9th Annual Auto Show and Derby

Gualala Arts presents:

9th Annual Auto Show

Saturday, July 15, 2017, 10 am-4 pm

Arts Center Grounds

Free admission to show, $5 per car donation requested for onsite parking

This year’s winners!!

click here.

This year’s overall winner Mike Williams

Best of Show and People’s Choice: Mike Williams of Sacramento for his 1948 Packard Station Sedan Woodie with a customized tailgate.

Early auto registration is at “Dirty Jack’s” Drive-In Car Show behind the Gualala Hotel noon to 6 pm.

Check-in and registration for the 9th Annual Gualala Arts Auto Show starts at 7 am at Gualala Arts Center. 

Admission to the show is free with a $5 parking donation.

Download your schedule for the day here.


The 9th Annual Gualala Arts Show and Pinewood Derby is set to honor the 50th Anniversary of Waterman Racing Components and the men who built it! We expect it to be our best auto show yet!

Gualala Arts Auto Show 2017 Schedule of Events:

Auto Show Featured Autos Parking 7 -10am

DJ Sister Yasmin In Jami Amphitheater 10-3pm

Registration PW Derby 10-11am

Dragsters Fired Up 11am

Nathan Ogden motivational speaker “Chair the Hope” 11:20 Colman Hall

PW Derby Race 11:30am

Cruise Coastal Business Passport trade in closes noon

Barbara Johannes Live Music in Picnic Area Noon – 2pm

12:30pm Raffle Drawing #1

1pm people choice & ladies choice,

Pick up & turned into raffle station

1:30pm Raffle Drawing #2

Dragsters Fired Up 2pm

2:30pm Raffle Drawing #3 (final)

Award Ceremony 3pm

Grand Giveaway following Awards

Gates Close 4pm


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.

Bob Hardee.
Photo-Ronnie Goodsell
Clears park Special 1963

Located up the hill behind Gualala Supermarket, one would never know that Sid Waterman’s unassuming Waterman Racing Components shop has held an international reputation for excellence in the great world of auto racing for more than 30 years and continues to be an industry leader not only for drag racers, but also for Indy, NASCAR, and USAC customers.

Sid Speed Inc.
Photo-Ron Brown

Sid started Waterman Racing Engines in 1967. He moved with his wife, Judy, to Gualala in 1979, selling the engine building part of the business and opening a new enterprise specializing in fuel delivery systems. In December of last year, Waterman Racing Components partnered with Aeromotive, Inc., and this past April was the company’s 50th Anniversary.

Joining Sid Waterman for the auto show and 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Arts Center will be his longtime driver Ronnie Hampshire, recently inducted into the Drag Racing Hall of Fame, his brother, Jeep, who built the engines, and Kent Fuller, who constructed the chassis and is also in the Hall of Fame.

As happens every year, car enthusiasts will gather in the Arts Center parking lot to show off their vehicles, swap stories and marvel at all the classic cars. Vehicles will be judged for best Custom/Modified, Hot Rod, Sports Car, Stock, and Trucks with special awards for Ladies’ Choice, Judge’s Awards, People’s Choice and others. The show is not juried and trophies are awarded.

It will be a day of great fun, good food, shared automobilia, and the ear-shattering roar of the Waterman-Hampshire classic nitro rail that set a world speed record in 1965!

DJ Sister Yasmin will be spinning the tunes all day long on the JAMI Amphitheater. Between raffles and speakers, Sister Yasmin, the coast’s favorite professional deejay and music selector, will play oldies and goodies for dancing and entertainment.


Sid & Ronnie

This half-century of automotive excellence is a tribute to the hard work, perseverance, dedication, and skill of a young man who paid back his sponsor at a drag meet fifty years ago.  Exactly how this unassuming man built a business with facilities at the Indianapolis and Charlotte raceways from his offices headquartered on Church Street in Gualala is an inspirational story.

It began when Waterman was lured to a Fremont drag strip in 1959.  The first moment he heard a nitro-fueled rail fire up he was hooked.  It has been his passion ever since.  He moved from his boyhood home in San Jose to Southern California to be near the center of drag racing.  He began wiping wheels on dragsters and worked diligently to learn all he could about making cars go faster.

Kelley Waterman
& Joe Douglass

In 1967 his life changed again at the annual Bakersfield March Meet.  He was one of 140 entrants trying to qualify for 32 spots in the race field when a stranger asked why he was doing poorly.  Waterman said he needed better tires so the man gave him $400 to purchase new tires.  The car qualified third and when Waterman used his prize money to pay back the generous sponsor the man said he had done the same thing for nine other entrants, but Waterman was the only one who paid him back.

Two weeks later the same man called to ask if Waterman wanted to buy his machine shop and that day Waterman Racing Engines was launched. His boss at the time encouraged him and gave two pieces of advice — (1) never put out a product unless you know it is the best and (2) be sure the product looks better than it performs. Waterman has always followed that business plan.

Sid Speed Inc.
Photo-Bob Brown

Over the years Waterman parts have been in Top Fuel, Funny, IRL Indy, Sprint, and NASCAR champions’ cars year after year.  He has even designed Formula 1 parts for the Penske organization.  In 2009 Waterman was inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame. 

Just last year he gave the introductory speech when Ronnie Hampshire received the same honor.   He has also received special recognition from the United States Auto Club and Car Craft Magazine for his engines and safety innovations, particularly for his fuel pumps.

Tired of the traffic in Los Angeles, Sid and Judy discovered Gualala nearly 40 years ago and fell in love with the area.  Waterman Racing Components has been a vital part of this community since Sid moved to Gualala to raise his family and fulfill his promise to his surfer wife that someday she would live by the sea.


Pinewood Derby Races

Free registration through July 10! After that, each entry is $10 up until 10: 45 a.m. the day of the race!

Cars must pass inspection to qualify for racing. Present your car for inspection from 10 am to 11 am, Saturday, July 15. Only 1 entry per person is accepted for each classification, and the racer MUST BE PRESENT for their car to be entered and run in the races.

Vintage and Unlimited class are open to racers of any age. For Vintage class, cars must have been previous Gualala Arts Pinewood Derby entries or built prior to January 2017.

Trophies awarded for:  First Place, Second Place, Most Artistic, and Best Time Overall.

See registration form for details about classifications and heat schedules, rules, etc.

Download your “Cruise our local Businesses” passport here.  Make a purchase at the 60 participating local businesses (listed on the back of passport) and receive a stamp or mark on your passport in the numbered square for that particular business. Turn your passport with as many marks as possible into Gualala Arts Center at noon on July 15 during the 9th Annual Gualala Arts Show.  The more marks on your passport, the better your chance to win the Grand Giveaway!

All passports will be entered into the raffle for the Grand Giveaway prize of a 2-night stay in House No. 4 at the Point Arena Lighthouse and dinner for two at the Pier Chowder House and Tap Room at Arena Cove. Raffle winners must be present to win!

The Grand Giveaway

Passport Raffle Prize

The newly remodeled House No. 4 at the Point Arena Lighthouse.

Coastal residents are invited to join in the fun of the 9th Annual Gualala Arts Auto Show with the “Cruise our Coastal Businesses” passport campaign.

Pick up your passport at local businesses, Gualala Arts Center, Point Arena Lighthouse, or download it here.

The business passport includes a full list of 60 local businesses supporting and investing in the Auto show and Summer Nationals Pinewood Derby event happening Saturday, July 15 on the Gualala Arts Center grounds.

Master Bedroom of House No. 4.

Carry your passport with you and make purchases at the businesses listed on the backside. You will receive a mark or stamp indicating you shopped there.

Passports should be turned in at the Art Show by noon on Saturday, July 15. Winners must be present.

The more squares marked, the better your chance to win the “Grand Giveaway” raffle of an Arena Lighthouse package that includes a two-night stay in newly remodeled House 4 on the property, a Full Moon Night Tour of the lighthouse and dinner for two at the Pier Chowder House and Tap Room restaurant at the Point Arena Cove.

The kitchen of House No. 4, Point Arena Lighthouse.


Special Guest Nathan Ogden

Motivational Speaker Nathan Ogden, who will be riding through the Gualala area during his “Chair the Hope” cycling event and will make a stop at the 9th Annual Gualala Arts Auto Show and Pinewood Derby on Saturday, July 15.

Ogden, a quadriplegic, will be riding a hand cycle in a relay-style ride with his wife and four children to raise awareness and money for wheelchairs to be delivered to developing countries. Ogden has broken his neck two separate times, leaving him paralyzed, but his disability has not altered his adventurous drive. Nathan, his wife Heather, and their children ages 10-18 will be cycling 1,200 miles from Mt. Bachelor, OR (where Nathan broke his neck the first time) to Los Angeles, CA. The Ogden’s know first-hand how a wheelchair can change a life.

Ogden will be at the Pinewood “Summernationals” derby for a while and then will speak briefly in the afternoon as his schedule permits.  “Some of my family will probably be going on ahead and then I will catch up. We are riding relay style, so we take turns,” he said.

The goal of “Chair the Hope” is to inspire people to get outside and keep moving despite disabilities, fears, or excuses while raising $100,000 to donate to the Wheelchair Foundation. During the past 17 years, the Wheelchair Foundation has gifted over 1 Million wheelchairs to people in need worldwide. Ogden said he and his family are passionate about getting kids, mothers, and fathers, off the ground and into wheelchairs to allow them the independence to live with hope.

Using his years of challenging experiences Ogden has found superior coaching and awareness for moving from paralysis to progress in all areas of life and is passionate about sharing this message. He is the author of the book “Unfrozen”, his story with a message to help others live life fully. “Our true potential is discovered by melting away our limitations and living UNFROZEN.” The book can be purchased at Amazon by clicking here.

“The Gualala Arts Auto Show tends to bring out a pretty passionate bunch and we are excited that Nathan can bring his message here and share it,” said David “Sus” Susalla, Executive Director of Gualala Arts.


Gualala Arts values and appreciates our many generous local sponsors who make the Annual Gualala Arts Auto Show and Pinewood Derby possible. Please offer your patronage to these valued businesses.

Trophy Sponsors:

Best Interior sponsored by Jim Iverson

Best Make-Out Car sponsored by Susan Grenwelge

Best Motor sponsored by KTDE FM 100.5

Best of Show sponsored by Go Local!

Best Paint sponsored by Franny’s Cup & Saucer

Custom/Modified sponsored by Sea Ranch Building Supply

Gualala Super Pick sponsored by Gualala Supermarket

Hot Rod sponsored by Susan Grenwelge

Mechanic’s Daughter Award sponsored by Kalynn Oleson

Jim Grenwelge Terrace Award sponsored by Jack Chladek (2)

Judges Choice Awards sponsored by Garcia River Casino, Rosie Iverson of Coldwell Banker, Black Oak Catering, Sea Cliff Motel, Gualala Country Inn, Steve Carnes

Ladies’ Choice sponsored by Gualala Sport & Tackle

Lions Club Award sponsored by Gualala Lions Club

Longest Distance Traveled sponsored by Redwood Coast Chamber of Commerce

Most Creative sponsored by North Coast Artists’ Guild

People’s choice sponsored by Westamerica Bank

Point Arena Lighthouse Super Pick sponsored by Point Arena Lighthouse

Sports Car sponsored by Hall & Jane Kelley

Stock sponsored by Jack Chladek

Surf Market Super Pick sponsored by Surf Market

Summernationals Sponsors: CNA Metal Works, Gualala Supermarket, Heart of a Child Toys, Dirty Jack’s Car Show, Sea Ranch Building Supply.

General Sponsors:  Franny’s Cup & Saucer, Redwood Coast Chamber of Commerce, Garcia River Casino, Rosie Iverson of Coldwell Banker.

Raffle Donations:  Anchor Bay Store, Four-Eyed Frog Books, Gualala Supermarket, Pacific Coast Center for Yoga, Pacific Coast Herb Company, Pier Chowder House and Tap Room, Point Arena Lighthouse, Sea Ranch Building Supply, Sea Ranch Lodge.

Raffle Sponsorship: Point Arena Lighthouse and Pier Chowder House and Tap Room restaurant.

Extra Donations by Susan Grenwelge

Pastries and chai provided by Cafe Selkie: Lovingly prepared by pastry provocateur Lua Hentschel, each treat is uniquely crafted to warm the heart, balance the body, and sweeten the soul. Lua has no interest in long lists with hard to pronounce ingredients. She insists on baking with true foods that are organic and locally sourced. Let every bite be blessed with milk from grass-fed cows, organic stone ground artisan flour, and butter delicately clarified to golden perfection. We hope you enjoy!

Music by DJ Sister Yasmin

Barbara Johannes on accordian


BISON® ORGANIC BEER: More than a beer, a movement.

Founded in 1989, Bison is an artesian company dedicated to brewing balanced, drinkable and 100% organic beers with an interesting twist. Bison strives to lead by example, educating that one need not sacrifice the pleasures of everyday living to be green. Bison is committed to reducing its impact on the planet through ecologically responsible choices in sourcing our packaging, production methods, and 100% non-GMO ingredients.