Time Slip: San Diego Automotive Museum

California road trip would not be complete without a visit to a car show or an event, and on this occasion the venue of choice was a San Diego Automotive Museum located in the heart of beautiful Balboa Park.
 While it may be not the most famous museum in the world, it was definitely very pleasant and had some very interesting showcases of automotive history.

Sized at about a small hangar it featured mostly restored vehicles as well as toys, motorcycles and so on.
Restoration is definitely museum's emphasis as they carefully describe the whole process with passion and detail, starting at classic barn find, when a car looks like this. 

Perhaps it was mostly the nostalgic atmosphere of the museum and the rarity of the exhibits that made me feel as if I was in the middle of some form of time slip.

 And they had the right set of tools to accomplish that that feeling and completely forget about reality.

 Even at 88 miles per hour,
 no cop will pull you over.
 Even after a strangely enforced diet.

Jokes aside, as one of the first things that appears at the entrance is some serious muscle from golden era of cheap gasoline and large displacement, represented by 1968 Dodge Coronet 440
 With 5.9L V8, bucket seats and massive wheelbase
 Every detail inside and out restored to its shining glory.
 As in this 1970 Daimler Limousine

 Showing how comfort levels was taken to the next level even some 40 years ago.  Just look at this wood and leather trim.  Most manufacturers can't even match this in 2013.

 While this Muscle car from Studebaker is all about performance

 And raw power

 With enhanced handling
 Who wouldn't want to take this one for a spin?
This is an interesting piece from modern era.  This is the concept variant of the Nissan Z that was to follow the very successful 300ZXin 2001.  I think we are very lucky that the project got put on hold until Carlos Ghosn took over and overlooked the creation of the fabulous 350Z.
And this is how it all started: the1959 Datsun Sports convertible (AKA Datsun Fairlady in Japan) that was followed by the famous 240Z.  Amazingly, Nissan held on to the Fairlady namebrand in the home market until today.
Right behind it is a beautifully restored Ford Model T, A second sighting during the same trip, quite impressive for a 100 year old car, but then again, it's the first one that was mass produced.

Right next to it, the beautiful 1932 Cadillac Convertible, a true symbol of luxury and performance
even the old school California license plate still in tact, great restoration work all around

This 1947 Cadillac is avery unique exhibit, and definetely a great part of American automotive history.  It was purchased by Louis Mattar and modified for ... well...life in a car.

Event the old Q would be jealous of this creation
Louis Mattar's Fabulous Car was equipped with a radio, tape recorder, loudspeaker, extra storage for oil, gas, and water,
As well as ironing board, shower, cooking stove, refrigerator, chemical toilet, washing machine and a bar!
Louis Mattar and his co-drivers went into Guinness book of records by driving 6,320 miles non-stop and refueling from moving gas truck and changing tires on the go when necessary.  All that in 1952!  Full coverage is here: http://sdautomuseum.org/exhibit/louis-mattars-fabulous-car

Now time for some exotics: this car has defined modern day supercar: The Lamborghini Countach . No other car has as much visual impact as this 80's classic. 
 
Next to it is the awesome and rare 1966 Bizzarrini P538 Spyder.  Only 3 of these were ever built and I was lucky to have a glimpse at one of them.
Custom model cars were another big thing in this museum.
 And there was no shortage of them occupying several shelves in all shapes and colors. 
Being a bit of a miniature car myself, I couldn't help but drool over the craftsmanship in these masterpieces 

There plenty of motorcycles as well, from this classing road cruising Harley Davidson

To this beautiful speed record breaking Indian. 

Please scroll down for a few more exhibits and follow this link to museum home page, and if you are in San Diego, please do pay them a visit.  Thanks for reading, everyone!

 






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