[heading]main photo by Soul of Photography
all others courtesy of SD Woodies Club Photographer, Johnnie Wuethrich[/heading]

San Diego Woodies, a cornerstone of the 92024 community, is celebrating 12 years as a club. The 200+ members who gather regularly to encourage and promote interest in the wooden car have established themselves in the community and surrounding areas – and they have quite a following! This month the San Diego Woodies play host to the annual Wavecrest Meet – the largest woodie show in the world. On the third weekend in September, over 300 wooden-bodied cars will showcase themselves at Moonlight State Beach. Scott Melcer, president of San Diego Woodies, gave us the details on the upcoming event as well as information on the club and how enthusiasts involved with the organization on a local and national level take part in and support community-wide efforts. Mark your calendar as this event is sure to be a weekend of fun with car and surf-related activities for people of all ages to take part in.

Q&A with Scott Melcer, President, San Diego Woodies

What is the history behind “The National Woodie Club?”

Untitled-1The National Woodie Club began in 1974 in Hawthorne, CA. It was founded by Will O’Neil. Woodie Times magazine is the club’s official monthly publication and is mailed to every member.

What is the history behind “San Diego Woodies” Club?

San Diego Woodies was established as a chapter club in 2001 and we currently have close to 200 member families. It was comprised mostly by members of the Southern California Woodies chapter and other nearby chapters who came together to form the current San Diego chapter. With its inception, came the stewardship of Wavecrest. The club spends the majority of the year preparing for this event. Since the beginning, Wavecrest has been held on the third Saturday in September each year. This year marks the event’s 34th consecutive year. The San Diego Woodies have handled the event for the last 12 years. We are required to obtain permission from Encinitas City Hall and pay for the permits necessary for our event.

What is the mission of the organization?

Our mission at San Diego Woodies, as a chapter of the National Woodie Club, is to promote interest in woodies. We educate owners and the public on their history, beauty, usefulness and uniqueness. We also provide an association through which woodie owners and enthusiasts may exchange information on history, building, restoration and modification techniques, and shared experiences. The woodie is a unique kind of car which deserves special recognition.

What is involved with being a member of the organization? Are there any requirements?

Membership in the National Woodie Club and San Diego Woodies is open to anyone who owns, drives or simply appreciates the woodie. Ownership of a woodie is not required for membership, and all members have equal rights. Both the national and local chapters require members to pay yearly dues for their membership.

What are some things you do as an organization that you feel improve or benefit the community?

We have been putting on Wavecrest every year and that always has a large positive impact on the businesses in the community. We continually contribute to charitable organizations. We also often display our cars at nonprofit or community events. Just recently we showed up at the USSIMG_8763 Midway Museum for their fundraiser. The woodies are always a draw for increased attendance and we like to be able to see community events thrive.

Can you tell us something interesting about members of the organization?

We have a few members who have attended every single Wavecrest event since it began. Some National Woodie Club members will be coming from all over the nation. We have had participants drive in from as far away as Long Island, NY, and fly in from England and New Zealand.

What goes in to preparing to host the meet each year at Moonlight State Beach?

The most important ingredient is teamwork. We have a great core group of members who volunteer as there is a great deal of work involved. We prepare all year long. I think it gets better year after year. Over the years, we have learned so much which has allowed us to continue to keep the event streamlined and organized.

How many people are you expecting to attend the event?

We have had over 300 cars that draw a huge attraction of spectators and we have been told that we draw between 15,000 to 20,000 attendees. We bring a tremendous amount of business to the local community. Neighborhood hotels are usually sold out for the event including the host hotel – Best Western Encinitas Inn & Suites at Moonlight Beach, which has been a great supporter of the club.

What is significant about the Wavecrest Meet compared to other car shows?IMG_8791

Our event is only open to wood-bodied cars and trucks, while most other car shows allow all types of cars. We also don’t collect money for admissions. Our show is completely free to both exhibitors and spectators; no one has to pay to enjoy the Wavecrest experience.

The meet is always held on the third Saturday of September. Is there any significance to this?

Tradition, and it is a beautiful time of the year. Simple as that.

Tell us about the merchandise that is available for purchase at the meet.

Gerry Dube and I took over merchandise three or four years ago, and it has become an organized effort. The merchandise is always very popular. Each year a theme is established and artwork is completed which is prepared for placement on posters, t-shirts and mugs. This year, noted artist Bill Drysdale has created our poster art. Because of the interest generated by the sale of the posters, there are “collectors” who keep the items and have found their value has increased over the years.

Where do the charity funds raised at the annual event go towards?

Once the event is completed, we sit down as a group and decide to whom we will be donating the charity portion of the funds collected. This is especially nice because of the time of the year being the holiday season. We have donated to Wounded Warriors, Home Front San Diego, Junior Lifeguards and others. Having Camp Pendleton nearby makes giving to our military very rewarding. Doing this makes for a wonderful “Aloha” feeling.

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Official name of Organization: San Diego Woodies
Established: 2001
Website: www.sandiegowoodies.com
Facebook: San Diego Woodies
Email: info@sandiegowoodies.com

San Diego Woodies, a chapter of the National Woodie Club, exists to promote interest in woodies, to educate owners and the public on their history, beauty, usefulness and uniqueness; to provide an association through which woodie owners and enthusiasts may exchange information on history, building, restoration or modification techniques and shared experiences.

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Thursday, Sept. 19  |  5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Classic Car Night on 101, Encinitas
This event, sponsored by the Downtown Encinitas Merchants Association (DEMA), kicks off the Wavecrest weekend activities. This gathering of vintage hot rods and about 80 woodies takes place on historic Highway 101 between D and I streets. Early arrivals from out of town will join local woodie owners to begin the Wavecrest experience in an old-fashioned cruise night atmosphere. There will be live music and awards. Charlie’s Foreign Car Service on the 101 across from the Smog Station always cooks dinner for the featured club at the cruise event.

Friday, Sept. 20  |  12 p.m.
Wavecrest Setup

Friday, Sept. 20  |  5 – 7 p.m.
Welcome to Wavecrest Party
The welcome to Wavecrest Party for woodie owners is held at the pool and cabana area at the Best Western Encinitas Inn & Suites at Moonlight Beach. This is a great opportunity to get the best selection of Wavecrest merchandise while enjoying some light refreshments and visiting with woodie friends from all over the country.

Saturday, Sept. 21  |  8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
This is it – Wavecrest, the granddaddy of all woodie meets. Located in and around the parking lot at Moonlight Beach one block south of Encinitas Blvd., attendees and exhibitors will experience the longest running and largest gathering of woodies in the world. Woodies begin arriving in the wee hours of the morning and by 8 a.m. there are around 300 woodies of every size, shape and description on display. Throughout the day there will be live entertainment featuring Hawaiian and surf music, along with fabulous raffle prizes (including surf boards) and awards. Wavecrest merchandise and food will be available for purchase. This year we have famed surfboard shaper Floyd Smith, who will be shaping a custom balsa wood surfboard at the event.

Saturday, Sept. 21  |  5 – 10 p.m.
Wavecrest Dinner, Raffle and Auction
The post Wavecrest evening activities begin with drinks (beer, wine, sodas and water) in the pool/cabana area at the Best Western Encinitas Inn & Suites at Moonlight Beach, followed by a fabulous buffet dinner provided by Ono Grimes, Hawaiian-style cuisine. After dinner there will be a raffle/auction which will be limited to high-end woodie items. The evening will end with entertainment in the cabana. There is a charge for dinner which needs to be prepaid; tickets are available for sale on Thursday night at the cruise and up to noon on Saturday at the meet.

Sunday, Sept. 22  |  8 – 10 a.m.
Wavecrest Woodie Cruise
To wrap up your Wavecrest experience, the community is invited to come out and see 80 to 90 woodies on a cruise from Encinitas to Oceanside and back on the historic Pacific Coast Highway. The approximately 25-mile cruise will begin at 8 a.m. and proceed north to the Oceanside Harbor with a photo-op stop on the beach below the Oceanside Pier. If you didn’t bring your woodie to the event, you are still invited to join the fun by hitching a ride on the cruise.

[/tab] [tab title=” Wavecrest Woodie Meet”]

Date: Sept. 21, 2013
Time: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Location: Moonlight Beach, 4th and B Street
Description: Wavecrest is the world’s largest gathering of wooden bodied automobiles. Once a year, on the third Saturday of September, woodies  gather at Moonlight State Beach. Wavecrest included 242 woodies in 1998, and now more than 300 woodies participate.
Awards: Trophies are presented in several categories, in past years they have included Best Wood, Best Sixty Surfer Woodie, Best Town & Country, Best License Plate, Best Hot Rod, Longest Distance Driven, Hard Luck and People’s Choice, each year the awards are a little different.

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