2012 Pacific Coast Dream Machines

April 28-29, 2012

What is the Pacific Coast Dream Machines? It’s an annual springtime car, plane, motorcycle, tractor, military vehicle, and helicopter show held at the Half Moon Bay airport. It is quite impressive, not only for the variety of vehicles, but also for the feel: you can walk right up to nearly everything and stare at it from a few inches away, and are highly likely to talk to the owner. The only restricted access was to the runway – where the World War II planes were taking off, landing, and refueling. No problem – you could walk right up to the edge. Attendees could even go for a monster truck ride or a flight in a World War two fighter or bomber, the latter two would empty your pocket much more quickly than the former, but imagine the views!

My dad, brother, and I met up early and carpooled down from San Francisco. It was a gorgeous spring day – nary a cloud in the sky, perfect for a leisurely drive down Highway 1. We paused for coffee in Pacifica and continued down along Devil’s Slide. The construction work with those tunnels and bridges is quite impressive. With barely any other traffic on the road, we arrived at the Half Moon Bay airport, easily parked, and entered the grounds.

Wow. The first row of vehicles weren’t vehicles at all, but old one cylinder “hit-and-miss” engines. Their distinctive firing and exhaust sound gives them their name. The next set of vehicles was a group of motorcycles, including one that was fifteen feet tall. After clambering up the side of that monstrosity, the driver would sit perched high in the air; for some reason it reminded me of a childhood thought of what riding a Tyrannosaurus Rex might be like. We then walked down one of the runways and admired car after car. Most were immaculate restored with flawless paint, shiny chrome, and beautiful interiors, but there were a few originals, with decades of use and wear displayed in their patina. I wonder what would happen if cars and trucks could talk and share their history. That would make for quite a collection of stories. Click here for the rest of the article.

Photos by Dan Bowermaster