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“Limited and average gift shop”

San Diego Automotive Museum
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Ranked #87 of 434 things to do in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Magnificent display of vintage automobiles and motorcycles including a 1927 Bentley, 1931 Rolls Royce Phaeton and Steve McQueen's 1953 Allard.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Limited and average gift shop”
Reviewed June 28, 2014 via mobile

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 what I was looking at for someone who is not an expert in cars.

Thank Lisa D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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199 reviews from our community

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English first
Gilroy, California
Level Contributor
90 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Small but OK”
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

Visited May 2014
Thank Fredric C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
50 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Great Staff”
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.

Visited March 2014
Thank fadetoblack19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockville, Maryland
Level Contributor
47 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Auto Museum in Balboa Park.”
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 of 1930s and 1940s luxury cars are also represented, including Rolls Royce and Lincoln-Zephyr. A rare early 1960s bright yellow NSU roadster (Wankel-powered, like some Mazdas) was on display.
This museum shines with its temporary, special exhibitions. San Diego (and Southern California) is known for its car clubs, car shows, cruise-ins, swap meets, and overall, efforts to preserve and restore great cars from past decades.The featured cars during our visit were the late 1960s "muscle cars."
The exhibition was exceptional, showing such fully restored, rare cars as the Plymouth GTX, Dodge Charger R/T, Ford Torino Cobra, Pontiac GTO, Olds 4-4-2, AMC Javelin and Rambler Super Sport. It's not easy to gather all these cars in one place.
There is a small gift shop selling a wide range of automotive items, including themed art, clothing, and model kits (some of which are decades old).

Visited March 2014
Thank BechamelDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
594 reviews
229 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 265 helpful votes
“Small but good”
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.

Visited April 2014
Thank ScottyG777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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