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San Diego Automotive Museum

Neighborhood: Balboa Park
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Address: 2080 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone Number: 619 231 2886
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10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Magnificent display of vintage automobiles and motorcycles including a 1927...

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 128 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 24
  • 50
    Very good
  • 43
  • 9
  • 2
Great Place To Spend A Few Hours!

On a quick visit to San Diego we took a side trip to Balboa Park and the San Diego Automotive Museum. My partner was once associated with the National Automotive History... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 2 weeks ago

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128 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Level Contributor
71 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

On a quick visit to San Diego we took a side trip to Balboa Park and the San Diego Automotive Museum. My partner was once associated with the National Automotive History Collection in Detroit and is a librarian volunteer at California Automotive Museum in Sacramento: this is one of the many auto museums we have visited in the past few... More 

Thank ValleyPrimrose
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
52 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Some old, some new, some dreams! I loved the video about the flying car. I gotta get me one of those. LOL. The display and story about the $75000 car that non-stop traveled from Alaska to Mexico was interesting.

Thank Fain R
Level Contributor
57 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Museum had a lot of interesting concept cars. My favorite car was the $75,000 car that was designed for non stop travel and was self-sufficient. Enjoyable museum.

Thank Kathy R
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
114 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I can say with certainty that this could be better. I grew up in a household that worships the classic's and builds them. The museum is small, fairly inexpensive and would be a great recreational trip for school kids (usually boys). There were a few modern cars in there....motorcycles and 2 handfuls of classic cars. In my opinion the space... More 

Thank FritoG
Cary, North Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
55 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

A limited selection of cars and motorcycles on show. A lot of electric vehicles, this is California after all. Would not recommend if autos are your only interest.

Thank Neil H
Durango, Colorado
Level Contributor
42 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We spent about an hour at the museum on a rainy day in San Diego. I don't think you need much more time there--and I read most of the informational placards. The story of the "$75,000 car" is pretty interesting and there are some beautifully restored cars. If the weather had been better I probably would not have chosen to... More 

Thank Patty J
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
81 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2015

Let's face it, it costs a huge amount of money to have a truly A+ auto museum, so this is not in the top tier, but is decent if you have some interest in autos and no inclination to visit the Pedersen Museum in Los Angeles or the Mullin Museum in Oxnard. Good variety of autos and memorabilia and worth... More 

Thank Rexflash
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
1,027 reviews
488 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 655 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2015

The museum is right next to the Air & Space Museum (separate review) and it's kind of funny to see the futuristic cars inside along Indian motorcycles, antique models and the Horseless Carriage of Leonardo DaVinci next door, the latter over 500 years old... Admission is modest and if you are there anyway, take advantage and take a look. It's... More 

Thank Oliver S
Traverse City, Michigan
Level Contributor
339 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2015

Maybe in years past this would be an attraction of note but by todays standards it pales. Some of the cars are just normal rides like the BMW Smart car, a 94 Corvette and a Mustang. Whoopee! There were some one offs but 1/2 the displays were just space fillers, not interesting. Senior price was $6 each. After seeing this... More 

Thank Bill H
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2015 via mobile

I visited this "museum" with my 2 and 4 year-old boys. We were escorted to an old car and encouraged to climb in and take pictures. It was labeled as a car the public could sit in and enjoy. Then a very angry older gentlemen told me that the boys needed to get off the car (they were on the... More 

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