RIDE OF THE WEEK! Automotive Time Capsules


Sure, you could wait for years until you saw a Model T or classic Caddy on the roads in Los Angeles. But thanks to several local car museums, you can visit and peruse some of the finest classic cars that ever were. Now, there was a time when I didn’t even realize that there were car museums in LA. Of course, everyone knows the Petersen, as it’s been here a long time and just got revamped. And although the cars are amazing, they are examples of vehicles that you most likely never drove in your lifetime, let alone ever saw.

But thanks to several other museums here in town, there’s everyday drivers that appear in their full glory. And all of them are just a hop, skip and a jump away from Malibu so they’re easy to visit for a few hours. Let’s get into them right now for a bit.

First up, the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo. By LAX, the ADM started out as a personal Packard Museum. Today, it spends its days doing amazing events with a collection or over 130 cars from the classic era. Starting in the teens to nearly present day, the collection features daily drivers that they actually take out every weekend to give visitors drives around the block. 

Nowhere else in the country can you go and actually see all these cars drive in the sun full of smiling passengers on a weekly basis, then get an in-depth history of all the vehicles with their amazing docents and experts. I’ve shot many episodes of my show there, including a complete history chronicling cars from the early invention days and up through the ’70s. A fun, interactive museum that makes for a day of spectacular automotiveness. They even have an ice cream shop, host weddings and have seriously cool events. Check them out at www.automobiledrivingmuseum.org.

Next up, The Murphy Auto Museum in Oxnard. Where classics reign at the ADM, the Murphy (run by David Neel) is a collection of automotive nostalgia that many cannot rival. In addition to the amazing classic cars, muscles and whatnot, the Murphy also showcases vintage trailers, bicycles, a massive HO scale train, an original Bob’s Big Boy and the actual robot from the TV show “Lost in Space.” It’s a serious treat for those who love ’60s sci-fi.

One of the best things about the Murphy is their shows, as well as the ADM. Vintage trailers, air cooled VDubs, station wagons … you never know what’s gonna come next, but it’s total epic coolness. My wife, Kathie, and I will be attending an event in Buellton, thanks to Neel, spending the night in a Vintage Trailer. All in all, a must for any Malibu car guy or gal. See more here at www.murphyautomuseum.org.

And finally, and recently featured on my show, is the Metropolitan Pit Stop in Valley Village. It features a collection of only about eight or nine cars, but some of the coolest you’ve ever seen. Focusing on the original Nash Metropolitan and with a full restoration shop, there are several examples of the car including a modified fire truck, convertible Concept, 1-of-kind station wagon and the original Astra Gnome from the 1956 New York Auto Show (built on a Nash frame). This is a very cool, heavenly painted museum that takes the visitor back to the ’50s and ’60s in style. 

These museums are certainly not all of them, but, as I mentioned, there’s the Petersen, the Mullins in Oxnard, Galpin Motorsports, The Reagan Library and many other hidden gems. I cover them all in my show, so come on over. But do yourself a favor as a true automotive Malibuite and get out there in a cool car to visit these tremendous automotive time capsules. Tell them I sent you and you may even get a free ice cream!

That’s it for now folks! More Ride of the Weeks are coming!

To suggest a car for Ride of the Week or contact the author, email askfireball@fireballtim.com.

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