California Automobile Museum, formerly the Towe Auto Museum, is an automobile museum located in Sacramento, California. It has a collection of over 160 classic cars, race cars, muscle cars, hot rods and early models displayed throughout 72,000 square feet (6,700 m2) of museum space. The mission of the California Automobile Museum is to educate and entertain while preserving and promoting the automobile and its influence on our lives. The Museum is open daily from 10am - 6pm (last admission 5pm) and every 3rd Thursday until 9pm.
The California Automobile Museum was the first automobile museum in the west to be established in perpetuity. Founded in 1983 as the California Vehicle Foundation, the museum opened to the public in 1987 as the Towe Ford Museum, proudly displaying the largest collection of Fords in the world, courtesy of Edward Towe, a Montana banker. In 1997, the museum was renamed the Towe Auto Museum, as they began displaying vehicles of all makes and models. In 2009, the Board of Directors officially changed the name of the museum to the California Automobile Museum, reflecting the expanded mission it has grown into over the last 25 years.
Most of the vehicles currently on display are on loan from private exhibitors. Only approximately 25% of the vehicles are owned by the California Vehicle Foundation. Some of the cars are on loan for a month and some for five years, so the display is a constantly changing exhibit of rolling stock to better tell the story of the development of the automobile and its effect on our lives.
One of the latest additions is the Linda Ronstadt Porsche 911SC which is also on loan. It has been parked alongside Jerry Brown's blue Plymouth Satellite. Both cars are from the same era when Jerry Brown was first governor of California and Linda was his girlfriend.