The Odd Squad Car Club

A Unique SoCal Car Club Is Open to All Com­ers

Hot Rod - - Contents - Ja­cob Davis

hSince the day cars were made avail­able to the gen­eral pub­lic, car clubs have been an im­por­tant part of hot rod cul­ture and helped to push the hobby ever fur­ther. The em­pha­sis of th­ese clubs was al­ways fo­cused on the idea of tak­ing ve­hi­cles as they came from the fac­tory and find­ing ways to im­prove the looks and per­for­mance through what­ever means pos­si­ble. Groups of builders and driv­ers joined forces to push the lim­its of their ma­chines and gath­ered to­gether on ru­ral strips of as­phalt to hang out and pit their hottest cars against those of other clubs. South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, in par­tic­u­lar, has al­ways been at the fore­front of this move­ment and con­tin­ues to be the place of ori­gin for many new trends. Whether it’s tra­di­tional hot rods, lead sleds, lowrid­ers, or what­ever other au­to­mo­tive style you might iden­tify with, chances are the SoCal car cul­ture has played a large role in its de­vel­op­ment.

One such South­ern Cal­i­for­nian car club is called the Odd Squad. Blake Wed­ding­ton, the found­ing mem­ber, wanted a plaque on his own car, but af­ter tak­ing just one look at how the car clubs around him treated their mem­bers, he re­al­ized he wanted to make a new club with its own—rather dif­fer­ent—set of rules. Blake says, “Many car clubs will put you through the ringer when you’re pledg­ing to get into their group, mak­ing you un­dergo all sorts of ac­tiv­i­ties as a sort of ini­ti­a­tion and then make you pay dues as well as build your car a cer­tain way to meet their laun­dry lists of re­quire­ments.” That’s never what Blake and his friends in the car scene were about, and in 2012, the Odd Squad was born. “From the be­gin­ning, the Odd Squad was a club meant to be about the peo­ple,” Blake says. “Sure, cool cars are a must in any car club, but they only serve to bring peo­ple to­gether. As a re­sult, this club has no dues, there is no set re­quire­ment to be at any of the meets, and the kind of car you drive is much less im­por­tant than the kind of per­son you are. The only real re­quire­ment is that your car be older than 1965 to keep the club more about tra­di­tional hot rod­ding than mus­cle cars.

“We don’t ever want any­one to show up to one of our cruises and see a bunch of guys with tat­toos stand­ing around their cars and feel in­tim­i­dated, you know—if some­one comes to one of our meets and gets out of their car, we’ll greet them with a hand­shake and be very friendly. That’s a big dif­fer­ence be­tween our club and a lot of the other ones we’ve seen out there,” Blake adds. The meets are not mem­bers-only, so all other car clubs and car peo­ple are wel­come. There is no sta­tus within their club and no one is bet­ter than any­one else. As a re­sult, they have guys who make six fig­ures and guys who make just enough to get by, but they are all bonded to­gether as equals by the cars they love. The cars them­selves dis­play the lack of strict rules and range from the slick­est-of-slick 1950s Mer­cury, to one of the rusti­est rat rods

you could imag­ine, along with every­thing in be­tween. One of the re­ally cool parts is that most of the guys in the club have more than one clas­sic car, and many of them are used as daily driv­ers.

Mem­ber Dameon Daniels says, “One of our fa­vorite parts about this club is the use of pe­riod-cor­rect ac­ces­sories on many of the ve­hi­cles that re­ally set them apart from oth­ers. Some of the trucks and cars within the club have so many cool lit­tle de­tails that you could look at them 50 times and still no­tice some­thing new.” Each car tells a story all its own, and each one re­flects the owner’s in­di­vid­ual style. Patina seems to be a sta­ple of the Odd Squad, as many of the cars wear their orig­i­nal paint and more than a few bumps and bruises they have ac­quired over the years—ve­hi­cles within this club ex­ude char­ac­ter and charisma, caus­ing them to stand out any­where they show up.

Things started off small, with only a few peo­ple meet­ing in the morn­ing for cof­fee and through the use of so­cial me­dia it quickly grew to a solid group of about 30 guys who gather to es­cape the monotony of ev­ery­day life for a few hours with like­minded in­di­vid­u­als. HOT ROD re­cently had the op­por­tu­nity to cruise the coast with Blake and his friends as they drove their cars up Pa­cific Coast High­way (PCH) from a cof­fee shop in Ma­rina Del Ray to Nep­tune’s Net in Mal­ibu. More than 50 clas­sic cars lined up to make the drive and com­pletely fill the quaint café’s park­ing lot. The laid-back feel and great group of peo­ple made for a fun event where any­one would feel right at home.

Af­ter eat­ing a great lunch at the sea­side restau­rant, the group headed to a cou­ple spots to take some pho­tos. Af­ter spend­ing a day with this car club, we can say the Odd Squad is full of great peo­ple and home to a unique and in­ter­est­ing group of cars. Any­one who shows up to their meets is sure to be met with a hand­shake and a smile and will likely have a great time with this re­laxed group of car en­thu­si­asts.

If you’d like to know more about the Odd Squad, go to Od­, the group’s In­sta­gram page @odd­squad­car­club, or you can just show up to one of the meets ev­ery Wed­nes­day night from 7–9 p.m. at the Cof­fee Bean at the cor­ner of Hughes and Venice Blvd. in Los An­ge­les, or ev­ery Tues­day night from 7–9 p.m. in the Spires park­ing lot in Long Beach.

01] The club and those tak­ing part in the cruise com­pletely filled the lot of Nep­tune’s Net sea­side café to en­joy a de­li­cious lunch. 02] Odd Squad mem­ber Gi­anni Diaz’s 1950 Ford F1 has so many lit­tle de­tail pieces on it that re­ally make it a fun truck...

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