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Chevy Gets a Woody in an Artsy Sort of Way

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On: Fri, Aug 6, 2010 at 9:23AM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Gets a Woody in an Artsy Sort of Way

Showing that you don't have to live in southern California to rock a little gnar, Chevrolet of Europe introduced the Spark Woody yesterday at the Boardmasters surf, skate and music festival in the U.K. The supermini hatch features a prominent serving of woody station wagon circa the 1950s and 60s. Unfortunately for anyone who thinks the surf-ready ride looks like what they've been craving in their driveways, the car is but a one-off art car that won't be available for sale.

Another disappointing fact about the car (at least for us non-tree-hugging woody lovers) is that that's not wood side paneling on the Spark; it's a three-quarter vinyl body wrap made to look like wood. Lame, but it still looks the part pretty nicely.

Outside of the faux-wood side panels, the Spark gets teardrop headlights and retro-styled, white rims. The surfboard up top is an Escape Mini-Mal that probably won't be getting too much use over in mainland Europe.

The idea of the new, not-for-production art concept is to promote Chevy's connection with younger buyers, as well as its all-American heritage.

Of course, the art car kind of misses the boat. Not only doesn't it include a splinter of actual wood, but the supermini is hardly the optimal platform for trucking surfboards around. It was the large size of the original woodies that made them popular with surfers back during the rise of surfing in the 50s and 60s. Plus, with just one letter this could have been an homage to one of the most iconic woodies of all time: Clark Griswold's family-hauler from National Lampoon's Vacation. All it would have taken was a "y." What the hell?

The Spark Woody is the latest in a series of Art Sparks dating back to last October. Previous Art Sparks have included the Spark DJ Car with the world's largest turntable and the one-off WTCC leading car by Portuguese art student Jose Rocha. The next in the series will be unveiled during the British Touring Car Championship later this month. Bated breath, I know.

As for the Spark Woody, it will make its way to the land of love for the Paris Motor Show this fall.

If you're looking at this thing, thinking that the European take on surfing and faux wood are teetering in no uncertain terms toward the cheesy side, here's a nail, hammer it home. From Chevy's press release opener: "Surf's up dudes—and here's the proof! Chevrolet, the manufacturer behind the market-leading 5-Year Promise aftercare package, has pulled the wraps off a one-off special version of its top-selling Spark supermini, created to celebrate the brand's American heritage and connection to youth culture."

Yes, surf's up indeed, brah.

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