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San Diego Automotive Museum

2080 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101 (Balboa Park)
619 231 2886
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Ranked #114 of 220 attractions in San Diego
Type: Specialty Museums
Description: Magnificent display of vintage automobiles and motorcycles including a 1927 Bentley, 1931 Rolls Royce Phaeton and Steve McQueen's 1953 Allard.
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66 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    4
    1
Date | Rating
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English first
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
13 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014 NEW

This museum is not exactly large, but does offer a nice collection of vintage cars and motorcycles. A few of our favorite displays were the American muscle cars and the video about the first floating highways through the Arizona desert. I wouldn't necessarily recommend the museum for children, but any car enthusiast would probably appreciate a look.

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New York
Top Contributor
195 reviews 195 reviews
33 attraction reviews
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2014

Stopped in here when I was in Balboa Park, and I could take it or leave it. They had an excellent collection of American muscle cars and a smattering of other vehicles. Still, I only spent 30 minutes there and wasn't all that entertained. Gift shop was bizarre; they had a small collection of books, some wildly overpriced die-cast models... More

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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2014

My partner back at home is an avid automobile lover so I intentionally visited this museum to pick up a gift for him. The gift store was so empty and disappointing. It was like they had twice the room than merchandise and dusty books spread out. The actual museum was small and okay. A would have liked more background to... More

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Stockton, California
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
29 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2014

I love car museums and all types of cars but this one is very small, this is for me a one time only place nice cars and bikes but it is small, nice to see once

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San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014

I took my brother and father in law since they are big car guys. It is a small museum but the displays were nice and the staff there is amazing. My father in law had a question about a car he is restoring and they went above and beyond to help him.

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Rockville, Maryland
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
18 attraction reviews
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014

The San Diego Automotive Museum is a small but historically significant car and motorcycle museum in the Balboa Park Museum district. It is adjacent to the city's air and space museum, which makes it easily accessible on a one-day trip. The museum's permanent collection is small, highlighting Harley Davidson and Indian brand motorcycles with some foreign makes too. A number... More

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Saint Paul, Minnesota
Top Contributor
420 reviews 420 reviews
151 attraction reviews
191 helpful votes 191 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2014

I was surprised at how small this museum was, and that some of the cars (muscle cars, mainly) seemed to be modified a bit (wheels, mainly). But, overall it was worth the $8.50. I spent probably under an hour here and I was just expecting to be blown away, but unfortunately, I wasn't.

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San Diego, California
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2014

The cars and motorcycles on display at the museum were beautiful and interesting, however there were not a lot of items there. The place was well lit and clean. The majority of the cars appeared to be individually owned and were licensed, those were the muscle cars. I would have liked to have seen more history on automobiles, more signs... More

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Near Toronto
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
4 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2014

Lots of nice cars and motorcycles from bygone years. Price was very fair and the staff were always there to answer any questions. If you are into cars, this is a must go spot while in Balboa Park.

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Newport Beach, California
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

A small museum but packed with history! Much lower entry fee than some other museum's in the area. Highly recommended for any car lover.

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