California Automobile Museum, Sacramento

#5 of 12 in Museums in Sacramento
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
California Automobile Museum is an automobile museum located in Sacramento, California. It has a collection of over 150 classic cars, race cars, muscle cars and early models displayed throughout 72,000 square feet (6,700 m2) of museum space. The mission of the California Automobile Museum is to preserve, exhibit, and teach the story of the automobile and its influence on our lives.
The California Automobile Museum was the first automobile museum in the west to be established in perpetuity. Founded in 1983 as the California Vehicle Foundation, the museum opened to the public in 1987 as the Towe Ford Museum, displaying the largest collection of Fords in the world, courtesy of Edward Towe, a Montana banker. Delta Pick Mello is the executive director of the museum.
The first auto to be donated to the California Automobile Museum was a restored 1938 Buick sedan, a gift from John Joyce, president of the Golden One Credit Union, which is still on display at the museum. In 1997, the museum was renamed the Towe Auto Museum, as they began displaying vehicles of all makes and models. In 2009, the Board of Directors officially changed the name of the museum to the California Automobile Museum, reflecting the expanded mission it has grown into over the last 25 years.

Plan to visit California Automobile Museum during your Sacramento vacation using our convenient Sacramento vacation builder app.
Create an itinerary including California Automobile Museum
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

California Automobile Museum reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
325 reviews
  • 4 of us went there and spent over 2 hours walking around the museum. Great nostalgia and eccentric assortment of cars. Definitely worth the minimal entrance fee we thought.  more »
  • This museum is unique, you can see vintage cars in great shape and most people tend to go back and think of their youth or childhood. It is located in a place with lots of parking and close to the...  more »
  • As a surprise for my wife, who is much more interested in cars than I am, I found this place almost by happenstance. The volunteers are extremely friendly and knowledgeable, and my wife is now super excited by the thought of learning how to drive a Model T. Classes are available via their website. This is a fantastic snapshot of automobile history; incredibly well planned and very educational. We were especially impressed with the level of involvemenf of the local clubs as well as the availability of some beautiful classics for sale.
  • I was fortunate enough to have a work meeting at the CA Auto Museum. Meeting was in large room capable of hosting banquets or large meetings. After we were able to view the amazing selection of cars. By far the best collection of old vehicles and memorabilia for miles. Its an event the entire family will enjoy. Docents are very knowledgeable. Several really rare old cars. Like the original horseless carriage! Very worthwhile if you like car museums. Located close to old downtown so very convenient if you are down there exploring.

Plan your trip to Sacramento

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.