If you are a car enthusiast and love the nostalgia of old cars, the sound and fury of dragsters, the art of hot rods, customs and modifieds, looking at original cars you lusted after in your youth, and/or rare and unusual contemporary automobiles, you’ll love the Gualala Arts Auto Show. Located on the beautifully landscaped grounds of the Gualala Arts Center, this is a car show you can actually stroll through, talk to the owners and appreciate each car, truck or motorcycle for the piece of art it is. The event celebrates its 7th Anniversary this year and we expect it to be the best Gualala Arts Auto Show yet.
Best of Show in 2014 was awarded to the 1958 Chevrolet Yeoman station wagon created and owned by the Auto Show’s featured guest Art Himsl. The Terrace Award winners were a 1937 Chevrolet Coupe owned by Gene and Linda Figueiredo and a 1923 Volksrod Roadster designed, built and owned by Kent Fuller who was a previous Auto Show featured guest. 20 trophies in 10 classes and 15 Judges and Other Awards were presented to the winners among the 98 entries.
This year we are streamlining the categories to just five – Stock, Custom/Modified, Hot Rod, Sports Car and Display Only. The judging criteria and number of trophies to be awarded are still under consideration but will be posted as they are firmed up. We will accept the first 100 entries, as that is the maximum amount of space that our gorgeous redwood covered parking area can comfortably support. New this year will be assigned spaces for all entries, which will be part of the “check in” bag you will receive when you arrive. If you are planning to come with other participants, please note on your registration form if you would like to be parked together. All of the details about the show can be found on the registration form which you are encouraged to download and submit it as soon as possible to insure your spot at this unique and special show. Due to the growing popularity of this event, we expect the 100 vehicle limit to be reached very early!
Many of the previous Judges’ awards return, including Longest Distance Traveled, Most Creative, Best Paint, Best Motor, Best Interior, and of course Best of Show. Other special awards that will be presented by Auto Show sponsors include the Surf Market Super Pick, Gualala Supermarket trophy, Lions Club Award, Best Make Out Car, LA Roadsters Award (given to the top pure roadster as determined by the judges) and the Bones Roadhouse Pirate’s Choice Award. Finally, Auto Show attendees will vote on the People’s Choice Award and Ladies’ Choice Award.
Part of the charm of this show is the incredible drive to get here, driving along the sparkling Pacific Ocean on one side and the majesty of the coastal redwood forests on the other. This Auto Show was extremely well received last year and once again auto buffs will fill Highway 1 for the run to Gualala. This free to the public show opens Saturday, July 18th at 10 a.m. for the public and closes at 4 p.m. after the completion of the awards ceremony. Tanya Radtkey’s Black Oak Catering will offer breakfast items for purchase from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will feature the popular Friends of the Pizza Oven’s (FOPO) wood fired pizzas, hamburgers, salmon, chicken and black bean burgers, hot dogs, side salads and chips. Lagunitas Brewing craft beers, wine and soft drinks will be available all day. Attendees can enjoy live music throughout the afternoon by Brad Wilson & The Rhythm Drivers playing on the JAMI Amphitheater stage. New this year will be a Shuttle Bus that will offer rides between the Auto Show and downtown Gualala shopping areas (Sundstrom Mall, Surf Market, Cypress Village, Seacliff Center) from 9:45 a.m. until 15 minutes after show close. Riders are asked to make a donation to the Senior Center and Meals on Wheels when they board the bus.
If you have a car, truck or motorcycle that would look good driving up the coast and parked under the redwoods, download the Auto Show registration form and send it in before June 15.
Please visit our Visitor Info page to see the many lodging options on the Sonoma – Mendocino coast. We encourage you to make your reservations early.
Auto Show Featured Guests
Andy and Roy Brizio
In 2014 the Auto Show featured guest was painter and builder extraordinaire, Art Himsl. We were honored to have eight rolling examples of Art’s artistry at the show, including the 1932 Ford Roadster owned by the renowned Andy Brizio. Andy and his wife Sue had such a great time at the show that he agreed to allow us to honor him and his son Roy Brizio as the Auto Show Featured Guests for 2015.
Andy and Roy Brizio are longtime hot rod builders and enthusiasts who are legends in the rodding community. Their rolling pieces of art have captured America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) Awards at the Grand National Roadster Show, Andy in 1970 and Roy in 2013.
Roy’s shop in South San Francisco, Roy Brizio Street Rods, has turned out over 300 beautiful cars for a wide range of clients including rock musicians such as Neil Young, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck and sports figures like Reggie Jackson. Roy himself keeps a beautiful stable of cars at the shop, surrounded by over 40 years of memorabilia, signs, posters, model cars, art work and countless magazine articles featuring both Roy and his creations.
Andy “The Rodfather” Brizio, now 81 years young, started off his lifelong involvement in street rodding by being a starter at Jim McLennan’s drag strips in Half Moon Bay and Cotati, then really got going when he and friend Cub Barnett took over Jim’s legendary Champion Speed Shop. In 1966 Andy turned his attention to making the Dragmaster Co.’s T-bucket kit into Andy’s Instant T and selling hundreds of the kits to aspiring street rodders all the way through 1980. He built the second car ever constructed from Dragmaster’s parts into an ever-evolving street rod that ultimately won the 1970 AMBR Award on its 3rd try, sporting an asymmetricalpaint job by none other than Art Himsl. Andy then decided to start Andy’s Tees which is now run by his daughters and has turned out hundreds of thousands of custom T-shirts and other apparel, most with an automotive theme. The rod that Andy and Sue drove to last year’s Auto Show was
Complementing the Auto Show is the Automobilia Fine Art Exhibit in the Gualala Arts Center Jacob Foyer and Burnett Gallery. Returning after its inaugural run last year, this exhibit will feature art in five classes:
- Wall Art
- Die Cast Car Collections/Dioramas
- Scale Model Cars
The exhibit will open on Friday, July 3 at 5 p.m. and will remain through August 2. On the day of the Auto Show, be sure and come into the Arts Center and enjoy this great exhibit of automotive art and vote for your favorite entry. This voting will be used to present People’s Choice Awards for both adult art and works by artists under 18.
The centerpiece of the Automobilia exhibit will be a display showcasing the automotive artistry of our honored guests, Andy and Roy Brizio. This exhibit will include one of Roy’s iconic 1932 Ford Roadsters, a Ford Flathead V8 dressed up and ready for installation, photographs, trophies, memorabilia, magazine articles, sculptures, wall art and other items that will celebrate the Brizios’ contribution to the art of the street rod. If you would like to enter your art in this great exhibit, please fill out a registration form and send it in by June 19.
Cruise the Coast to the Point Arena Lighthouse
Sunday, July 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In support of the Auto Show, the Point Arena Lighthouse is entering a car owned by one of its Board members and is also sponsoring its inaugural “Cruise the Coast” event the Sunday following the Auto Show. Stick around for an extra day and enjoy one of the premier attractions on the South Mendocino coast. The tallest lighthouse on the West Coast, the Point Arena Lighthouse offers amazing views from the top of the 115-foot tall tower and magnificent photo opportunities for you and your car. The lighthouse sits at the western tip of a peninsula that juts into the Pacific and is the closest point in the 48 states to the Hawaiian Islands. This year, in partnership with the 7th Annual Gualala Arts Auto Show, the Point Arena Lighthouse invites all Auto Show participants and car buffs to stay over Saturday night and on Sunday, July 19, “Cruise the Coast” to the Point Arena Lighthouse. On that Sunday only, the lighthouse admission fee, normally $7.50 per adult, will be waived for Auto Show participants (please bring the pass included in your check-in bag). For non-registered show attendees, tickets will be available at the Auto Show that will reduce the regular price of lighthouse admission from $7.50 per person to $3.00 per person, with kids under the age of twelve being admitted free. The lighthouse is only 17 miles north of Gualala, just off the spectacular Shoreline Highway. If coastal weather cooperates, this will be a superb chance to experience the natural beauty of the Mendocino coast and share in the camaraderie of fellow auto enthusiasts. The lighthouse will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m on Sunday for the “Cruise.” Of course, Lighthouse Road is open 24/7 right up to the lighthouse gate and will provide good positions for sunset photo ops.
5th Annual “Summernationals”
Pinewood Derby at the Gualala Arts Center
Returning in support of the Auto Show for the fifth year, the “Summernationals” Pinewood Derby will again be run on Gualala Arts’ state-of-the-art aluminum racetrack complete with computerized time, speed and results display. Make this part of your Auto Show experience by building your own Pinewood Derby car, and make the competition interesting by having all your family members build one, too! Youth and the young at heart will be able to design and build their very own custom car to race. Racing classifications include 8 and under, 9 to 13, 13 to 18, 18 years and older, Vintage (car built prior to 2015 or a previous Gualala Arts Pinewood Derby entry) and the Unlimited class introduced last year that offers racers the chance to build a car out of any material they want. There will be both Speed and Most Artistic trophies awarded in each class, and Best Time Overall and Best in Show most artistic awards. All racers will also receive participation medallions. Check in and inspection Saturday, July 18th 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., races start at 11:30 a.m. Registration is FREE if submitted by Friday, July 10; after that, registration is $10 per car. Fill out and turn in your registration form by July 10 to take advantage of FREE registration. Purchase your official Boy Scouts of America car kit either from Gualala Arts, from any Scouts headquarters or online from various websites that offer official kits. It will consist of a block of pine, plastic wheels, metal axles and decals.
“Dirty Jack’s” Drive In Car Show
Friday, July 17 from Noon to 6 p.m.
Parking Lots behind Gualala Hotel and in the Sundstrom Mall back parking area
Long time Auto Show supporter “Dirty Jack” Chladek has arranged to have the parking lot behind the newly reopened Gualala Hotel and back lots in the Sundstrom Mall dedicated to an informal car show Friday afternoon before the Auto Show. Auto Show registrants and guests are invited to this informal show in downtown Gualala starting at noon. Auto Show Ambassadors will be on hand to check in pre-registered Auto Show entries and give them “Check In” bags. BBQ hot dogs, chips and soft drinks courtesy of Dirty Jack himself! Show runs until 6 p.m. All drivers with cool cars are welcome, whether they are Auto Show participants or not.
Friday Night Nitromethane Thunder at Bones Roadhouse
Friday, July 17 from 4 p.m to Closing
Come to Bones Roadhouse starting at 4 p.m. and enjoy food, beer, wine, altered spirits or soft drinks while you check out the dragsters and other great cars that will be parked around the lot. Buy raffle tickets to win a seat in one of the Top Fuel dragsters as it is fired up at 9 p.m. Proceeds benefit Meals on Wheels.
7th Annual Gualala Arts Auto Show Trophy Winners
Young automotive enthusiast and artist extraordinaire Hannah O’Brien was the unanimous judges’ choice for Best of Show at the 7th Annual Gualala Arts Auto Show. Hannah’s outstanding 1953 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup was beautifully finished, artfully detailed and was the epitome of what the Gualala Art Auto Show is about. It was a work of art as it stood, but it also clearly demonstrated the passion and creativity of the artist who created it. Congratulations to Hannah, and we can’t wait to see what she follows this up with!
A total of 40 trophies were awarded to some of the 105 entries in the Auto Show this year. The complete list can be found here.
Thanks to Ron Bolander and Sharon Nickodem for sharing their great photographs of this amazing Auto Show.