When Bob Senz was growing up on an Oregon farm, there was one main rule for him and his brothers.
“If it had wheels on it,” he said, “you raced it.”
Those races in Beaverton sparked Senz’s passion for everything with motors — a fervor that has followed him nearly 700 miles down the Pacific Coast and driven him to create one of the most unique events in the West.
About 2,000 machines, including vintage war birds and classic cars from throughout the 20th century, will descend on Half Moon Bay’s airport today for the 21st annual Pacific Dream Machines Show, Senz said.
“You name it ... it’s at this event,” said Tim Beeman, the show’s spokesman. “That’s what makes this event unlike any other.”
Senz, a retiree who’s lived in El Granada for more than 40 years, first envisioned the event as a modest car show to raise funds for the Coastside Adult Day Health Center. Today, the festivities attract about 20,000 people.
In a separate event at the airport before the Dream Machine show, Senz will host a dinner at Eddie Andreini’s hangar with three of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, including San Mateo’s Les Williams.
Proceeds from the Saturday dinner will go toward scholarships for Half Moon Bay High School students.
Though still passionate about fueling fundraisers, the 78-year-old Senz is starting to slow down. He donated and sold all his personal projects last year, a collection that included cars, tugboats and airplanes.
“I think I’m running out of gas,” Senz said.
Show attendees can catch a glimpse of headliners such as the tallest rideable motorcycle on the planet and the Northrop-produced “Flying Wing,” a long-range bomber with two wings and no fuselage.
Also, the monster cycle will make its Dream Machine debut. Creator Gregory Dunham will haul the more than 6,500-pound behemoth to the event from Stockton.
Dunham, a 54-year-old southern Georgia native, said he heard about Senz’s fundraising contributions and was compelled to make the trip to Half Moon Bay.
“I heard about it and it sounded like a good cause,” Dunham said.
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today
Where: Half Moon Bay Airport, on Highway 1
Tickets: $20 adults; $10 seniors, kids ages 11 to 17; 10 and under free