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Car Culture in San Diego

The San Diego Automotive Museum gives true car lovers a glimpse at the history of cars, as well as introducing visitors to some of the most famous individual cars of our time. Located in Balboa Park next to the Air and Space Museum, the San Diego Automotive Museum features rotating exhibits so you can always enjoy something new when you visit.

The History of Cars

Unlike many inventions of our time, the automobile as we know it today wasn't invented by one pioneer on a breakthrough day. Instead, cars evolved as part of a worldwide movement, aided by an estimated 100,000 separate different patents filed throughout the years. In fact, the first steps that set the stage for the future invention of the automobile were purely theoretical drawings created by Sir Isaac Newton and Leonardo da Vinci.

The very first vehicle to be self-propelled on the road was a military tractor built in 1769. Invented by French engineer and mechanic Nicolas Cugnot, this vehicle was operated by a steam power engine, and had a top speed of just 2.5 miles per hour. While certainly not the most practical of cars, most modern historians agree that Cugnot is held to be the father of the automobile.

Since then, cars have continued to change and evolve into the gasoline-powered vehicles that we know and love today. The San Diego Automotive Museum allows visitors a glimpse at the older models of cars, including some very rare collectibles and special edition vehicles.

Although cars may seem largely interchangeable, there’s no denying that even the casual visitor can feel quite a thrill when they see the very car that once belonged to Frank Sinatra, the DeLorean from Back to the Future or Louie Mattar’s Cadillac that was driven nonstop from San Diego to New York and back with the help of a moving fueling truck.

Other interesting exhibits are rotated in and out of the museum, and have included such topics as toy cars, lowriders, and a Harley-Davidson collection.

Your Own Classic

If you’re interested in rare cars, or are involved with restoring collectibles yourself, you may be the perfect person to enjoy a trip to the San Diego Automotive Museum. If you already have a lovingly restored car at home, you may be interested in getting collectible car insurance quotes in San Diego, CA, which can have very different requirements compared to standard vehicles. Classic cars and cars that are driven only rarely often give their drivers much less expensive car insurance quotes in San Diego, CA, due to the low annual mileage they put on every year.