The previous two California Gold Expos were such an amazing success that a third show seemed the right thing to do. The 2005 show (featured in the September 2005 issue of Gas Engine Magazine) hosted by Bob Critz of Vista, Calif., drew 44 California-manufactured engines. Many of these engines were owned by collectors in Southern California. It was suggested that if a show were held in the northern part of the state, many more seldom seen engines could be on display.
Larry Snow of Red Bluff, Calif., stepped up and offered to host the 2006 show. His collection of California engines alone would constitute a significant portion of the show. Mark Panzone from Riverside,?Calif., and Bill Baldwin of Rosemead, Calif., agreed to bring their large collection of Dutch ovens and feed the hungry exhibitors.
The show was held May 19-20, 2006, under the sprawling California oak trees outside Red Bluff. This site proved a perfect area to hold an engine exposition with the endless shade trees and beautiful surroundings. The featured engine was the Doak, manufactured in Oakland. A total of 10 Doak engines were displayed ranging from 4 to 40 HP.
With Larry Snow's collection added to the large number of attendees, a total of 90 engines were displayed. This more than doubled the number displayed at the previous year's show. I counted at least 27 different manufactures represented. Some engines were of unknown brand, so the number could have been larger. It was believed this might have been the largest number of California-made engines ever displayed at one time.
Nearly all the engines were of a rare breed and would attract attention at any of the regular engine shows throughout the country. Having the opportunity to wander about and see so many unusual engines, many mechanically restored to running condition, was pure pleasure to all who attended. If you own a California-made engine, be sure to watch for the next California Gold Expo and make the effort to attend. You will have a unique experience.
Contact engine enthusiast Mike Tyler at 320 S. Locust St., Ridgecrest, CA 93555; firstname.lastname@example.org