Moonlight Beach, Encinitas, California
When the San Diego Chapter of the National Woodie Club throws an event it’s a blast, and this 31st show was no exception. All of the things that make up a great show were included: great organization, around 300 participants’ vehicles and beautiful weather. Wavecrest is now considered the premier woodie owners’ event. The name Wavecrest evolved from the Wave Crest Inn in Del Mar, California, which was the first location of this event back in 1980. In those days, only 20 woodies turned up.
Wavecrest 2011 started out with a cruise and car show on old Pacific Coast Highway in downtown Encinitas on Thursday evening. Here the woodies mostly gather along one block, but the rest of the car-crazy locals take up three more blocks. Friday was devoted to the surf cruise north to famed San Onofre State Park, an Inter-Club Surf Challenge in the break at Old Man’s and a grand poolside welcome party at the host hotel.
This event has never been just about woodies; it’s also about entertainment. Wavecrest Chairman Charles Furman, with the help of 100 members of the San Diego chapter, were on the go all three days to oversee the surfing event, host party, pancake breakfast, installation of vendors in a new expanded display area, bands, hula and ukulele demonstrations, road tours and a grand awards presentation on Saturday afternoon.
This year honored famed Woodieman Ron Heiden, woodie restorer and builder for the past 40-plus years, whose work is renowned for its quality, maturity and craftsmanship. The award commemorates his many years of club involvement, including providing yearly trophies, hosting awards ceremonies and helping fellow club members.
The event is now held above Moonlight Beach in Encinitas and only allows woodies of American manufacture no later than 1953. The only exceptions are for English and foreign vehicles.
Industry icons and sponsors were also circulating, including Chris from Chris Messano Woodworks, a major advertiser helping to support this event. The event also attracted international visitors from Australia, Japan and England, including fellow woodie book author Colin Peck, who was here to work on his next book about the famous wood-sided cars; and Mr. Andrew Wight, an Australian classic car restorer.
The day’s proceedings included a pancake breakfast and a huge raffle with fantastic prizes, including a custom bike from Encinitas Ride Cyclery and a slick Wavecrest custom Seebold longboard, which unfortunately, I didn’t win. Sunday morning the gathering wrapped up with a Pacific Coast Highway cruise.
There were Buicks, Plymouths, Fords, Packards, Internationals, Mercurys, Dodges, Chryslers, Chevrolets and Morris—everything that makes up the woodie crowd. It’s a rich, varied and palette-pleasing event for those who love their wheels trimmed in maple and mahogany.
People’s Choice Award: Richard Carpenter, Vista CA—‘32 Ford
Best Wood Award: Mike Malamutt, Thousand Oaks, CA—’47 Pontiac
Best Hot Rod Woodie Award: George and Marlene Young, Sebastopol, CA—‘46 Ford
Best Survivor Award: Mike and Mary Ann Siragusa, Laguna Hills, CA—‘39 Ford
Ron Heiden Award: Jerry Witt, Glendale, AZ—‘46 Ford
Wood’N Carr Award: Bob Lopez, Jim Cocores, Mick Carolan, Ron Heiden—‘50 Ford
Long Distance Award: Paul DiFebo, Wilmington, DE—‘48 Chevrolet
First Timer Award: Leo and Angi Martinez, CO—‘48 Pontiac
Town & Country Award: Frank Leamy, San Diego, CA—‘47 Chrysler T&C
Hard Luck Award: Terry and Carol Ammen, Cayucas, CA—‘51 Ford