599 East Main Street
El Centro, CA
Features: Predominately American-Made cars such as Fords and Franklins. The Model “A” Ford Rich Alford bought when he was in high school is included in the exhibit outside. All cars are in running condition and have been restored to their original state.
Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum
2040 North Santa Fe Avenue
Features: Dozens of workhorse machines powered by, obviously, gasoline or steam engines. A visible history of American manufacturing devices.
Automobile Driving Museum
610 Lairport Street
El Segundo, CA
Features: More than 70 antique, classic and special interest cars are on display, including a 1955 Packard Caribbean once owned by the actress Jean Peters (a gift from Howard Hughes) and a 1936 seven passenger Packard Phantom,
purported to be a gift from President Roosevelt to Joseph Stalin. Rides in select vehicle4s are given on Sundays.
3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle
Danville, CA 94506
Features: Two spacious galleries display about 90 historically significant and artistically inspired automobiles, mostly one-of-a-kind, dating from the turn of the 20th Century.
Chandler Vintage Museum of Transportation & Wildlife
Features: This was home to the late newspaper mangate Otis Chandler's extensive collection of vintage and rare automobiles, motorcycles and trains as well as fine art and wildlife. The inventory was sold off in 2008. See an update here.
J.A. Cooley Museum
San Diego, CA
Features: This is a small facility in one of the city's older neighborhoods. It has 15 cars from 1886 through 1933 plus 25 categories of antiques represented by collections such as model trains, cast iron toys, spittoons, tools, cuckoo clocks, license plates, World War I posters, phonographs, typewriters, and cameras.
Hays Antique Truck Museum
1962 Hays Lane
Features: The collection includes more than 100 makes of old trucks, representing 94 different manufacturers such as Fageol, Freightliner, Mack, Sterling, Oshkosh, Peterbilt, Chevrolet, Dodge, and the one and only 1916 Breeding Steam Truck.
Marconi Automotive Museum
1302 Industrial Drive
Tustin, CA 92780
Features: A $30 million collection includes exotic cars, auto memorabilia, and convention and event space. Included are cars, motorcycles and such special groupings as "Ferrari Row," a line of Ferraris that includes a sapphire-blue Ferrari FX (seen here), the only one in the world. Many of the event proceeds help fund the Marconi Foundation for Kids.
Murphy Auto Museum
2230 Statham Boulevard
Oxnard, CA 93033
Features: This facility was opened in 2002 as a non-profit collection of more than 50 cars in the classic, milestone and special interest niches, including a collection of Packards from 1927-1958.
NHRA Motorsports Museum
Fairplex Gate 1
1101 West McKinley Avenue
Features: The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum opened in 1998. The 28,500 square foot building on the edge of the Los Angeles County Fairplex is intended to highlight the impact of motorsports on our culture. Hot rods, customs and race cars are featured.
Nethercutt Collection and Museum
15151 Bledsoe Street
Sylmar, CA 91342
Features: This is an upscale facility with a dress code. No jeans or shorts, for example. Besides classic cars, the collection has more than 1,100 hood ornaments, many crafted from Lalique crystal. Among its 200 showpiece cars are a 1933 Duesenberg SJ Arlington Torpedo "Twenty Grand." a 1932 Maybach Zeppelin Sport Cabriolet and a 1934 Packard 1108 Dietrich Convertible Sedan, the "Orello."
Petersen Automotive Museum
6060 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Features: The museum covers four stories. Permanent exhibits, including dioramas and experience settings, are on the first. The second is comprised of five large changing exhibition galleries with displays of race cars, classic cars, vintage motorcycles, concept cars, celebrity and movie cars, and automotive design and technology. The May Family Children's Discovery Center is located on the third floor. It's an interactive hands-on learning center that teaches children basic scientific principles by explaining the fundamental functions of a car. An all-glass penthouse conference center, founder's lounge and kitchen cover the fourth floor. Changing exhibits cover such topics as "Presidents, Popes & Potentates."
San Diego Automotive Museum
2080 Pan American Plaza
San Diego, CA 92101-1636
Features: An exotic and extensive collection that ranges from the first Fiberglas dune buggy to the Nash Metropolitan -- America's smallest-ever production car, three-wheelers, desert racing vehicles and motorcycles.
San Diego Firehouse Museum
1572 Columbia Street
San Diego, CA
Features: The museum, located in the city's Little Italy section, occupies the former home of Fire Station No. 6. It has a wide range firefighting gear, including such exhibits as an 1841 Rumsey & Co. piano box hand pumper that was retired during the Civil War, and a 1928 Seagrave pumper, equipped with front-fender holes for "blackout lights" used on the streets of La Jolla, CA, during WWII.
Simpson's Nursery & Auto Museum
13925 Highway 94
Features: This sprawling 25-acre plant nursery and garden center is located 20 minutes from downtown San Diego. In addition to being a horticultural center, it offers two barns full of vintage and antique cars for visitors to visit for free. One barn contains Ford Model T's and Model A's, and the other hot rods, classics and muscle cars from the 1940's, '50s, '60s and early '70s.
Towe Auto Museum
2200 Front Street
Sacramento, CA 95818-1107
Features: This museum stems from local collector Edward Towe's passion for collecting Fords. At one time, he had amassed 240 if them, which became the core of the facility. By the mid-1980s, his array was displayed in two separate museums, the Towe Ford Museum in Deer Lodge, MT, and the Towe Ford Museum in Sacramento. Local enthusiasts drummed up municipal and industry funding for a new, consolidated facility which opened in 1987.
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