San Diego Automotive Museum, San Diego

3.6
#14 of 42 in Museums in San Diego
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The San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park in San Diego, California is a museum that features a collection of cars and motorcycles that highlight automotive culture throughout history. The San Diego Automotive Museum is a non-profit corporation under IRS section 501(c) It is housed in the former California State Building, built for the 1935-36 California Pacific International Exposition.
One of the signature cars in the collection is Louie Mattar's Fabulous Car, a 1947 Cadillac that was driven non-stop from Alaska to Mexico City and across the United States.

Exhibits are rotated every four months to bring in cars of different types or eras.
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San Diego Automotive Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
276 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • We are a family of boys and these guys got a kick out of this place. Ooh'ing and Ahh'ing at all the cars. I couldn't tell you the names of these shiny automobiles but this is great for any die hard....  more
    We are a family of boys and these guys got a kick out of this place. Ooh'ing and Ahh'ing at all the cars. I couldn't tell you the names of these shiny automobiles but this is great for any die hard....  more »
  • Visited here while at Balboa Park and really enjoyed it. It is a nice size. Not huge, but also not too small. They have alot of very nice cars and motorcycles and a lot of friendly and smart... 
    Visited here while at Balboa Park and really enjoyed it. It is a nice size. Not huge, but also not too small. They have alot of very nice cars and motorcycles and a lot of friendly and smart...  more »
  • If you are into cars/motorcycles, this is a nice way to spend about an hour. Small but well kept collection. I had never heard of "Louie Mattar's Fabulous $75,000 Car. It was worth the look. 
    If you are into cars/motorcycles, this is a nice way to spend about an hour. Small but well kept collection. I had never heard of "Louie Mattar's Fabulous $75,000 Car. It was worth the look.  more »
Google
  • Pleasant experience! It's just the right size! The price was well worth it! The vehicles change several times a year with a fresh batch of cars! We look forward to going back again.
  • Pretty cool place to see a lot of awesome cars ! We learned that the display changes so maybe double check what the current display is before you go just to make sure it's something you want to see. It's not a huge museum but they had it full and the employees were all really helpful with information and offering to take pictures of us with cars if we wanted. For any car buff it's worth the visit.
  • Great experience. Beautiful antique cars and motorcycles. Great graphics on the walls of each exhibit add to the ambiance. Very informative too. Nice gift shop with unique gifts for car buffs. Bought a beautiful coffee table book on vintage airstream trailers. Great gift!
  • A "must visit" museum if you are interested in the history of automobiles and motorcycles. The museum is easy to access from Balboa park. The Delorean from Back to the Future movies and the car that travelled non stop from South America to North are my picks among the exhibits here. In case you are flying in to San Diego pick up the coupon at the airport that will give you two tickets for the price of one.
  • They have student/military discounts. Not a huge space, but it's packed with tons of cool stuff. Anyone interested in cars will have a good time here.

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