|2200 Front Street
|Closed Tuesdays. Admission -10 am - 5 pm Last Museum admission at 4 pm
|Non profit organization - owned by the California Vehicle Foundation
|$10 Seniors 65+
|$10 Military & Students
|$6 Youth (6-17)
|Children under 5 are Free
Originally known as the Towe Ford Museum, it began operation in 1987 by housing what was then one of the largest personal collections of Fords outside of Dearborn, MI. In subsequent years, the Towe family auctioned many of the cars in its collection. As a result, the museum broadened its scope by including cars from other manufacturers and increasing its focus on education. At the time of the auction, the Museum was renamed the Towe Auto Museum. In 2009, the name was formally changed to the California Automobile Museum, reflecting the breadth of its programs. The mission of the California Automobile Museum is to educate and entertain while preserving and promoting the automobile and its influence on our lives.
The California Automobile Museum provides a history tour on wheels in a spacious 72,000 sq. ft. facility. More than 150 vehicles are on display, many of them privately owned, and range from the earliest models of the 20th century to prototypes of alternative energy for the 21st century. There are cars—and memories—for anyone who appreciates every decade in between, from the Model T and tailfins to the Brass Era or the speed of racing.
The California Automobile Museum houses an extensive research library and a Docent Training Class that offers 21 weeks of classes on every topic automotive, from the history of individual manufacturers to industry trends. The museum also offers an extensive selection of classes for both children and adults as well as monthly Family Fun Programs. Also available, school tours that are aligned with the California curriculum standards and frameworks.
The museum offers a variety of permanent exhibits that feature various eras of automotive history, from the earliest days of production to the influence of autos in the marketplace. It also offers a variety of temporary exhibits that feature unique vehicles or other auto-themed issues. A schedule of upcoming exhibits is available on the Museum’s website.
The California Automobile Museum offers unique settings with the collection as a themed backdrop for weddings, family events, corporate meetings and other types of receptions. Three unique rental areas include banquet seating for up to 300, with a stage, a conference room for 75, or our ‘50s style ice cream parlor.
The California Automobile Museum derives a significant amount of its revenue from the sale of donated cars or those sold through consignments. Cars available for sale are featured on the Museum’s web site.