San Diego Automotive Museum

San Diego Automotive Museum The San Diego Automotive Museum located in beautiful Balboa Park offers a wonderful selection of vintage and classic American and European vehicles and motorcycles.
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Operating as usual

Join us on October 10, 2020 for our "Shifting Gears" Car Rally to support the San Diego Automotive Museum!The event will...
09/02/2020

Join us on October 10, 2020 for our "Shifting Gears" Car Rally to support the San Diego Automotive Museum!

The event will begin at the San Diego Automotive Museum with stops at JBA Speed Shop, Veloce Motors The Vault Miramar, and more! The event will end at Sycuan Casino for a celebration with lunch, opportunity drawings, prizes and trophies.

For more information or to register, visit https://www.sdautomuseum.org/rally

Space is limited! Registration is open to all car and motorcycle makes.

Win your chance at owning this 1968 Dodge Coronet while supporting the San Diego Automotive Museum! Exceptional ground-u...
09/02/2020

Win your chance at owning this 1968 Dodge Coronet while supporting the San Diego Automotive Museum! Exceptional ground-up restoration with a subtly motified 440" V8 and other muscle upgrades. Ready for show, cruise, or club drags!

Purchase raffle tickets by calling (619) 398-0307.
$100 per ticket.

1:3,500 to win; maximum of 3,500 tickets will be sold.

Raffle runs from September 1, 2020 - December 18, 2020.

San Diego Automotive Museum's cover photo
09/02/2020

San Diego Automotive Museum's cover photo

Firing It Up The Museum with the fourteenth video of the series!Hang out with us while we do some behind the scenes work...
07/21/2020

Firing It Up The Museum with the fourteenth video of the series!

Hang out with us while we do some behind the scenes work. A special thanks to our exhibitors for sharing their vehicles and being part of the museum. Special Guest appearances: 1971 Ford "Disco Pinto" from Mike Parente.
https://www.youtube.com/user/sdautomuseum

On July 16, 1935 the world’s first parking meter is installed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma!Born in January 1872, Carl Mage...
07/16/2020

On July 16, 1935 the world’s first parking meter is installed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma!

Born in January 1872, Carl Magee was a lawyer and publisher. In 1933 he joined the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and he was soon appointed chair of the Traffic Committee. In most major American cities traffic congestion had become a problem by the 1920s and 1930s. Cars would remain parked for most of the day in front of shops forcing customers to park far away. Tasked with a way to solve this problem he worked with Oklahoma State University. With the help of professor H.G. Thuesen and Gerald A. Hale, a former engineering student, the project moved forward. The Park -O- Meter was soon developed and the patent was held by Carl Magee. With a nickel per hour and a twenty dollar fine per violation the parking meter was installed on July 16, 1935 in downtown Oklahoma City.
For more information visit:
Okhistory.org

Hope everyone is staying safe!
07/15/2020

Hope everyone is staying safe!

Firing It Up The Museum with the thirteenth video of the series!Hang out with us while we do some behind the scenes work...
07/14/2020

Firing It Up The Museum with the thirteenth video of the series!

Hang out with us while we do some behind the scenes work. A special thanks to our exhibitors for sharing their vehicles and being part of the museum. Special Guest appearances: 1977 Chevrolet Corvette from Tim Foley.
https://www.youtube.com/user/sdautomuseum

Flashback Friday With The Car Owners! Check out the video on YouTube https://youtu.be/4NSkXHo_7gwThank you Joe for shari...
07/10/2020

Flashback Friday With The Car Owners! Check out the video on YouTube https://youtu.be/4NSkXHo_7gw
Thank you Joe for sharing your vehicle and being part of the museum!

Throw-back Thursday during the 2019 Pride Parade that we were apart of. Go One Park One Team!
07/09/2020

Throw-back Thursday during the 2019 Pride Parade that we were apart of. Go One Park One Team!

We’ve spotted some classics in sunny San Diego! What have you seen on the road?
07/08/2020

We’ve spotted some classics in sunny San Diego! What have you seen on the road?

Firing It Up The Museum with the 12th video of the series!Hang out with us while we do some behind the scenes work. A sp...
07/07/2020

Firing It Up The Museum with the 12th video of the series!

Hang out with us while we do some behind the scenes work. A special thanks to our exhibitors for sharing their vehicles and being part of the museum. Special Guest appearances: 1971 AMC Pacer from Mark Mendlesohn.
https://www.youtube.com/user/sdautomuseum

07/06/2020

Following orders from San Diego County, effective July 7, 2020, we will temporarily close to the public. This temporary closure is the best way to protect our staff, patrons, and volunteers. Please visit our website and social media for updates.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the museum soon.

San Diego Automotive Museum

07/03/2020

The ninth video in our series entitled What’s Under The Tarp is up on YouTube!! Have you ever seen a covered car and wondered…“What’s Under The Tarp?” Follow us on our journey to discover what vintage classic is beneath those layers of cotton. #balboapark #sdautomuseum #tarp #car #cars #hiddengems #whatsunderthetarp #whatisit

https://www.youtube.com/user/sdautomuseum

Richard Bowie Spikes was an African- American inventor. He is a holder of several United States patents, including autom...
07/02/2020

Richard Bowie Spikes was an African- American inventor. He is a holder of several United States patents, including automobile directional signals, the automatic gear shift and many more. His automobile directional signals were introduced in the Pierce Arrow and soon became standard in all automobiles. Spikes received over $100,000 for his designs of transmission and gear shifting devices. In the 1962, he was creating the automatic safety brake, but was losing his vision.
Check this link for more information on this story: https://aaregistry.org/story/richard-spikes-innovator-for-industry/

Check this link out to see more of the stuff Richard Bowie Spikes invented: https://historythatchangedtheworld.wordpress.com/2017/10/09/richard-bowie-spikes-african-american-inventor-of-the-auto-turn-signal/

We’ve spotted some classics in sunny San Diego! What have you seen on the road?
07/01/2020

We’ve spotted some classics in sunny San Diego! What have you seen on the road?

Firing It Up The Museum with the eleventh video of the series!Hang out with us while we do some behind the scenes work. ...
06/30/2020

Firing It Up The Museum with the eleventh video of the series!

Hang out with us while we do some behind the scenes work. A special thanks to our exhibitors for sharing their vehicles and being part of the museum. Special Guest appearances: 1971 Datsun 510 Wagon from Stephen Nobiensky.
https://www.youtube.com/user/sdautomuseum

06/26/2020

The eighth video in our series entitled What’s Under The Tarp is up on YouTube!! Have you ever seen a covered car and wondered…“What’s Under The Tarp?” Follow us on our journey to discover what vintage classic is beneath those layers of cotton. #balboapark #sdautomuseum #tarp #car #cars #hiddengems #whatsunderthetarp #whatisit

https://www.youtube.com/user/sdautomuseum

On Friday May 22,2020 we took That Rolling 70’s Car Show to the streets of San Diego! We could not take the cars from th...
06/25/2020

On Friday May 22,2020 we took That Rolling 70’s Car Show to the streets of San Diego! We could not take the cars from the current exhibit, so we enlisted some volunteers and people we know and took some 70’s cars to the neighborhoods of North Park, South Park, City Heights, Kensington and Normal Heights. We are looking forward to doing this again and we thank everyone who participated, so stay tuned!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oMaqZqGhbc

We’ve spotted some classics in sunny San Diego! What have you seen on the road? #ontheroad #ontheroadagain #drivinginsd ...
06/24/2020

We’ve spotted some classics in sunny San Diego! What have you seen on the road?

#ontheroad #ontheroadagain #drivinginsd #sdautomuseum #drivinginstyle

Firing It Up The Museum with the tenth video of the series!Hang out with us while we do some behind the scenes work. A s...
06/23/2020

Firing It Up The Museum with the tenth video of the series!

Hang out with us while we do some behind the scenes work. A special thanks to our exhibitors for sharing their vehicles and being part of the museum. Special Guest appearances: 1957 Chevrolet Cameo Carrier from Earl Whitten.
https://www.youtube.com/user/sdautomuseum

06/20/2020

The seventh video in our series entitled What’s Under The Tarp is up on YouTube!! Have you ever seen a covered car and wondered…“What’s Under The Tarp?” Follow us on our journey to discover what vintage classic is beneath those layers of cotton.
https://www.youtube.com/user/sdautomuseum

George Washington Carver is known for his inventions in science and technology, but did you know he was significant to t...
06/18/2020

George Washington Carver is known for his inventions in science and technology, but did you know he was significant to the early stage of automotive industry?

George Washington Carver was born in Missouri during the Civil War to slave parents. In his late 20s, he managed to get a high school education while working as a farmhand in Kansas. Turned away because of his race by Kansas University he became the first African American student at Iowa State Agricultural College, where he obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
George Washington Carver and Henry Ford were deeply interested in the regenerative properties of soil and the potential of alternative crops (such as peanuts, soybeans to produce plastics, paint, fuel, and other products). Ford believed that the world would eventually need a substitute for gasoline and supported the production of ethanol as an alternative fuel. In 1934 Ford and Carver began corresponding by letter and in 1937 Carver made a visit to Michigan and met Ford, which deepened their mutual admiration.
By the time World War II began, Ford had made repeated journeys to Tuskegee to convince Carver to come to Dearborn and help him develop a synthetic rubber to help compensate for wartime rubber shortages. Carver arrived on July 19, 1942, and set up a laboratory in an old water works building in Dearborn. He and Ford experimented with different crops, including sweet potatoes and dandelions, eventually devising a way to make the rubber substitute from goldenrod, a plant weed. This rubber substitute would become the main product for tires!
For more information check this link out: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/george-washington-carver-begins-experimental-project-with-henry-ford

photo:digilyfe.co

We’ve seen some cool cars on the road here in Sunny San Diego, drive those classics and stay safe!
06/17/2020

We’ve seen some cool cars on the road here in Sunny San Diego, drive those classics and stay safe!

Happy Father’s Day!To help celebrate the joy fathers bring to our lives, we are having free admission for dads on dad’s ...
06/17/2020

Happy Father’s Day!
To help celebrate the joy fathers bring to our lives, we are having free admission for dads on dad’s special day! We hope you enjoy the museum with your dad, especially if he loves cars and or motorcycles! *free admission for dad with a paid full admission



Here is a picture of my father, Gustavo, on his 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 Convertible. You can’t tell it from the pictures, but this beauty was red and my father loved it dearly with its 303 cubic inch V8. Some would argue the ’49 Rocket 88 was the first muscle car as it really was a rocket for the time and one of the fastest cars on the road. The genius behind this larger engine was Charles Kettering. The 1949 Oldsmobile was the official pace car for the Indy 500 in 1949 and won several NASCAR divisions that year.

---Pandora Paul, Curator, San Diego Automotive Museum

Firing It Up The Museum with the ninth video of the series!Hang out with us while we do some behind the scenes work. A s...
06/16/2020

Firing It Up The Museum with the ninth video of the series!

Hang out with us while we do some behind the scenes work. A special thanks to our exhibitors for sharing their vehicles and being part of the museum. Special Guest appearances: 1975 AMC Gremlin X with Levi's from the Dennis Duca and David Peck.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmG6Qp-s474

We will be reopening on June 19, 2020! Temporarily we will be closed on Mondays and open Tuesday through Sunday from 11a...
06/16/2020

We will be reopening on June 19, 2020! Temporarily we will be closed on Mondays and open Tuesday through Sunday from 11am to 4 pm. For everyone’s safety, our staff will be cleaning throughout the day and face masks will be required for all staff and visitors ages 3 and up.
Check out our website for more information: https://sdautomuseum.org/

06/12/2020

The sixth video in our series entitled What’s Under The Tarp is up on YouTube!! Have you ever seen a covered car and wondered…“What’s Under The Tarp?” Follow us on our journey to discover what vintage classic is beneath those layers of cotton.
https://www.youtube.com/user/sdautomuseum

Charles Richard Patterson was born into slavery in 1833. In 1862 he escaped and settled in Ohio and learned the skills o...
06/12/2020

Charles Richard Patterson was born into slavery in 1833. In 1862 he escaped and settled in Ohio and learned the skills of a blacksmith. He found work in the carriage making trade, where he developed a reputation for building a high a quality product. By 1873, he formed a business partnership with another carriage maker in town and around 1893, he eventually became the sole owner and renamed the company to C.R. Patterson & Sons.
At first, the company offered repair and restoration services for the “horseless carriages” that were beginning to proliferate on the streets of Greenfield, Ohio. By 1915, it announced the availability of Patterson-Greenfield automobile at a price of $685. Patterson’s company is considered the world’s first and only African American owned and operated automobile company.
For more information check out this link: https://nmaahc.si.edu/blog-post/only-african-american-automobile-company

06/11/2020
Fast and Furious Trivia

Welcome to our FB Live Trivia, with hostess Annie! Join us and have some fun ! Use this link to submit you final score https://forms.gle/usxgVXMwoNzERVN88

Great News! Last week we received news from the County of San Diego that we can move forward with our reopening plan and welcoming you, guys back on June 19, 2020! From June 19, 2020, we will temporarily be closed on Mondays and will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 11am to 4 pm. For everyone’s safety, our staff will be cleaning throughout the day and face masks will be required for all staff and visitors ages 3 and up. Check out our website for more information: https://sdautomuseum.org/

We have some great news for you guys! Last week we received news from the County of San Diego that we can move forward w...
06/11/2020

We have some great news for you guys! Last week we received news from the County of San Diego that we can move forward with our reopening plan and welcoming you, guys back on June 19, 2020! From June 19, 2020, we will temporarily be closed on Mondays and will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 11am to 4 pm. For everyone’s safety, our staff will be cleaning throughout the day and face masks will be required for all staff and visitors ages 3 and up.

Check out our website for more information: https://sdautomuseum.org/

Firing It Up The Museum with the eighth video of the series!Hang out with us while we do some behind the scenes work. A ...
06/10/2020

Firing It Up The Museum with the eighth video of the series!

Hang out with us while we do some behind the scenes work. A special thanks to our exhibitors for sharing their vehicles and being part of the museum. Special Guest appearances: 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline Deluxe from the San Diego Automotive Museum Collection.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBhA7S4LFVg

Join us on Facebook for our live trivia this Thursday at 2pm!
06/10/2020

Join us on Facebook for our live trivia this Thursday at 2pm!

We see you. We hear you. We stand against racism. The San Diego Automotive Museum is saddened by the reminder that our c...
06/09/2020

We see you. We hear you. We stand against racism.

The San Diego Automotive Museum is saddened by the reminder that our country is still struggling with racism and injustice. We will continue to stand in support of racial equality, in all areas of society. We value all our employees, volunteers, trustees, stakeholders, and visitors regardless of race.


Upholding the values of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility are important - we will continue to listen and work together to create an experience that is safe and welcoming for everyone, always.

We stand in solidarity with our community yesterday, today, and every day forward.
Black Lives Matter.

Address

2080 Pan American Plz
San Diego, CA
92101

Opening Hours

Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00
Sunday 10:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(619) 231-2886

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About Us

Mission Statement:

The Mission of the San Diego Automotive Museum is to tell the story of the social and technological past, present, and future of motorized vehicles throughout its collections, exhibitions, educational programs.

The original idea of creating an automotive museum in Balboa Park came from Briggs Cunningham, a renowned automobile collector and racer. The idea circulated for many years until an inspired group of local automotive enthusiasts propelled the idea forward. In 1979, the San Diego City Council first considered the issue and in 1980 they gave unanimous approval to the museum and granted a long term lease for one of the historic buildings in the jewel of San Diego - Balboa Park.

After spending approximately $1 million renovating and upgrading the building, the San Diego Automotive Museum opened in December of 1988. Since then millions of local auto enthusiasts and tourists from all over the world have visited our world-class collection. Today the museum stands as a living tribute to the automobile and what it has meant to our culture.

The San Diego Automotive Museum is a non-profit corporation under section 501(c)(3).

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