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2018 Insider's Guide to Automotive Museums

“This Insider’s Guide to Automotive Museums is a dream come true for me.
I have long wanted a listing of the most significant museums in the U.S. in one easy-to-access digest. This guide fulfills that need. I’m keeping a copy in my glovebox.

I love automotive museums of all types, from the rigorous, intellectually challenging Petersen and Revs collections to “I bought it because I liked it” private collections. The history of the automobile spans little more than 130 years, starting with the Benz Patent-Motorwagen in 1886. Thus in a single museum you can often follow the evolution of the motor car from the horseless carriage to the Bugatti Chiron.

As you stroll through the museums listed here, reflect on what the cars on display tell you about the tastes of the owners who collected them. The cars and the people behind them are inextricably intertwined, as it should be with these four-wheeled chariots of passion.”
— Keith Martin, Publisher, Sports Car Market


European train display at Blackhawk carries visitors to another era

“DANVILLE — From a 3-year-old boy’s wonderment to a college grad’s best excuse to hang out with kids to a 66-year-old computer hacker dude’s delight, model trains are a multigenerational treat.

At the 16th annual European Train Enthusiasts (ETE) Modular Group display presented by the Blackhawk Museum, scale versions of locomotives, freight and passenger trains zip through miniature European landscapes and villages at Blackhawk Plaza Shopping Center. A whistle and smoke puffing from a tiny smoke stack on a red, white and silver locomotive garners a one-word whisper from Luca Kurpinsky, age 3, who says it all: “Wow.””


Transatlantic Style at the Blackhawk

“This year, the Blackhawk Museum in Danville California, along with the Museo Dell’Automobile di Torino, collaborated on a presentation of postwar classic automobiles that depict the crossroads of American and Italian design in the 1950s and 60s.

Stile Transatlantico / Transatlantic Style: A Romance of Fins and Chrome is also the accompanying English/Italian coffee table book, written by Donald Osborne, with contributions from serious collectors Don Williams and Corrado Lopresto. Osborne’s book was published in 2016 before the opening of the exhibitions and formed the basis for both.”

August 1, 2017 –

Linda Ronstadt to talk about fight with Parkinson’s at Danville dinner

“Singer Linda Ronstadt will discuss her career and life’s ups and downs at the 2017 Danville d’Elegance Gala Dinner.

The dinner, to be held Sept. 16 at the Blackhawk Museum, is one of the primary events sponsored by the Danville d’Elegance Foundation, which raises funds for Parkinson’s research and patient care.The foundation has raised more than $3 million for Parkinson’s-related work since 2004.”

July 27, 2017 –

The Marque of the Maharajas: How Rolls-Royce Rolled with Indian Royalty

“Don Williams, president of the Blackhawk Automotive Museum and owner of the Blackhawk Collection classic-car dealership, both in Danville, Calif., has owned some of the world’s most significant cars, among them Rolls-Royce cars with Indian provenance. “They wanted anything except normal,” says Williams of the maharajas, “and Rolls-Royce did a wonderful job of being different.””

July 19, 2017 –

Italy meets America — A transatlantic romance with Jet Age style

“Like long-distance lovers sending heartfelt letters back and forth, automotive designers from post-War Italy and America began an impassioned exchange to prove their love for Jet Age design. A new automotive exhibit in California has opened to explore this transatlantic romance…”

July 15, 2017 –

Museums: Blackhawk showcases ‘Transatlantic Style’

“Just unveiled and running through September 30, the Blackhawk Automotive Museum in Danville, California, offers what figures to be one of the most talked-about exhibitions of the year — “Transatlantic Style: A Romance of Fins and Chrome.”

Featuring about two dozen stunningly designed automobiles, the exhibition is based on the book, Stile Transatlantico / Transatlantic Style, by author Donald Osborne and photographer Michael Furman.”

July 14, 2017 –

At Danville’s Blackhawk Museum, training more-than-decent docents for 25 years

“As programs director, Wagner has trained some 400 docents at Blackhawk and 650 throughout her career. Hired during a time when the Danville-based automotive museum was affiliated with UC Berkeley, Wagner says the museum today operates as a Smithsonian Institution affiliate. As such, the February 2015 opening of the Spirit of the Old West Exhibit has added allure to the roughly 55 classic cars and jukeboxes on display. The exhibit has attracted a nearly unprecedented number of visitors and a scramble to train new docents.”

May 25, 2016 –