Museum Cars & Coffee [Article]


Cars and Coffee @ the San Diego Automotive Museum

  • Article by Tina Tinkham
  • Photos by Ron Tinkham

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Cielo Plaza in Rancho Santa Fe was the starting point for an April 24th Ride and Drive to Balboa Park.  Destination: The revamped and newly opened San Diego Automotive Museum.  FOC Board Member and museum patron, Steve Wheeler, coordinated a Ferrari Car Show with a private tour of the museum’s multi-million dollar display of automobiles; this rare collection has something for everyone.

FOC Board Members, Tina Tinkham, Joanne Hyldahl and Alice Gallo checked in the group; coffee and rolls were available at the Invita Café for those who had skipped breakfast.  Board Member and Co-chair, Jim Hyldahl, gathered everyone together for a driver’s meeting before the Ride and Drive departed for the museum.  Then we took off.  Special fun was had by all as the caravan paraded through the Rancho Santa Fe Cars & Coffee where many “thumbs up” encouraged pride in our cars.  Then on to the freeway.  Opps!  An unexpected closure of Park Blvd (construction on a Saturday??) had Ferraris scattering in all directions to find an alternative route.  But we all made it and were guided in to the park like setting of our secure Ferrari Corral.

CEO Lenny Leszczynski and Events & Social Media Coordinator Frankie Lynn Patino assembled museum volunteers to park each Ferrari in front of the museum in such way to allow the participants and the car loving general public to photograph their favorite.

What a display!  20 gorgeous Ferraris gracing the front of the museum; a photo op like no other.  The museum exterior has been restored to its original beauty dating back to 1935; the building has been painted to match its historically appropriate beige color and four murals now bestow the entrance that depict San Diego during the 1930’s.  The old and the new together was a photographer’s dream.

Coffee and rolls were offered to our participants; we were VIPS that day as we were the first car club to visit the museum since the renovation and grand opening.  The volunteers handed out group number signs so our multiple tours would be conducted in a more private setting, each having its own guide who explained in detail each car and Indian Motorcycles, of which there are many.  A few of the newest additions are a collection of Carroll Shelby’s personally designed and record-breaking cars, one even belonging and currently registered to the late legend.  There is also a new “Ladies in Red’ collection that highlights a Ferrari Testarossa, Lamborghini and a Bizzarrini.

The collection is fantastic and thanks to Steve Wheeler’s reaching out to the San Diego Automotive Museum, Ferrari was honored that day.  A corner of the museum displays a lighted “Car Club” sign that encourages car clubs to frequent the museum as groups; they have availability for meetings, galas, tours; we were the first.  Being we were FERRARI OWNERS CLUB, it was a natural.

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Our active and large Board of Directors is constantly putting on tried and true events that we do every year and adding new fresh events to make the club more entertaining and interesting for our Members. If you love Ferraris (and who doesn’t?), then you’ll love our club!