"I bought a'34 wagon and we call it a woodie" sang Jan and Dean in 1963. This hit, co-written by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and his buddy Jan Berry, brought to posterity the famous woodies, those legendary American cars with wooden sides, popularized by surfers from the 1940s and 1950s onwards.
From that time on, the surf-art of photographers LeRoy Grannis or John Severson, pushed the nail in by duplicating endlessly on canvases, gouaches, photographs and 35 mm films, these incredible cars loaded with tanned, athletic and carefree young girls and boys. Dressed in Hang Ten, Jantzen or Mister Nii board-shorts those young beach boys ride Gordon & Smith, Hobie, Hap Jacobs, Bing, Greg Noll, Takayama longboards...
From commercial vehicles to recreational vehicles
Hijacking a utility vehicle to make it a myth, like the famous Volkswagen combi in the 60s and 70s, is the irony of surf culture! Originally, surfers in the forties and fifties, who were rather of the broke type, chose these breaks or pick-ups because they were practical and cheap.
Part of the bodywork was made of real wood, which offered many advantages. The woodwork resisted intensive use by the sea, much better than steel or paintings of that time.
The size of the woodies made it possible to transport the huge surfboards, some of which were made of precious wood, before the revolution in resin and foam. And the prices of these opportunities were unbeatable for surfers with holes in their pockets.
Wood'e reinterprets the myth
Over the fifties, the woodies gradually disappeared from the Detroit assembly lines. In 1950, Plymouth stopped marketing its Station Wagon. Chrysler is doing the same with its fabulous Town and Country. The 1953 Super Estate Wagon and 1953 Roadmaster Estate Wagon from Buick were the last American production estate to keep the real wooden construction.
However, the tradition continued until the 1990s, with plastic decorations, imitation wood. Woodies are now museum pieces that collectors exchange for gold. In a way, these cars were already announcing the first SUVs.
More than 70 years after the Wood'e de Buke bikes reinterprets the myth in its own way with its wooden plaque integrated into the frame. This detail has become a distinctive feature for all Buke bikes. This electric bicycle of the beach cruiser type, detonates in the landscape and tears off on the Atlantic coast, near the descendants of the beach boys.
The Surfliner on his side pays tribute to the train that runs along the best surf spots in the Pacific, from Santa Barbara to San Diego.
As for the Beach Cab, this Buke folding bike is a cross between a Checker Marathon New York taxi and a Californian buggy, two other road myths.