On April 2nd, the San Diego Automotive Museum reopened and welcomed invited guests back into its newly renovated building for the first time since last year. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and regulations, 2020 was a challenge for all indoor businesses open to the public, and among these entities that were hit particularity hard, was the Automotive Museum.
Between March and November, the Museum faced a roller-coaster of openings and closures to survive. However, to remain successful despite closures, the Museum turned to the community for help, and they responded in amazing ways. The Museum partnered with Wheelhouse Credit Union that has subsequently increased memberships to the Museum by more than 20 percent. Additionally, Discount Tire stepped up to underwrite 18,000 square feet of new flooring for the Museum!
Some more renovations include a new coat of paint, both inside and outside of the building, and murals from the 1935 World's Fair have been installed on the outside as a nod to the building's original purpose. More information about the incredible history behind this building can be found by visiting their website.
New cars will also be on display for guests to discover and enjoy. The 1965 Hydrogen Cobra is the only Hydrogen Shelby Cobra in the world. It was an engineering exercise in partnership with Jim Heffel and the University of California, Riverside, as directed by Carroll Shelby himself. The car features a 427 gasoline Ford engine transformed to run on Hydrogen and was made with aluminum to assist in the breaking a Speed Record. The World's 1st Hybrid Supercar has an impressive background. Simon Hauger, an engineer turned high school teacher with an after-school program at West Philadelphia High School for troubled kids, had the brilliant idea to give the kids something positive to put their minds and energy into. The car runs with zero pollution, and not on gasoline, but on soybean oil. It has a VW Turbo GTI 4-cylinder engine, goes from 0 to 100klm per hour in 3.5 seconds, and gives 68 mpg.
The San Diego Automotive Museum is open daily, except on Mondays (Tuesday to Friday: 11:00am-5:00pm, Saturday and Sunday: 10:00am-5:00pm).
Photography by Gilda Adler