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    • The Waterpumpers: A 49 Year Dumont Tradition in the Making

      Catch the waterpumpers in action this Thanksgiving weekend at Dumont Dunes as the Dune Masters and Sandpipers club host their 49th Annual hill climbs and drags. The hill climbs are at Comp Hill on Friday and Saturday the drag races take place on the back stretch of the sand highway.
       
       
       
       
      Hill Climbs and Drags Schedule
      Friday, November 24th, 10am: Hill climbs at Comp Hill 
      Saturday the 26th, 10am: Drags on the back stretch of the dunes
      Sorry, Club members only in competition but spectators are welcome at both events.
       

       
       
      definition
      waterpumper
      noun: a water cooled, V8 powered buggy, typically front engine design and with massive or multiple paddle tires
       

       
       
      Waterpumper History
      Back in the 60's and 70's, the only buggies you would see at the dunes were cars that were powered by air cooled engines, typically Volkswagens and Corvairs. When the Dune Masters formed in 1968, they were putting together V8 powered buggies originally built from cut-down car frames. Back then, water cooled engines were new to the scene. They soon took on the name, "waterpumpers".
       

      The late Milt Clements completing at the Dune Masters’ 1970 Thanksgiving Hill Climbs at Dumont Dunes.  Photo courtesy of Bill LeFever
       
      As the waterpumper trend grew, the club would host gatherings and competitions in Pismo, Glamis and Dumont. These machines would be best known for their hill climbing capabilities. With their dual paddle setup and hand brakes that help the driver steer the buggy while it's front wheels are off the ground, they would be able to crawl up the steepest hills with their high torque V8 engines. The challenge of the hill climb competition is to be the last one to reach the top without stopping. It's a "snail race" or "slow drags" type of race...very difficult to do on a steep dune. When you see 3 or 4 of these buggies line up on the steep side of Comp Hill, it's quite a sight to see when they battle it out. 
       
       
      As the years passed and technology advanced. so did the buggies. Huge displacement engines were built as well as stronger rear ends and transmissions. One thing remained though, the styling of the waterpumper buggies and their dual paddle tire setup. These buggies have always been known for power and traction.
       
      This buggy, owned by Jeff Cook, cranks out 736 horsepower from it's 434 cubic inch motor.

      photo courtesy of Old School Dune Buggies and Sand Rails, Facebook


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    "Saw this on one of my solo rides and thought I really like what this represents in so many ways..." 

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