Today’s Post by Joe Farace
One question I often get via the Contact page (and your 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 or I join her on a business trip, 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.)
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 using flash 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 with a private collection in San Diego. And if you’re in San Diego, don’t miss the awesome San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park. So always ask and always be polite.
Tips: 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 some of the projects they have ongoing.
The point of all this is to do a little research, ask about visiting and go during the week and I expect that you will have a great time meeting some wonderful people and photographing some amazing cars.