The Hangar Project

Our local non-profit organization The Community Hot Rod Project asks our local community to partner with our group in the efforts to save the Western General Hangars. Having this opportunity to restore these historical landmarks to their potential will increase tourism to the area exponentially and local businesses will thrive from the amount of patronage it will attract. This will put Santa Barbara & Goleta on the map in another great way. Our organization has partnered with many well-known local non-profit organizations including, The Police Activities League, The Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara, The Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation as a united front to better the lives of our local youth and community as a whole.

The mixture of automotive and aviation history at these hangars is extensive, and we aim to save them and educate future generations about the importance of this site. Most people know the aviation history of the hangars, but fewer know that this very site shared strong automotive historical roots. Just out front of the hangars was the location of the first sanction drag race in the United States as well was home to what become known as the Santa Barbara Road Races that featured many celebrities including James Dean who frequent the track. Positioned between the two hangars was the grandstand for spectators of the races. The outlines of those bleachers are still visible on both sides of the hangar’s walls today.

Our non-profit organization would like the opportunity to make this happen for our town and are prepared to fund the restorations and construction of the grounds. We have identified several funding opportunities from local and federal grants totaling to the amount of $1.5 million on top of the community and private donors that are ready and willing to donate to save these hangars and help our organization with our vision for this property.

We envision the restored hangers as a landmark in our community as a living monument to Goleta’s unique aviation and automotive history. As many of you may already know, Southern California is known for its classic car and historical aviation culture. We see the hangars restored back to their former glory, with the inside of one of them set up for use as our non-profit’s headquarters and workshop space. The second hanger, we would be set up as the Santa Barbara Automotive & Aviation History Museum. This museum would showcase a rotating collection Santa Barbara’s unique local Automotive and Aviation memorabilia as well as sever as a home for the Airports new Visitors center stylized in period correct atmosphere. We see the exterior grounds all redone and manicured as a high-end event center where people can come gather for car shows, cruise nights, community outreach events and more. Imagine taking in the sights of the grounds as you watch the airplanes taking off and landing in the evenings on the weekends, hanging out and relaxing with the family at a cruise night event with a pop-up drive-in movie screen playing classics.

We asked local high school art students to render some design ideas that would capture the potential of the site and we held a competition and the winner’s artwork we have as part of our formal proposal package for your review. Just like all our projects and restorations on cars, they all start with inspiration through renderings and creative ideas from people of all ages in our local community. These Hangars are an important piece of history that connects our community and are worth the effort to save and gift to future generations.

Thank you again for considering our proposal and we are eager for this potential opportunity to work with you on saving our history.

If you are interested in helping make this happen please email:

You may also like

View all
Example blog post
Example blog post
Example blog post