As noted in his biography, Sid was one of Drag Racing’s genuine pioneers, building his first (of several) Top Fuel Dragsters in 1960. His passion was really the mechanical side of these high-powered machines, so the driving chores were soon relegated to Ronnie Goodsell, then later to Ronnie Hampshire. This gave Sid time to concentrate on building and tuning – experiences which proved to be of significant value as his business career began to unfold. He opened his first machine shop in 1967, and over the next few years, his shop turned out engines and components for numerous champions such as Don Garlits, Shirley Muldowney, Bob Glidden and a host of others. Sid ultimately developed his own brand of aluminum connecting rods, as well as his own line of superchargers for hard core racers.
It was during his engine building years that Sid realized the tremendous need the racing world had for really high quality fuel pumps and fuel system components. In1979, Sid and his always supportive wife, Judy, sold the engine buildingportion of the business, moved back to his native northern California, and set up a new shop dedicated to the development and production of state-of-the-art fuel pumps and related fuel delivery system products.
The first commercial fuel pumps designed and built by Sid were delivered in September of 1982; one to Billy Meyer and one to Gary Beck. Both cars set new elapsed time records at Baylands Raceway that very same weekend. Over the years, Sid has developed new port nozzle designs, fuel safety shut off valves, improved fuel cells for NASCAR and a multitude of other products that have provided extra power and safety for racers.
An example of one of his common-sense innovations is the practice of making both the pump housing and the pump rotor of the same material (aluminum) so that during operation heat expansion will be the same for both components, thereby maintainingcritical clearances and consistency throughout the entire race. Now, that’s how a racer thinks!
His efforts have not been confined to just drag racing either, as he’s earned a strong reputation in all forms of circle track racing including World of Outlaws sprint cars, NASCAR stock cars, IRL Indycars, USAC champ cars, sprint cars and midgets, and many other forms of racing. He’s readily acknowledged as being the leading fuel system manufacturer in the business. It’s worth noting, for instance, that every winner of the Indianapolis 500 for the last thirty years has been equipped with a Waterman fuel pump!
Sid Waterman spends the bulk of his time overseeing his shop in Gualala, California. He also can often be seen at his satellite shop in Indianapolis, Indiana and at his Concord, North Carolina facility. Waterman Racing Components, Inc. continues to develop products that provide racers increased power and consistency while always keeping safety foremost in mind.
Sid Waterman shown (below-right) in his display at the Gualala Arts Museum, not far from his California Corporate Office.