Download the registration forms 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!
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.
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 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!
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 cards go faster.
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 paid for $ 400 worth of 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 — never put out a product unless you know it is the best and be sure the product looks better than it performs. Waterman has always followed that business plan.
Over the years Waterman parts have been on 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.