Visit San Diego’s Automotive Museum

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

This classic Cord was photographed at the San Diego Automotive Museum that’s located in Balboa Park in San Diego, California. Some of the signature cars found in the collection are: Louie Mattar’s Car, a 1947 Cadillac that was driven non-stop from Alaska to Mexico City; a 1948 Tucker (#19); and a 1969 Fiat 500 that’s referred to as “Luigi.” Exhibits are changed every three months to bring in cars of different types or eras and allowing you to see something different each time you visit.

The original idea of creating an automotive museum in Balboa Park came from Briggs Cunningham and in 1979 the San Diego City Council  considered the issue and in 1980 they gave unanimous approval to the museum and granted a long term lease for one of the historic buildings— a former California State Building, built for the 1935-36 California Pacific International Exposition—in Balboa Park.

After spending  $1 million renovating and upgrading the building, the San Diego Automotive Museum opened in December of 1988.  Since then millions of local auto enthusiasts and tourists from all over the world have visited our world-class collection. It a nice place full of great looking cars that’s staffed by welcoming people and is decidedly camera friendly.

Open Daily:
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Last Admission – 4:30 PM

Free Tuesday (for San Diego County Residents only on select Tuesdays)
10 AM – 4:00 PM
Last Admission 3:45 PM


  • Adults (16 to 64), $10.00
  • Seniors (over 64), $6.00
  • Military (show ID), $6.00
  • Student (with ID), $6.00
  • Youth (6-15), $4.00
  • Children (5 and under), free