Warbirds Wings & Wheels is fun fund-raising event for Estrella Warbirds Museum, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It is normally scheduled the Saturday before Mother's Day in May.

This unique car show, along with an automotive related swap meet, is held in the midst of Estrella Warbirds Museum in Paso Robles, California. It's not only a great photo op location with cars parked next to your favorite warbird/s, but it's an ever growing event which ultimately helps fund the operations of Paso Robles' home grown aviation and automotive museum. And there's plenty for the kids to do. It's a family affair!

Warbirds Wings & Wheels 1 from the air at Estrella Warbirds Museum in Paso Robles
Warbirds Wings & Wheels 3 from the air at Estrella Warbirds Museum in Paso Robles
Warbirds Wings & Wheels 10 from the air at Estrella Warbirds Museum in Paso Robles
Warbirds Wings & Wheels 11 from the air at Estrella Warbirds Museum in Paso Robles
Warbirds Wings & Wheels 13 from the air at Estrella Warbirds Museum in Paso Robles
Warbirds Wings & Wheels 13 from the air at Estrella Warbirds Museum in Paso Robles

History

Warbirds Wings & Wheels originated in 2009. At the time, Estrella Warbirds Museum Vice President, Peter Visel, was looking for a way to celebrate the completion of the Brooks Building, a facility designed to house the overflow of restored military vehicles. The restoration crew had been doing an exceptional job of frame up restoration on numerous military vehicles that had been donated to the museum, completed in the condition as they were first manufactured.

The museum president suggested to the board that we have a car show. It was something different for a military aviation museum but it tied in perfectly with the plethora of newly restored military vehicles. There were mixed feelings on having a car show, but Mr. Visel was determined that it would be an excellent draw for people whom have never heard of, nor had been to the museum. As fate would have it, in early February 2009, James Stainbrook and Howard Love, whom were members of a local car club, approached the museum about the possibility of holding a car show for their club at the museum. After a brief discussion, a plan began to emerge for a combined car show.

A Planning and Execution Committee was formed with Laurie Clark (Registration Manager), Jim Stainbrook (Photographer), Howard Love (Parking Manager), Bernadette Visel (Graphic Artist), and museum President, Peter Visel. The second Saturday in May was chosen as there were limited community activities scheduled in Paso Robles and it was just prior to the start of main car show season. With less than three months for planning, organization, promotion, and way too many "Oh, you can't do it in that amount of time" comments, we were off like a bunch of wild rabbits. We had not done a car show before, so we didn't know that it couldn't be done in that short of a time period. It was decided to hold an "Open House" for the museum, not charge admission, make it a family fun day, and only charge for vehicle entry. Sponsors were sought, and we even had to beg for some initial vendors.

Saturday, May 9th, exceptional weather was in the forecast. One hundred and twenty people had pre-registered to bring vehicles. An additional 35 showed up at the gate wanting to register the day of the show. This was great! The visitors started to come. And they kept coming! Since we were not charging admission, the only way we could get a possible head count was to allow all attendees to vote for the winners. Volunteers gave out over 9,000 ballots that day before running out. The overall response was overwhelming, and definitely much better than anticipated. In spite of all last minute purchases for sodas and snacks to keep up with the crowds, the museum realized huge donations during the event - even after all expenses were paid..

Howard and crew did an excellent job of parking display vehicles adjacent to aircraft and military displays (and nothing got scrratched). The visitors loved it! The most often heard phrase that day was "I never knew this museum existed! I've never been here before, this is great!" Nearly everyone involved with putting on the show had the same opinion at 5 p.m. that day. "I'll never do this again!" But deep down, we knew we had started the ball rolling for the Paso Robles Community to have future events of the same type.

It was also during construction of the Brooks Building (remember - military vehicles?), that EWM member, Dick Woodland was approached by Gary Corippo and Peter Visel about the idea of bringing some of his racing cars down to put on display at the museum, as a "Thank You" for donating to the construction of the Brooks Building. One thing led to another and the basis for the Woodland Auto Display was born. The facility was under the initial construction phase during the first Warbirds Wings & Wheels. There appeared to be a great marriage in the works. So many people seem to have a need for being part of or witnessing speed. If it is not a supersonic fighter jet, it's a race car.

2022 marked the 13th Warbirds Wings and Wheels event. The show has continued to grow each year. It has taken a different approach to normal car shows, not being specialized in a single type of car. In 2022, there are over 26 classes! You could find classic cars featured next to a modern military fighter jet, or a Porsche by a Toyota or even a speed boat. We've had US National Champion Tractor Pullers display their wares plus local racing legends such as Parnelli Jones, Bobby Unser, Hot Rod designer, Bones Noteboom, Blackie Gejeian, TV personalities such as Dennis Gage (whom has been present for multiple events and film them for his syndicated TV series "My Classic Car". The event continues to be a major draw for Estrella Warbirds Museum in addition to raising funds for continuing operations. It has always been produced by volunteers. We'd like to keep it that way - a great draw and plenty of family fun!

There are plenty of opportunities for volunteers, vendors, and sponsors. Any profits gained form this event go directly into the maintenance of Estrella Warbirds Museum, a non-profit California Corporation. If it were not for the dedication of an excellent group of volunteers, this museum would not exist. Nor would the Warbirds Wings and Wheels events.

Estrella Warbirds Museum
Celebrating 30 Years!

Proud to be home of the

Woodland Auto Display

HOURS:
Thur., Fri., Sat., Sun. &
Legal Monday Holidays:
Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day:
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

ADMISSION:
Pricing and Special Group Tours (Minimum of 10 or more): Full Information Here



805 238-9317

4251 Dry Creek Road
Paso Robles, CA 93446