Surfin' USA: The Woody and the beach scene

The beach scene is a culture all its own. Between the language, fashion, and lifestyle, surfers created an ambiance that was uniquely theirs. When popularity for riding waves swelled in the 1950’s and 1960’s, everything down to musical instruments and riffs solidified into a surfing stereotype. This was a time of colorful beaches speckled with bikini-clad women and the sounds of the Beach Boys wafting through the air. This was the time when Frankie Avalon starred in six different movies that had either the word ‘beach’ or ‘bikini’ in the title. Here, it was summer all the time. Here, it never rained or was cold enough to hide that flip flop tan line.

Of course a style of car was integrated into the surf culture party. The ‘Woodie’ style became abundant in the parking lots of Hawaii and California beaches around this time. Primarily American cars, originally made of wood through and through, they were mostly lumber from the front wheel back. This trend started in the 1930’s but gained attention when beach-goers adopted the style as their own. Original Woodies were custom jobs performed by carpenters or coach building firms. Later on, wood paneling was applied to steel bodies to increase strength and durability. At the peak of their popularity, young people and families rode the wave. Woodies were in high demand. Even though Woodies were meant for the road, they always seemed to flock to the beaches, facing the sunset. The image is not complete, of course, without at least one surfboard strapped to the roof. Surf culture embodied a relaxed existence and this postcard image is the classic beach scene,  reminiscent of the time, completed by the iconic Woodie car.