Chevrolet has pulled the wraps off a one-off special version of its top-selling Spark compact, created to celebrate the model's American heritage and connection to youth culture.
The car recalls the dawn of the surf movement in the USA, when, in the late Fifties and early Sixties, surfers bought 'Woodies'. These were traditionally large estate cars based on mainstream models, but with timber framed bodywork, as they were both cheap and spacious enough to carry their boards and equipment.
Woody Wagons were immortalised in song, chiefly in The Beach Boys' Surfin Safari and Jan and Dean's Surf City, both widely regarded as two of the most famous surfing tunes ever.
Yet even when car makers stopped using wooden frames - an expensive and difficult production process - the Woody had become so much a part of American culture that its essence continued, with Chevrolet one of many US manufacturers who used Di-Noc woodgrained vinyl panelling to maintain the woody effect.
The Spark Woody was created in the UK for Chevrolet using a three-quarter vinyl body wrap provided by Pyramid Visuals, whose speciality is normally in vans and shop frontages. Its roof is adorned with a surfboard, as its wood-effect panelling was in keeping with the car's retro styling.
The Spark Woody is one of a series of Art Sparks created by Chevrolet in the past year. Other Art Sparks include a one-off WTCC leading car by Portuguese art student Jose Rocha, a YCC winner, and a Spark DJ Car ? the world's largest record turntable, created by Chevrolet this year.
A further Art Spark, created by 27-year old British artist Ian Cook, will appear in August at Silverstone Circuit to coincide with the British Touring Car Championship meeting there.