Situated right next door to the excellent San Diego Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park, the San Diego Automotive Museum is a temple to all things motorcar and motorbike, tucked behind the curved facades of the historic California State Building (which was built for the 1935-36 California Pacific International Expo). With an ever revolving collection and a mission to celebrate the Californian automobile scene, this then is definitely one of those places worth visiting if you have even the slightest interest in things on wheels that go ‘vroom’!
The big exhibit on the go for my particular visit was “Lowriders: The Art of Low and Slow”, and thus the main showroom floor was filled with an eye-catching rainbow of classic American steel and Latino styling. An incredible showing of gleaming colour and unfettered artistic ambition, and quite frankly, unlike anything that I’ve ever seen around South Africa, that’s for sure!
Officially opened in 1988, the museum has a good split between motorcycles and automobiles, with some exquisite (and sublime) vehicles on the floor. Mind you, there are some pretty intriguing and signature ones too, like Evel Knievel’s iconic Stratocycle, an actual DMC-12 DeLorean, and Louie Mattar’s Fabulous Car, a 1947 Cadillac that was driven non-stop from Alaska to Mexico City and across the United States (it was capable of refueling and changing tyres while being driven!).
All in all, a pretty interesting visit, lots of pretty things to take photos of, and like I said at the beginning of this post, definitely worth a stop for anyone who appreciates a good collection of historic bikes and cars.
As for me, next up it was off to check out an ersatz Japanese Garden.