Waters family builds dinosaur art car


Richard Tomcala

The Waters stand next to their hippysaurus.

Mehak Batra, Assistant Business Editor

On April 14, a hippysaurus covered with rainbows, peace signs and flowers rolled through the Houston city streets for the annual art car parade.

The Waters family had been working on their dinosaur art car since Thanksgiving break and has spent almost all long weekends and breaks building and painting it. The work finally paid off when the family won the Mayor’s Cup, which was the parade’s grand prize, and $2000.

The family had gone to the art car parade three times before, and they found an opportunity to participate when they went to an old junkyard and saw a crumbling, broken-up triceratops. The dinosaur had originally been built in the 1960s for a California roadside attraction, and the family decided to make it into an art car.

The family painted the display with symbols that represent love and happiness, such as rainbows and sunshine. Sacha (’20), Thalie (’22) and their mother Gerry, who all did the exterior design, wanted it to be as fun as possible. Sacha’s father Louis and her brother Luke built the car, which involved designing, welding and wiring.

“As [the dinosaur] was from California in the 1960s, it seemed appropriate to embrace her hippie past, so she became a ‘Hippysaurus’, embracing peace, love and happiness for all!” Gerry said.

During the parade itself, the Waters all wore hippie clothes that were popular in the 1960s. The large size of the car made it difficult to transport it to the parade, as the Waters had to avoid several roads. The family also had to build a trailer for the car and obtain a permit to drive it.

When the dinosaur actually started in the parade, the Waters’ family met with viewers in awe of their car. In the four miles that the Waters drove the car, they met with an ABC news reporter, friends, and family supporting them along the way. 

There will be a showcase for the dinosaur on May 5th at Evelyn’s Park. The Waters plan to participate in next year’s parade and are looking forward to making their new car.

For the Waters, the best part of the experience was collaborating together as a family to make the car at the family ranch, located 70 miles from San Antonio. Sacha recalls the early mornings and the family’s excitement when the car was finally finished.

“It’s pretty amazing that we have had the dedication to build the entire thing,” she said. “Now that the work was finally completed, it’s impressive to look back and think that we actually did this.”