San Diego Automotive Museum

Ribbon cutting

Library Grand Opening

The San Diego Automotive Museum held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, January 16th, 2024, to officially open the Berg Family Trust Library featuring the Skeets Dunn Research Lab. A vision nearly four years in the making, it marks the first time the Automotive Library has undergone a significant overhaul since the Museum opened in 1988. Jim and Jill Berg, Sharon Dunn, and Museum CEO Lenny Leszczynski among many guests and supporters attended the event, including a private morning reception before the Library was opened to the public.

The Library’s renovation was made possible by a generous gift from the Jim and Jill Berg of the Berg Family Trust. Thanks to an additional contribution by the Dunn Family, the Skeets Dunn Research Lab provides scholars and students easy access to the publications they need.

Sharon Dunn generously donated her late husband Skeet’s collection of Ferrari books and publications, some of which are rare or collectors’ editions. Additionally, Dunn Researchers who cannot visit the Berg Family Library in person can access parts of the Skeets Dunn Research Lab and collection digitally.

Roesling Nakamura Terada Architects designed the modern facility, while Barnhart-Reese Construction Company oversaw the Berg Family Library remodel, construction, and the building of the Skeets Research Center. A digital conception inspired by the San Diego Automotive Museum’s vision led to remodeling this 3,000-square-foot space while preserving the building’s historic infrastructure.

Additionally, Mr. and Mrs. Douglas and Nancy Barnhart underwrote the naming of the Museum’s gift shop, which recently received new flooring, thanks to the generous help of Metro Flooring. Barnhart-Reese has been committed to supporting the Museum for the past three years.

The Museum’s collection contains manufacturer publications on specs and components of automobiles dating back over 100 years, auto racing, and the histories of motor companies, to name a few. The extensive automotive-related publications include over 4,000 books, nearly 40,000 magazines, and over 3,000 repair manuals. Before the renovation, the collection occupied two rooms: the Library and a closet. This refurbishment unites the entire collection into one location, with the capacity to increase the collection by 25%.

The Library is a component of the Museum’s Capital Campaign, aimed at expanding the current facility to become the automotive hub of Southern California, occupying a spacious 56,000-square-foot area. The Museum’s interior enhancements will include an enlarged exhibition floor space, allowing for more interactive displays, as well as a stunning event space on the second floor, which will incorporate both indoor and outdoor spaces. The Capital Campaign provides opportunities to name various areas. For more information of naming, please visit


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Esteban Villanueva