Annual Warbirds, Wings and Wheels sees biggest turnout yet
By Beth Giuffre
Event featured celebrity guest Denis Gage from, ‘My Classic Car’
–Warbirds, Wings and Wheels returned to the Estrella Warbird Museum on Saturday. The show and open house has been going on for eight years, and this year, saw record attendance. As many as 4,000 spectators were counted this year, according to Carol Verstuyft, Event Coordinator and Secretary of the Estrella Warbird Museum. She said the appearance of My Classic Car’s Dennis Gage drove in a big following.
Veterans in lawn chairs talked with family and folks in front of massive historical warplanes; children discovered their Hot Wheels cars really exist in the “real world”; under car hoods, car owners talked shop with fellow enthusiasts.
Templeton High School sophomore Colton Cyester drove up for the annual Warbirds Wings and Wheels 8 event in Paso Robles last Saturday in a 1969 Ford Bronco. He just turned 16, earned his driver’s license one month ago, and this was his first car show. Colton and his grandfather were leaning down and low, examining the chassis of the black Vapor, a U.S. Air Force B-2 Bomber-inspired stealth automobile with radar-absorbing paint and thermal imaging camera- basically an upgraded, futuristic Knight Rider car. “It’s pretty cool,” Colton said.
Was the stealth ‘Vapor’ Colton’s favorite among the 245 car show entries? Colton said, “It’s really high up there … it’s definitely the most different.” Colton had worked to earn his Bronco since he was three-years-old. “I worked on it forever. I put disc brakes in it, power steering, and all that stuff. I worked on the car from the beginning.”
Every ten minutes or so, spectators put on the brakes and looked up as Navy plane rides and the ever popular remote controlled Cloud Clippers entertained in the warm, cloudy sky.
Meanwhile, inside the Estrella Warbird Museum, well-versed docents were open for questions among fascinating displays, collections, and war memorabilia; a father pointed out to his sons the same vintage sailor uniform he actually wore in service.
Dan Egan of Arroyo Grande, owner of a sweet1967 Toyota 2000GT (one of only 42 cars of its kind left in the U.S.), stood in front of his rare car and carried a conversation about James Dean’s sports cars with Harry Wouters, a Paso Robles resident who owns Power Performance Auto Machine Shop in San Luis Obispo. The event is truly family friendly, as many locals took the time to meet the owners behind the wheels.
Dennis Gage chose to interview several of the classic car owners for the My Classic Car show, which should be airing the first part of 2017.
- Model A Fords 1928-1931 stock/near stock: Model A Tudor, Paul Hollman
- Model T stock/near stock: Model T Depot Hack, Rob and Kelly Rohrer
- 1900-1934 Modified: ‘32 Ford Vicky, Mickey Evans
- 1935-1954 Modified: ‘37 Ford Tudor, Chris & Debi Silva
- 1955 to present Modified: ‘62 Chevy Bel Air, Randy Conte
- 1900-1954 Stock (except Model A & T): ‘31 Cadillac Viz, Tom Young
- 1955 to present Stock: ‘69 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham, William O’Neil
- Pickups 1900-1944: ‘33 Ford Pick-up, Larry Eastwood
- Pickups 1945 to Present: ‘55 Ford, James Mann
- Ranchero/El Camino- All: ‘66 Ranchero, Jerry Jones
- Pony Cars- Camaro/Firebird/Barracuda/Javelin through 2002: ‘69 Camero z28, John Campbell
- Corvettes 1953-1982: ‘61 Corvette, Anthony Charney
- Corvettes 1983-Present: 2009 Corvette, Richard Sherwood
- Mustangs 1964-1978: ‘66 Mustang, Donald Oldt (President’s Choice)
- Mustangs 1979-Present: 2007 Mustang, Scott Cooper
- Thunderbirds-All: Thunderbird, Larry Olsen
- Muscle Cars-All American: ‘69 Dodge Dart Swinger, John and Liz Coon
- Shelby Mustang/Cobra-All: ‘67 Cobra 427, James Ellis
- Sports/Foreign-All: ‘48 Thames Panel Van, Paul Hinkle
- Special Interest-Includes Air Cooled: ‘66 Corvair Corsa, Richard Turner
- Motorcycles-All: ‘66 Triumph Bonneville, Thomas Leatherwood
- Military-All: ‘45 Jeep & Trailer, Barry Lewis
- Modern Challengers: 2013 Dodge Challenger, Patrick Merg
- Race Cars: ’68 Silver Crown Race Car, Jim Wildharber