California Automobile Museum, Sacramento

4.6
#5 of 12 in Museums in Sacramento
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
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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. Ed Silva is the acting executive director of the museum.
The first car 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.
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California Automobile Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
328 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • The California Automobile museum is absolutely amazing. Brilliant range of vehicles across many decades. Incredible condition. Photos don’t do it justice! 
    The California Automobile museum is absolutely amazing. Brilliant range of vehicles across many decades. Incredible condition. Photos don’t do it justice!  more »
  • Wonderful collection of beautiful cars from the beginning to current collector cars and everything in between. The museum has volunteers that can give you a tour of it. Kenn the volunteer who gave us....  more
    Wonderful collection of beautiful cars from the beginning to current collector cars and everything in between. The museum has volunteers that can give you a tour of it. Kenn the volunteer who gave us....  more »
Google
  • We came here on a Saturday afternoon, and it was relatively busy. They’ve a range of cool, vintage cars lined up inside the museum. The entrance fee is 10 dollars per person. The person who was at the ticket counter was quite helpful. She guided us to the logistics of the place, and told us about the various cars there. They also have people working inside who can regale you with stories about the cars and the era from which they are. We spent a couple of hours here and it was great overall. They’ve restrooms inside, and there is ample parking outside. The staff is polite, and tries their best. It’s a must visit if you’re in Sacramento area.
  • Took family to this place during free museum weekend. There is so much to see and do here. There are some open cars to take pictures and plenty of interactive things for kids to touch and play with and learn from. There are also plenty of videos about the history of the autos and with a cell phone several stations have a QR code which will take you to YouTube for additional videos about the car and its owner. Props to the volunteer docents who are very helpful and have so much historical information to share. One of the best museums in Sacramento.

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