About Us

San Diego Automotive Museum

Mission Statement:

The Mission of the San Diego Automotive Museum is to tell the story of the social and technological past, present, and future of motorized vehicles throughout its collections, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Diversity & Inclusion: Automobiles are for Everyone!

At the San Diego Automotive Museum, we strive to be as diverse and inclusive as the vehicles we display. Be yourself. Every race, gender, age, religion, identity, and experience is valued and celebrated here. Everyone is welcome, accepted, and respected.

Our Story

The original idea of creating an automotive museum in Balboa Park came from Briggs Cunningham, a renowned automobile collector and racer. The idea circulated for many years until an inspired group of local automotive enthusiasts propelled the idea forward. In 1979, the San Diego City Council first considered the issue and in 1980 they gave unanimous approval to the museum and granted a long term lease for one of the historic buildings in the jewel of San Diego - Balboa Park.  

After spending approximately $1 million renovating and upgrading the building, the San Diego Automotive Museum opened in December of 1988. Since then millions of local auto enthusiasts and tourists from all over the world have visited our world-class collection. Today the museum stands as a living tribute to the automobile and what it has meant to our culture.

The San Diego Automotive Museum is a non-profit corporation under section 501(c)(3).

Read our Grand Opening Newsletter from Winter/Spring of 1988! (Thanks to David Rios.)


Board of Directors

Our current elected and distinguished Board of Directors serving the San Diego Automotive Museum during 2020-2021 are:

President: Jere McInerney

First Vice President: Carl Strona

Second Vice President: Michael Harris 

Secretary: Terry Tilton

Treasurer: Richard Davidson


Barry Appelbaum

J.C. Dumas

Dr. Ed Schechter

Robert Schlotter

Robert Wong

David Young

Museum Staff


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