For the last week of summer, we’d like to pay ode to some of the most iconic beach cars that have given us all good times over the years. Here in San Diego, beach culture is very important to us, and a large part of that culture revolves around the surf cars. Throughout the years and decades, these cars have never lost their shine, both because of their functionality as well as their sheer beauty.
Here are 5 of the most iconic beach cars to have ever graced the roads:
1971 VW Bus: King of the Beach Cars
The Volkswagen Bus takes us straight back to the ‘60s and ‘70s for those beach barbecues and clambake parties. It’s perfect for transporting surfboards, and storing all kinds of beach gear. You can also pack it full of friends and family, and the 23-window versions make for an awesome and super-fun ride. As far as looks go, these VW’s have seen everything from super clean two-tone patterns to more “far-out” hippie designs. Lately, some VW Bus models have been fetching crazy resale prices for collectors.
VW Beetle Convertible: Style and Substance
The VW Beetle is another iconic car whose beach use stretches back for decades. Did you know that the Beetle has actually been in production since the early 1930s? Its popularity has made it a best-seller year in and year out, with no signs of slowing down. Always a crowd favorite, the “Bug” looks absolutely charming with either a roof rack or with the top down. Paint the doors white or a different color and slap on some whitewall tires for an instant classic look!
1970 Chevy Chevelle SS: Beach Muscle Madness
The SS is the ultimate beach-savvy muscle car. Loaded with a 350hp V8, this classic car is all about performance, and the trademark twin stripes on the hood add a touch of aesthetic racing beauty. In its convertible top-down form, the Chevelle gets even more attractive. This is the ultimate ride for cruising the beach strip at low speeds, or for longer rides down the lovely California coastline on the Pacific Coast Highway.
Jeep Wrangler: Tough Yet Sophisticated
The Jeep Wrangler is one of the most versatile vehicles on the planet, and its popularity on the beach scene comes as no surprise. It is one of the few automobiles that can provide both a rugged, solid look or a more laid-back feel. Customization is one of the areas where beach “Jeeps” can really shine. Try out some smaller tires and lighter paint tones for a more urban, street-ready look. Or, slap on some more aggressive, larger tires and roof lights for a more dune-buggy, sand-ready feel. All around, this boxy beauty will turn heads at the shores!
1991 Jeep Wagoneer: Vintage
“In my Woodie I will take you everywhere I go…” - Beach Boys, Surfer Girl, 1963
The Jeep Wagoneer is probably the most majestic, nostalgic and iconic beach car of them all. Wood side panels give it the “Woodie” look that the Beach Boys were talking about. The 1991 version has a fuel-injected V8 that rides incredibly smoothly. 1991 was the last year that the Wagoneer appeared in all its beach glory before it morphed into a more Grand Cherokee-type look. But hey -- great news! Jeep has announced that they’ll be releasing a Grand Wagoneer in 2018! Word has it that it will have three rows of seats. We look forward to it!
We hope you’ve enjoyed marveling at these cars as much as we have. Some of the best beach cars can be well over 50 years old, and there’s really only one way to have a car last for such a long time: proper care and maintenance. Be sure to keep your beloved ride in excellent operating condition through frequent checkups. If you need regular maintenance or a tune-up, stop by Convoy Auto Repair Shop, San Diego’s favorite auto repair shop. Our team of certified mechanics love to provide the care and attention to detail that will keep your car running for years and years to come.