San Diego Sights

San Diego Automotive Museum

  • 2080 Pan American Plaza Map It
  • Balboa Park

Published 07/23/2015

Fodor's Review

Even if you don't know a choke from a chassis, you're bound to admire the sleek designs of the autos in this impressive museum. On display are gems from the museum's core collection of vintage motorcycles and cars—ranging from a Porshe, Ferrari, and Glitz & Gam to a 1981 silver Delorean (remember the time machine in Back to the Future?)—as well as a series of international rotating exhibits. Be sure to see the Fabulous Car of Louis Mattar, which was ingeniously kitted out to set the cross-country endurance record in 1952 (6,320 miles nonstop from San Diego to New York City and back, refueling from a moving gas truck); a video display shows highlights such as Mattar and his co-drivers changing the tire while in motion and pouring a glass of water from the onboard tap. There's also an ongoing automobile restoration program and an extensive automotive research library.

Sight Information


2080 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, California, 92101, United States

Map It



Sight Details:

  • $8.50
  • Daily 10–5; last admission 4:30

Published 07/23/2015


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