Annual Event Showcases Military Vehicles, Planes, BMX Stunts, Displays, Classic Cars, Kids’ Zone, Swap Meet, Food, Drink, And More!
There truly is something for everyone at Warbirds, Wings, and Wheels 11, taking place on Saturday, May 11 on the grounds of the Estrella Warbird Museum in Paso Robles. More than just an air or car show, this annual event with a festival atmosphere is chock full of exciting activities and plenty to do and see for the entire family.
“This event is for kids of all ages, from the little ones all the way up to the grandparents,” said Carol Verstuyft, WWW11 coordinator. “Youngsters will enjoy our Kids Zone with bounce houses, face painting and, new this year, the StuntMasters BMX with amazing stunts and jumps to keep the crowd engaged. We will also have a swap meet, vendor fair, live music, raffle prizes, a 50/50 drawing, and expanded food court. Warbirds, Wings, and Wheels is a spectacular event with so much excitement going on!”
Hundreds of Displays
All museum buildings will be open throughout the day. Families are encouraged to browse through hundreds of displays, situated inside and outside, with many in chronological order thanks to Curator Jill Thayer.
“Recently, we installed a 27-foot digital mural of C-47s with paratroopers landing in Normandy to honor those who served, and Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber, a WWII C-47 owned by the Gooney Bird Group that is a featured display at the museum,” Thayer said. “The aircraft is participating in the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy this summer and will travel across the U.S. and abroad in air shows and displays.”
See new aircraft onsite, dozens of military planes and vehicles, vintage cars, tractors, and more. The Woodland Auto Display recently expanded, gaining an additional 3,700 square feet for cars and memorabilia.
Fly an F/A-18 “Hornet” flight simulator, with a 4K screen, or take photos of the kids on a tank, a bumper car they can sit in, and a quarter-size midget car inside Woodland Auto Display.
New for 2019
This year marks JB Dewar and The Tractor Restoration Education Program’s first time being part of Warbirds, Wings, and Wheels.
We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to display our tractors and see all of the amazing features that are displayed at the event,” said Rachel Dewar, Tractor Restoration Education Program Coordinator. “We will have a handful of tractors from past and current contestants as well as their record books to display all the hard work that goes into their projects.
We hope you get the chance to stop by and honor our contestants on a job well done.”
Paso Robles native John Parker and his fellow riders will thrill the crowd with the Stunt Masters BMX Impact Show during three 20-minute performances.
“Our show is fast, action-packed fun but we definitely leave the kids with a positive message,” Parker said. “They’re going to take something away from the show and we want it to be a good vibe. We also talk about safety because we don’t want the kids to go out and try any of these crazy stunts; we want them to have fun without getting silly.
It’s mostly about getting out, doing things kids like to do, and being the best at it they can be.”
The StuntMasters shows are interactive with the entire crowd involved in these world-class performances.
“We want to hear everyone yell, scream, and get behind us, but we also do fun trivia quizzes and get volunteers to name tricks for us,”
Parker said. “Come on out and interact with the StuntMasters at the Warbirds Museum!”
Vintage Dragster Cracklefest
Be sure to bring your earplugs for Cacklefest! Get up close and personal with historic vintage dragsters — many front-end with drive shaft detached — and thrill to the cackle of their engines!
“It really is quite a thrill for people to see these nostalgic dragsters,” said John Husmann of the Throttle Merchants Car Club. “The majority were raced in the early to mid-1960s and were used in a lot of movies during that era.”
Referring to their appeal as, “taking a step back in time,” Husmann said the excitement surrounding the machines is truly contagious.
“Us gear heads really enjoy all the excitement and the running of the cars,” he said. “Really, everyone loves these!”
Among the many cars on display inside the Woodland Auto Display and on the grounds will be Bill Maropulos’ 1923 Model T, this year’s poster car. A highly-modified hotrod, the shiny burgundy-maroon vintage replica is an attention-getter.
“I drive this car almost daily, so it didn’t start out as a competition car,” Maropulos said. “But, I have to tell you, it’s so much fun to bring it out to shows.”
Maropulos enjoys talking with people about how he built his unique car. One of the biggest draws, he said, is the engine; it’s not built in the traditional manner but with many handmade, one-off parts.
“I’m excited about bringing this to Paso Robles and talking with people who appreciate what goes into building an engine and a replica car,” he said. “Car shows are great; there is something for the whole family. Different cars appeal to different people, so it’s fun to see all of the cars and the reactions from everyone.”
A raffle for a Tour for Two to Jay Leno’s Garage and an overnight stay at a hotel in Burbank will be drawn at the awards ceremony. Tickets will be available all day during the car show.
Planes & Aviation Club
On the aviation side, WWW11 will have some extra airplanes on static display including two large firefighting planes from Cal Fire. In addition, several privately owned vintage warbirds will be onsite.
The Estrella Warbird Museum Plane Captains will be in and around the aircraft displays to assist and answer questions. Brad Eaton, an F-18 simulator instructor, displays his antique aircraft, a Stearman PT-17, at the museum. He is a volunteer advisor to the Estrella Warbird Museum High School Aviation Club, promoting interest in aviation vocations and conducting lunch clubs at Paso Robles School and Templeton High School.
“Both form the Estrella High School Aviation Club, which promotes motivation through field trips, guest speakers, and community service,” Eaton said.
New aviation displays at the museum include a P-2V aircraft, now on permanent display next to the C-47. After serving as a U.S. Navy sub hunter, it was converted to a contract fire bomber.
“We also just received a beautifully restored 1936 42hp J-2 Piper Cub, which is currently in our main hangar and will eventually be hung for permanent display,” Eaton said.
In addition, the restoration department just completed renovation of the museum’s Huey helicopter which is now sitting with two other restored helicopters on display.
Parking, Food & Drink
With expanded parking, there is plenty of space for visitors. Keeping the costs family-friendly, the entrance fee per person includes free parking!
Be sure to bring your appetite and some cash as there will be plenty of vendor offerings in the food court. The popular Firestone Walker Brewing Company Beer Garden returns and craft vendors will be situated nearby.
“We gear the entire Warbirds, Wings, and Wheels show for families,” Verstuyft said. “And we like to get the younger generation involved in the military history so they understand how our freedoms come with a price. There are a lot of things that have changed and happened over the past few years because we are always growing and expanding! For those who think they’ve seen everything we have, I would encourage them to come out and take another look.”
Estrella Warbirds Museum Hangar One
May 10 • 6 to 10 p.m.
Enjoy dinner and dance to the foot-stomping tunes of Central Coast icon Monte Mills and his Lucky Horseshoe Band.
Limited to the first 250 ticket-buyers
8 and 10-person table discounts
Beer and wine available for purchase
RSVP to 805-286-5566 by midnight, May 7
or go to ewarbirds.org for more info
Monte will be back on Saturday to provide live music during the car show!
Estrella Warbirds Museum
4251 Dry Creek Road, Paso Robles
Saturday, May 11 • 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
*pre-registration required for swap
meet vendors; no drive-ups; no dogs
*museum buildings open at 10 a.m.
$5 suggested donation, free parking
and entrance to all museum displays
Kids 12-under & active duty military FREE
For more information, call 805-286-5566
or see ewarbirds.org