Past Exhibits

posterFlash & Flair: The Atomic 50s & 60s

February 14 through June 7, 2015

The American 1950s were a time full of excess, flash, and expansion. What better represents this time than the tailfins on American automobiles?

DesignFlairExperience the flashy design of extreme styling and colorful excess from post-WWII America through automobiles. Combine the early days of NASA exploration with the height of “planned obsolescence” in industrial design, and you get a feast of spectacular fins, chrome, and colors. Adults and kids will enjoy the display of these fin-tastic automobiles.

In addition to cars, this exhibit includes a wall of stylish magnets for visitors to design their own vehicle, a display of hubcaps and automotive ornamentation, and household objects from the time with similar design to the cars.

Exhibit sponsored by John and Nancy Tennyson.


Auto Exotica: A Celebration of Modern Supercars

December 13, 2014 through February 1, 2015

Ferrari_458_California Automobile Museum Exhibit Super Cars                    Ford_GT California Automobile Museum Exhibit Super Cars

This winter, the California Automobile Museum will host an exhibit of some of the rarest modern cars to grace the streets of Sacramento. These cars are the high-performance, rare, sports cars that haunt the dreams of many a teenager and adult alike. They look fast, even when standing still. And they are both beautiful and awe-inspiring.

This short seven-week exhibit will include a dozen high-end vehicles  and even a superbike! But what makes this exhibit so different from others at the California Automobile Museum is that these cars are not historic in that they are old. They are historic because they are game-changing vehicles! Plus, these wild beasts of the car world will all have been recently in production. Sorry Lamborghini Miura, we love you, but not in this exhibit.

In addition to helping complete the history of the car, these powerful, rare, and sexy automobiles are the cars that can make the boys and girls of today fall in love with the car world. The California Automobile Museum welcomes new museum visitors to this exhibit, where they can see all of automotive history come to life.


Museum members will enjoy free admission throughout the duration of these exhibits along with special discounts applied in the Giftshop and tickets to Museum-sponsored events. To learn more about these exhibits and membership options, please call (916) 442-6802.


 Selling the Dream dealerships - web“Selling the Dream: Sacramento’s Early Car Dealers”

Presented by Greater Sacramento New Car Dealers Association

On display from June 28, 2014 to November 30, 2014

Our newest rotating exhibit, “Selling the Dream: Sacramento’s Early Car Dealers,” is completely unique in comparison to our past exhibits. In particular, we are focusing on the entrepreneurs behind the auto sales industry in Sacramento rather than just the cars.

The experience includes 2D images of historical Sacramento buildings that were once vehicle showrooms, and an interactive display for making your very own video advertisement after a look at some of the local industry’s most clever ads. The interactive addition gives visitors the opportunity to become part of the exhibit!

Information in this exhibit has been curated entirely in-house which makes it completely unique to the Museum realm and the Sacramento Community. “Selling the Dream” spans time from the very first automobile dealers in the early 1900s into more recent years of the 1970s. Many stories of the people who shaped Sacramento’s culture and business, including many of whom are still very familiar in today’s culture.

Instagram Pics - WebBe A Part Of The Display

You can experience this exhibit in a hands-on and creative way.

Visitors of all ages dress up in costume and act like a car dealer. Once you snap a picture or video of “Car Dealer You”, tag it with #DealingDreams to become a part of the exhibit’s rotating advertisements.

For those who like to draw, you can also create your own print car dealer advertisement at a station (complete with awesome colored pencils) and post it up on the exhibit’s wall with historic advertisements from Sacramento’s car dealers.

Go wild with creativity!

Thank You To Our Exhibit Sponsor


Photograph courtesy of Dreyfuss & Blackford Architects.
Photograph courtesy of Turner Volvo.


Corbin Sparrow at the California Automobile Museum - current exhibits

A 2001 Corbin Sparrow. Also known as “Jelly Bean”

 It’s Electrifying! Alternative Fuel Vehicles in California

February 15, 2014 through June 15, 2014

“It’s Electrifying! Alternative Fuel Vehicles in California” presented by SMUD at the California Automobile Museum opened February 15 and runs through Fathers Day, June 15, 2014. This exhibit is a historical look at the progression of alternative fuel and electric cars produced with California’s trending market in mind. From a 1911 Detroit Electric to a sleek Tesla Roadster, Museum patrons will explore and discover the technology that has driven these cars through the past and into the future. Children and adults will enjoy an enlightening display of plug-in electric, fuel cell, compressed natural gas, and hydrogen vehicles that have been influential to today’s auto industry. For more information on our title sponsor for this exhibit, SMUD Electric Vehicles, please visit This exhibit is relevant to the California Automobile Museum’s mission to preserve, exhibit and teach the story of the automobile and its influence on our lives. The Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. This is an all-ages facility open to the public 10am – 6pm seven days a week.

Exhibit sponsors:

Basic RGB nissan                     Elk_Grove_Logo_rev_5.5_clr

This exhibit was curated with assistance from the Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association (SacEV).

“The number of electric autos on the streets of Sacramento is steadily increasing, and manufacturers look for many orders the coming spring and Bummer, so popular are the electrics becoming, especially among the women. Few of the gentler sex are seen at the wheels of the gasoline and Steam cars, but they handle the light running electrics with ease.

The Studebaker Company considers Sacramento about the most promising field for electrics they know of, and anticipate a fine trade in this style of car. The level streets of Sacramento, and the equally level roads throughout the valley are very inviting for the use of electrics.” – from “Auto-Notes.” Sacramento Weekly and Alta California. December 18, 1909: page 17.


California Automobile Museum Dirt Racing Exhibit Artwork

 Dirt! Racing on Sacramento’s Legendary Tracks

November 2, 2013 through February 2, 2014 The California Auto Museum is getting down and dirty with the new exhibit, DIRT! Racing on Sacramento’s Legendary Tracks. Get ready to look through the eyes of danger and speed.  This exhibit will host a variety of cars from the rich dirt track racing history in and near Sacramento. Think you know your super-modifiers?  This is a car class founded in the 1950’s and are definitely the most radical looking race-cars with an excess of 800 horsepower.  You’d be lucky to catch a close-up glimpse of one of these babies. All cars in this exhibit still race today in “vintage races”.  Some are completely original with only safety modifications, and vehicles include examples of Sprint Cars, Hardtops, Super Modifieds, and more. This exhibit was put together with assistance from the West Capital Raceway Alumni Association.



 Elegance in Motion: Cars of the Golden Age

lipstick-woman_a_1May 25 thru October 13, 2013 $8 General Admission | $4 Student | Kids under 5 FREE Hours 10:00 AM – 6:00 pm (Mon. – Sun.) | Until 9:00 pm on 3rd Thursdays Gallery Guide From the glamorous time of the Great  Gatsby, flappers, and early Hollywood comes a rare display of lavish  autos cultivated by the California Automobile Museum. Elegance in Motion: Cars of the Golden Age will feature luxurious marques from the Roaring 20s and Art Deco Era  highlighting over twenty of the most stunning vehicles ever  manufactured. “We like to maintain an active rotation of cars during our longer exhibits, such as Elegance in Motion, to keep the Museum experience unique for our members and returning  visitors” explains Executive Director, Karen McClaflin. Some of the  vehicles on display will head out to the Pebble Beach Concours  Elegance; this will give the Museum an opportunity to keep this  extraordinary display new and unique for every visitor. The superior display will include deluxe models such as Stutz, Hispano-Suiza, Duesenburg, and Auburn. View our Gallery Guide, here, to view a full list of the cars that will be on display. Museum members will  enjoy free admission throughout the duration of this exhibit along with  special discounts applied in the Giftshop and tickets to Museum related  events. To learn more about this exhibit and membership options, please  visit or call (916) 442-6802.   Lighting and Ambiance Sponsored By Rex-Moore1 Potted Plants Sponsored By pottery-world