Cowabunga Dudes, the Woodies are Coming to Lyon Air Museum, July 4 thru August 4, 2013
Santa Ana, CA, June 13, 2013 – Lyon Air Museum will host their summer vehicle exhibit showcasing seven iconic American Woodie automobiles. It’s only appropriate that these prime icons of American summer culture kick off their debut on the 4th of July at the museum, located on the west side of John Wayne Airport in Orange County. The Woodies Exhibit, featuring Fords and Chryslers, will carry on Lyon Air Museum’s reputation for displaying fine, vintage vehicles alongside historic aircraft. Last summer brought in seven exclusive Packards and the year before, ten impeccable classic Duesenbergs. This year’s exhibit will run through August 4, 2013.
The first Woodies date back to the railroads of the early 20th century, when wagons were used to transport passengers and luggage between stations and other points. These “station wagons” utilized the forward section and chassis of a production automobile, coupled with a custom, lower cost wooden body. Although initially built for commercial use, they soon became available to the general public. Woodies were often rather attractive, but were popular mainly due to their economically sound price point, especially during the Depression years of the 1930s. Cost savings were a further factor as World War II brought on shortages of steel which was in great demand for the war effort.
Post World War II saw a soaring economy, with many Americans opting for a safer, all-metal automobile. The days of the Woodie appeared to be numbered. But what propelled the Woodie to its initial popularity resurfaced in the 1960s in a whole new culture – surfing. Woodies of the past were being sought after because they were inexpensive and had a high carrying capacity. Soon spacious Woodies were toting surfers, surf boards, food and beach party gear to the best surf spots around. The scene quickly caught on to the rest of the country through movies such as Gidget and Beach Blanket Bingo, and through music by The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean with songs like Surfin’ Safari, Surf City, and Boogie Woodie, all of which referenced the Woodie and further increased its popularity.
Today, the Woodie automobile is highly desired by car collectors, and by those who yearn to cruise the coastline in a symbol of sun, sand and surf. So throw on your flip flops and cruise on over to Lyon Air Museum to catch a bit of 20th Century pop culture.
Lyon Air Museum represents the fulfillment of a dream of Maj. Gen. William Lyon, USAF (Ret), who held the position of Chief of the U.S. Air Force Reserve from 1975 to 1979. Currently, General Lyon is Executive Chairman of William Lyon Homes, Inc., in Newport Beach, CA. His passion for aviation history and youth education is the driving force behind Lyon Air Museum. In establishing the museum, General Lyon sought to create a world-class facility available to the local community and offering educational displays to inspire young people. The museum has on exhibit some of the world’s rarest operational historic aircraft and vehicles.
Hours of operation are daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission rates: General admission – $12; Seniors and Veterans- $9; Ages 5-17 – $6; Under age 5 – free. Groups of 10 or more – $1 off each visitor. Pre-arranged school groups – free.
Lyon Air Museum