libra, balancing sign of Right Relations. The Pope arrived at Fall Equinox. Things initiated at Fall Equinox are birthed at Winter Solstice. The Pope’s presence was a ritual, an initiation rite—like the Dalai Lama’s visits—offering prayers, teachings and blessings. Rituals anchor God’s plan into the world, initiating us to new realities, new rules. The Pope’s presence brings forth the Soul of the United States, its light piercing the veils of materialism. The Pope’s visit changed things. New questions arise, new reasons for living. A new wave of emerging life fills the air. Like a cocoon shifting, wings becoming visible. The winds are different now. Calling us to higher vision, moral values, virtues that reaffirm and offer hope for humanity. A changing of the guard has occurred. Appropriately, this is the week of the Jewish Festival of Sukkoth (’til Oct. 4), when we build temporary homes (little huts in nature), entering into a harvest of prayer and thanksgiving, understanding our fragile and impermanent existences. We are summoned to reflect upon our lives, our humanity, our nature, our spirit and each other. Offering gratitude, becoming a magnet for others. We observe. We see the needs. We love more.


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Film, Times & Events: Week of October 2

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Extra Pop

Assembly’s pop-up space goes into regular rotation, Cabrillo wine dinner, and a visit to Mozaic


What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When people say they’re “going down” somewhere, and they’re actually traveling north. Julia Ragen, Santa Cruz, Psychologist


Downhill Cellars

An easy-drinking Chardonnay from Downhill Cellars


If whales have a message for humans, what might it be?

“Do not come in the water and join us.” Howard Hall, Santa Cruz, Retired