Pacific Coast Dream Machines: All things for all engines

James Raia

The recent 27th annual Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show occurred exactly as billed. Trailer queens to muscle cars, dragsters to junkers, rarities to one-of-kind machines that looked like they were made for Mad Max movies, were all displayed at the Half Moon Bay Airport, 20 miles south of San Francisco.

The all-inclusive event, a charity for an area adult daycare center, works well under the premise of 84-year-old founder Bob Senz, who says: “If it’s a mean matchine, you bring it.”

Pacific Coast Dream Machines: All things for all engines 1
A vintage Jaguar XKE, often called the most beautiful car ever made, on display at the April 30 at the Pacific Coast Dreams Machine Show in Half Moon Bay, California. All images © Bruce Aldrich/2017 (

Senz’s description works, albeit with a loose description of the word “mean.” Perhaps better described, about 2,000 vehicles on display were the possessions of passionate owners, whether the “mean machine” was a valuable vintage car or a vehicle of sentimental value.

The show has worked well for years for several other reasons. It’s well organized. The entrance is a narrow road into a parking in an open field. But the event’s parking crew was efficient and the flow worked well.

How the vehicles were presented was another highlight. Unlike some auto shows, where vehicles are positioned too close together, there was ample space at the Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show to walk around and explore entire vehicles.

Equally cool is the all-inclusive format. In addition to numerous fascinating vehicles — sports cars, custom cars, street rods, muscle cars, vintage and modern high-performance race cars, art and pedal cars, modified street machines, low riders, compacts, modified imports and hip-hop machines — aviation enthusiasts got to view their share of history.

The airport provided an ideal setting for fly-overs by A B-25 Bomber, C-47 Skytrain, several P-51 Mustangs, YAK Russian fighters, U.S. military fighters, helicopters, stunt planes and bi-planes.

The six-hour show also defined sensory overload in other areas: high-flying freestyle motorcycle stunt shows, skydiving performances, monster truck rides, drag races, dynojet dynamometer performance testing as well as a zip-line and a bungee jump.

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Article Last Updated: May 12, 2017.

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