Photo Release -- Autobytel Kicks Off Summer With Highlights of Iconic Surf Cars

1955 Chevy Bel Air
Autobytel Inc. logo

IRVINE, Calif., June 25, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Summer is officially here and the editors at Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq:ABTL), pioneer of the automotive Internet and the company dedicated to connecting automotive consumers with dealers, recently cruised the California coast in search of iconic surf cars and their enthusiastic owners.

Laguna Beach, California surfer "Fly" shows off his 1955 Chevy Bel Air. Photo courtesy of Janet Megee, Autobytel.

A photo accompanying this release is available at

"I own a '97 Silverado and it's a good truck, but the Volkswagen bus is the only car I know that you can lock a 9'6" board inside of," said Jason Moyer, a 35-year-old surfer from Costa Mesa, California. "People you pass on the road will wave and smile because it makes them happy, and when you pull up at the beach, your car becomes the epicenter and the hangout spot."

Moyer is just one of a number of enthusiasts who shared their love of vintage surf cars, including his 1971 Volkswagen Bus, in Autobytel's recent "Iconic Surf Cars that Make Us Happy" profile. You can read the full article here:

Following are some of the hot cars Autobytel features.

1955 Chevy Bel Air

Jean Pierre Van Swae, a 72-year-old Laguna Beach surfer (also known as 'Fly'), purchased his 1955 Chevy Bel Air from an Arizona dealer eight years ago and had it towed to the Capistrano Beach industrial neighborhood where he runs his shaping business. "I look at it as the history of the vehicle – the nostalgia and keeping the spirit of old vehicles alive," said Fly. "I'm part of that culture. People see my car and go 'Wow!' It's a happy car."

1970 Volkswagen Squareback

Shane Smith, a 20-year-old surfer from Huntington Beach, purchased his 1970 Volkswagen Squareback off of Craigslist for $8,000, and put another $4,000-5,000 into rebuilding it. Smith enjoys the interaction he gets from people driving by or at stoplights who have either owned his car or whose parents had one. "Everyone loves it," Smith said. "I have guys telling me 'I had one, and I should have kept it!' I'm not going to be that guy. I'll never get rid of it. I'll keep it forever."

1951 Mercury Woodie

Chuck Elliott, a 63-year-old resident of San Juan Capistrano and president of the Southern California Woodie Club, says that his 1951 Mercury Station Wagon, purchased with a limited production Chevy Cameo pickup truck and some additional money, is worth $80,000-$100,000. "When I first got it, it was Plain Jane – I put a lot of work into it," said Elliott. "You used to be able to get them for $20-$50 back in the '60s; surfers would get them as a cheap junk car to throw their boards on and haul their friends in. Woodies gained popularity over the years, and now people realize how spectacular they are."

1950 Plymouth Deluxe

Larry Toomey, a 71-year-old paddleboarder from Laguna Beach, who has bought and sold about 120 cars since his childhood days growing up in the Manhattan/Hermosa Beach area, calls his 1950 Plymouth Deluxe a keeper. "My family used to buy these cars and drive them until they stopped," said Toomey. "I like this car. It's inexpensive and fun to drive, gets pretty good mileage, and when you watch old Hawaii movies you see all the old Plymouths."

1963 Chevy Nova

Bob Bright, a 50-year-old surfer and paddler from San Clemente, says nostalgia played a key part in choosing his 1963 Chevy Nova, which he purchased off of eBay for $4,500. "I was looking for a beach wagon that I could throw the boards and beach gear in and drive anywhere from Oceanside to Dana Point," said Bright. "I have memories of growing up and heading to the beach in the family station wagon."

Access the full article to learn about additional iconic surf cars Autobytel features, including a 1962 Volkswagen bus, a 1969-1970 Dune Buggy, a vintage Volkswagen Beetle, and a 1956 Chevy station wagon.

To build, shop for, buy, or own a car, visit Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube to stay connected to our latest news.

About Autobytel Inc.

Autobytel Inc. provides high quality consumer leads and associated marketing services to automotive dealers and manufacturers throughout the United States and offers consumers robust and original online automotive content to help them make informed car-buying decisions. The company pioneered the automotive internet in 1995 with its flagship website and has since helped tens of millions of automotive consumers research vehicles; connected thousands of dealers nationwide with motivated car buyers; and helped every major automaker market its brand online.

Investors and other interested parties can receive Autobytel news releases and invitations to special events by accessing the online registration form at

CONTACT: Autobytel Inc. Media Relations Splash Media Jennifer Lange 949-916-4820 or Autobytel Inc. Investor Relations Curtis DeWalt Chief Financial Officer 949-437-4694 or PondelWilkinson Inc. Roger Pondel/Laurie Berman 310-279-5980

Source:Autobytel Inc.