Reimagined Museum

Hydrogen shelby

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has had an effect on all, but it has not knocked us out. This past year has been a challenging year, but through all the hardships, 2020 was not a wasted year at the San Diego Automotive Museum (SDAM).

Like many businesses, the SDAM faced tough challenges and uncertain times, but rather than becoming a causality of the pandemic, the SDAM found ways to make the best out of a bad situation. In the past twelve months, the museum has been a transforming into something new for when guests return. Thanks to the efforts of the Committee of 100 and the City of San Diego, the exterior of the museum has been painted, and a generous SDAM volunteer, Mr. Brock, funded a lift that allows guests to access the second floor of the museum. The entryway into the museum was reconfigured, the store got a facelift, and thanks to a generous donation from Discount Tires, the museum has new flooring. Currently the Committee of 100 is installing replica tiles of the original 1932 murals on the front of the building.

As the San Diego Automotive Museum finishes putting up new vignettes for the guests to enjoy, the staff are hopeful once more. The staff of the SDAM have longed to have guests back at the museum and with many people getting their COVID vaccine and the County beginning to shift into a tier that allows the museum to open, there is light on the horizon.

Lenny Leszczynski, SDAM CEO shared with GB Magazine, “This pandemic has forced the SDAM to reevaluate and reimagine itself. Since we lost almost 80% of our revenue stream, we have had to get creative and adapt to the change. The SDAM will emerge from this pandemic better than it has ever been.” Over the course of the last year not only has the SDAM made physical changes, but also has built and rekindled relationships in the automotive community. Thanks to the support of companies like Precious Metals Fine Motorcars of San Diego, King Aminpour, O’Gara, Wheelhouse Credit Union, Sycuan, GB Magazine, JBA Speed Shop, and Carl Burger Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, and Ram the San Diego Automotive Museum has been able to make it through the pandemic.

The San Diego Automotive Museum has changed a lot this past year, and with that change comes new cars to share with guests. Guests will be able to enjoy seeing the only 1965 Hydrogen Cobra, the world’s first Hybrid Supercar that did the 0 to 60 in 3.6 seconds with zero emissions. For the first time the museum will be displaying a 1926 Pierce Arrow that was donated to the museum in December, and many other great cars and motorcycles. In addition to the vehicles, there is a section of the museum designated to vehicle art created by local artists. The SDAM will be hosting several small events over the next few months, taking COVID precautions and following CDC guidelines.

As you emerge begin to explore San Diego once again, treat yourself to what is new and exciting at the San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park.

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Kamran Saeed