Visiting Car Collections in Your Travels

One question I often get via the Contact page (and you’re questions are always welcome) is where do I find some of these car museums I’ve featured here from time to time?
I’m not a person who enjoys vacations so sometimes when Mary twists my arm and I take a trip with her, I look for car museums or collections to visit. When we went to Las Vegas for our anniversary, I looked around and found the Shelby American Museum that gave free tours once a week and was collocated with their factory. (The Museum has since been moved to a separate location and from what I hear is slightly smaller but is still worth a visit.)

unser2

I would have never been to the Unser Racing Museum or got to meet and talk with Al Unser, Sr. expect for accompanying Mary on a business trip to Albuquerque.

Here’s what I do: I use Google to find car collections or museums in the area where I will be traveling. After looking at their website, I contact them asking if they have any rules related to photographing their cars. Stuff like rules about the use of flash (never use it) or tripods (never use’em in museums) or monopods (maybe sometimes.) Occasionally I get lucky and even collections that are only open for rental purposes for events, invite me to make an appointment to shoot photographs, as happened for a private collection in San Diego. You never know so always ask and be polite. And if you’re in San Diego, don’t miss the awesome San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park.

shelby

I try to visit the museums and collection during the week and many times I am the only person there, so the staff is wonderfully open and friendly. At J&R’s Vintage Auto Museum, the owners invited me into their restoration shop and showed me around some of the projects hey have ongoing.

The point of all this is to do a little research, ask about visiting and go during the week and have a great time meeting some wonderful people and photographing some amazing cars.