Heading North–Blackhawk Automotive Museum

It was time to leave the Los Angeles area and point the P71 northward.  I had spent a few days around the area and probably could have spent a month, but this is a road trip and it was time to get back on the road.


This time the road would lead me to Danville, California, home to many of the fortunate and wealthy.  Also the home of the Blackhawk Automotive Museum that is really  more of an automotive art gallery.  It is associated with the Smithsonian Institute as well. 


In 1988 a new building of 70,000 square feet of space and fashioned with a jewelry box look was ready for the showing of its collection of automotive art.


At the entrance were two wonderful examples of cars and painted in two-toned schemes of black and red. 


One was a 1939 Aero.


And the other was a 1939 SS 100 Jaguar.

Yes, there was art on display in the traditional sense..




And then there were so many examples of the art of the automobile itself.


These are the Nardi Blue Ray cars.


You might notice that the lighting of the cars is in a gallery style.


The car above is a 1947 Delahaye. The only one built.



The car above is a 1937 Cadillac with a V-16 engine and is 22 feet long! 




The wooden beauty above is a 1924 Hispano-Suiza custom bodied for the Dubonnet family of cognacs fame.  It was built of tulipwood veneer about 1/8 of an inch thick over wooden framework and fastened with hundreds of copper rivets.  Supposedly the body weighs about 160 pounds.


This is a 1930 Rolls Royce.



This is the 1960 Cunningham Corvette that won its class in the 24 hours of Le Mans.  Briggs Cunningham raced cars, built cars, and won the America’s Cup. 

Notice the light to the left of the number 3 on the door.  It was there so that when the cars were racing at night the numbers would be visible to the people keeping track of each of the car’s positions in the race.  Those were the days when cars were not covered in sponsorship stickers and there were no transponders to allow computers to track where a car was in the race.  That duty was left to humans, hence the need to identify cars by their numbers.

The following are random examples of the vehicles on display for your enjoyment:





If you appreciate the automobile as an art form, then the Blackhawk Automotive Museum is for you.  Plan on spending a couple of hours admiring the decades of design.

This entry was posted in Automobiles, Car Museums, Car Stuff, Cars, Great Roads, Life and Cars, Road Trips. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Heading North–Blackhawk Automotive Museum

  1. brookemeyer says:

    Its is an Art Museum. Been following your posts, wonderful trip. I’d like to see a photograph of the P71 sometime. Even Gene Autry showed off his horse.

  2. Kev says:

    What a wonderful Museum – such gorgeous cars.

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