San Diego Automotive Museum

The san diego automotive museum and the new plaza

Get Your Motor Running

Opening in 2021 with doors closed due to COVID, the San Diego Automotive Museum dreamed of creating a world-class museum to emerge from the pandemic reviving the automobile’s past, present, and future. The physical changes came first – clean up the 87-year-old building with fresh paint, new flooring, fresh exhibitions, a swanky gift shop and classic car additions. The tile murals overlooking the Museum’s entrance were beautifully restored and dedicated by Mayor Todd Gloria in the spring. As restrictions lifted, the Museum held a grand reopening and a Museum-to-Sycuan car rally. Community events resumed – Coffee and Cars, local clubs displaying their prized autos monthly, and museum cars show at numerous events around San Diego County.

New CEO Lenny Leszczynski kept the dream going. He outlined the first annual signature event and dusted off long-forgotten plans for a two-story automotive museum expansion. The reimagining of the Museum launches a $22 million Capital Campaign renovation. It increases the Museum to 48,000 square feet, creates more exhibition areas, and includes a newly constructed entryway, welcome desk, classrooms and more. It encompasses a library overhaul to preserve the widest variety of automotive publications on the west coast. Plus, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: that of renaming the Museum itself!

Autumn weather gifted the Museum its party in the park – All Revved Up! This inaugural signature event netted an unprecedented $XXX, XXX, far exceeding expectations and becoming the most successful fundraising event in the San Diego Automotive Museum’s history. The sold-out crowd got in on the ground level of the Museum’s dream to complete this world-class institution and impact under-resourced youth in the community. Co-chairs Reena Horowitz and Jeanne Jones introduced the Museum’s Vocational Education Program. The trade school for underserved youth living below the poverty line will teach life skills and provide job training, helping them embark on meaningful, self-supporting automotive careers.

Looking toward 2022, the Museum will welcome over 150,000 guests, the library will begin renovations, and designing of the Vocational Education Program will start. A world-class automotive museum dream will get closer to reality. To inquire about naming opportunities in the Capital Campaign, contact Sharon Smith.

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Kamran Saeed