California Automobile Museum

2200 Front St, Sacramento, CA 95818, United States


The California Automobile Museum is a car museum located in Sacramento , California. It has a collection of over 150 classic cars, racing cars, muscle cars and early models on display across 72,000 square feet (6,700 m2) of museum space. The mission of the California Automobile Museum is to preserve, exhibit and teach the story of the automobile and its impact on our lives.


The California Automobile Museum was the first automobile museum to be established in perpetuity in the West. Founded in 1983 as the California Vehicle Foundation, the Museum opened its doors to the public in 1987 as the Towe Ford Museum, displaying the largest collection of Fords in the world, courtesy of Edward Towe, a Montana banker. Delta Pick Mello is the museum’s executive director.


The first car to be donated to the California Automobile Museum was a restored 1938 Buick sedan, a gift from John Joyce, president of the Golden One Credit Union, which is still on display in the museum.  In 1997, the museum was renamed the Towe Auto Museum, as it began displaying all types of vehicles. In 2009, the Board of Directors officially changed the name of the Museum to the California Automobile Museum, reflecting its expanded mission over the last 25 years.


Most of the 150 vehicles currently on display are being lent by private exhibitors. The cars on display represent a cross-section of vehicles driven in California over the last 120 years. Approximately 40% of the vehicles are owned by the California Vehicle Foundation. The rest are borrowed from private exhibitors and display terms vary from vehicle to vehicle, so the display is a constantly changing display of rolling stock[vague] to better tell the story of the development of the automobile and its impact on our lives. The museum offers daily tours. The museum regularly hosts special exhibitions, including one on pick-up trucks in 2016.


Motorworks is a hands-on program offered by a museum where students experience what it was like to work on one of Henry Ford ‘s famous assembly lines. Students take a guided tour of the museum and learn about the history of Henry Ford, the assembly line, and early Ford vehicles. After the tour, students form an assembly line and build a series of three-dimensional Model T paper cars together. Each student will take the Model T paper car home as his own memento from the museum. Motorworks shall be limited to a maximum of 20 students.

This amazing landmark is located in Sacramento, California and is only a short distance away from these other amazing attractions:


  • California State Railroad Museum
  • California State Capitol Museum
  • Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
  • Crocker Art Museum
  • Sacramento Zoo
  • Old Sacramento Waterfront District
  • Fairytale Town
  • Sacramento History Museum


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