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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...

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 118 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 23
  • 45
    Very good
  • 39
  • 9
  • 2

Had an enjoyable time at this museum. I found the staff to be very helpful. The majority of the cars here are American. This is great for an English visitors like us as you do not... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 4 weeks ago
Richard T
Leicester, United Kingdom

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118 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

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 

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
141 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Had an enjoyable time at this museum. I found the staff to be very helpful. The majority of the cars here are American. This is great for an English visitors like us as you do not see these automobiles in the UK. However a few more Euro cars would have been good. The Louie Mattar coast to coast car was... More 

Thank Richard T
Reno, Nevada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2015

This is NOT a decent representation of an automotive museum. There are a sprinkling of interesting vehicles there BUT it falls woefully short for things to see. For anyone who has NEVER been to an automotive museum it MIGHT (?) be of some meager interest. BUT, for anyone who has ever been to a REAL automotive museum, you WILL be... More 

Thank M B
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2015

We have visited before and had such an amazing first visit we wanted to come back. Our plans for the day revolved around getting here. As we pulled into the parking lot there was a procession of operable classics rolling through too. We were impressed! Maybe a car show!? We asked at the counter about it and the guy was... More 

Thank Alexandequa
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
759 reviews
661 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 571 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2015

It seems as if this is a small museum, but actually they rotate cars and motorcycles in to displays all the time from their extensive collection. Total cars and motorcycles on display is more than 80. They have classic Harleys and Indians in addition to unique cars from as far back as 1909. I found the 'Mattar Cadillac' which was... More 

Thank etweeden
Wa. State
Level Contributor
137 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2015

My opinion of this museum and the three others I visited is that they are not worth wasting a day in San Diego on. There are far better museums in in other Cities than what are in Balboa Park. Harrahs,Tacoma, and Henry Ford museum come to mind, I say go to Balboa park, walk around and enjoy the architecture and... More 

Thank Spokaneman1949
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
507 reviews
281 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 357 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2015

Some signature cars in the collection are: Louie Mattar's Car, a 1947 Cadillac driven non-stop from Alaska to Mexico City, a 1948 Tucker (#19) and a 1969 Fiat 500 that is referred to as "Luigi". Exhibits rotate every 3 months.

Thank Walker S
Level Contributor
99 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2015

We got to this museum looking for a short activity before leaving SD and were positivelysurprised. It has a nice selection of old cars and motorcycles from the early 20th century all the way to the 70's, most beautifully restored. While I also enjoyed the technical stuff (e.g. a motorcycle with a drive shaft), my wife and son simply enjoyed... More 

Thank SoCalJJ
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
33 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2015

If you are a lover of classic and vintage automobiles then you will love The SD automotive Museum. My Brother and love old cars!! if you have a chance to see some of these beautiful cars they have at this museum stop in and check them out! Their is a beauty of a Cadillac , I think 1939. they also... More 

Thank beahr
Warwick, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
60 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2015

If you love 1950's style American cars then this is a must. Great interactive displays for kids and lots to look at for the petrol head adults !

Thank Caroline R

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