The weather gods smiled on the Santa Cruz Woodie Club Ohana as we ventured out on May 16th-National Drive your Woodie Day-for our annual Spring Cruise. Two days earlier the dry and drought stricken Bay Area was hit with a low pressure weather front which gave us some much needed rain but potentially could have caused problems for those of us die hard “no water on my Woodie” owners. As it turned out a day later we had dried out and were back to beautiful California sunshine. Luckily there was no shortage of Woodie owners who traveled from as far away as Visalia, Auburn and Zephyr Cove, Nevada to join what arguably was the largest turnout for a Spring Cruise in the 21 year history of Santa Cruz Woodies. What made all of our members and their guests so excited was a private tour of the Tesla Motors Factory in Fremont, CA. Headquartered in the old (but newly renovated) NUMMI factory, Tesla car manufacturing is a marvel of robotic efficiency and ultra-modern technology.
Vintage met Contemporary as some 28 Woodies and over 72 attendees joined the tour which also included the opportunity to test drive the latest Tesla Model S sedans as well as the ultra-high performance P85D (large dual motor, all-wheel drive) models. Due to the large crowd Tesla was kind enough to add a second tour which allowed all of us to visit this very contemporary manufacturing facility via electric (what else!) motorized trams. We started the day with coffee and donuts before the first tour and after test drives and the second tour ended we gathered for a historic group photo with
Woodies and Tesla’s in front of the Tesla Customer Delivery Center. We said our goodbyes to our generous hosts and, as a special thank you, presented the Tesla employees who helped arrange our visit, gave tours or rode along on test drives with “pre-release” Woodies on the Wharf baseball hats.
Just before noon we were off on the second part of our cruise with a short drive to the old Niles Historic District in Fremont, CA. Former site of the silent movie studio where Charlie Chaplin once performed for the cameras, Niles is full of wonderful antique shops, art galleries, restaurants, jewelry stores and specialty shops. We parked at the Historic Niles Train Depot and then it was off to find that perfect lunch spot and explore downtown Niles. After a few hours of wandering around, shopping and eating we headed back to the Train Depot for our now famous Pie and Ice Cream Social. Santa Cruz Woodies is well known for our ability to tail gate with our Woodies and this was no exception.
VP Arlene Solis and her husband Joe graciously provided the fresh pies and ice cream for our tailgating extravaganza. All in all it was a very exciting morning and equally relaxing afternoon. As we said our Aloha’s it reminded us of how close we are to Woodies on the Wharf (to be held Saturday June 27, 2015). We hope to see all of you there.