With only ten dollars, Mike wondered where to visit as he roamed in the lovely Balboa Park in San Diego, California. As a lover of cars and motorcycles, he still had not decided on his destination, he noticed a huge and magnificent building next to the Aerospace Museum. The signboard read, “San Diego Automotive Museum”. It was such an excellent piece of architecture that he could resist getting into it. Once inside, he asked the receptionist, “What a building, can I enter?” to which the beautiful receptionist replied with a captivating smile, “Of course, for only seven dollars”. What a piece of luck. Mike paid the money and majestically marched into the cool building. Indeed, this building. Constructed in the mid-1930s for the California Pacific International Exposition, is worthy of praise and acclamation. Only later did Mike come to learn that this building was once the California State Building.
As he walked inside, he could not stop himself from opening his mouth in amazement at the number of antique cars and motorcycles in display. “This is the most beautiful place”, he said to himself. Just as he looked at the splendid blue tucker with glittering beauty, the tour guide approached him. “Did you know that Preston Tucker’s company made only fifty one of these cars before they folded?” the guide asked. This was a complete surprise to Mike who could not imagine the reason that forced a company to stop producing such wonderful cars. Of course the closure of the company was in a controversial manner with many speculations as to the people who instigated the company’s downfall. However, this should not take the gloss out of this extraordinary car.
As he walked further into the building, he saw very nice looking BMW cars. The manner of their design exhibited not only beauty but also power and importance. Mike learnt that these cars majorly graced important occasions and events. Their owners were the important and high class society members. He marveled at their aura and could not imagine the kind of effort put in place to construct those kinds of machines.
Moving further into the museum, Mike saw a 1947 Cadillac. This is one of the signature cars in the museum. The guide explained to him that the car’s driver drove it across several states in USA and non-stop from Alaska to New Mexico. The driver was none other than Louie Matter assisted by two of his friends. This car with such a rich history could only be found in few places with the museum in San Diego as one of them. Mike came to learn of this car’s unique modifications to enable the drivers drive it from San Diego to New York. Some of the equipment carried included an electric stove, a washing machine, refrigerator among others. All these were to provide the comforts of home. The guide explained that the car can hold fifty gallons of water and more than two hundred gallons of gas. Other unique features of the car that Mike learnt of included the car’s amazing ability to change oil and automatically refill the radiator. More surprising is the ability to rotate the axles and allow the tires to inflate while in motion. In addition to these amazing features, the car has a hood with clear panels that allow for repairs or adjustments as the car is in motion. Truly, Mike came to learn of all these unbelievable features in a single session. The museum really had a gem in the name of the 1947 Cadillac.
In addition to those magnificent cars he saw in the first show room, Mike got a chance to closely look, examine and even enter into the car nicknamed Luigi. This is a 1969 Fiat 500. He marveled at the design and various colorations put in place during the construction of the car. It was such a great piece of work that combined power, speed and beauty in one. This was a must have for the rich guys in the past century, or so did Mike guess.
Due to the limited time, as he came to the museum just few minutes before four, Mike was unable to observe most of the other cars and motorcycles. He left the place at five but promised to come several days later. He really appreciated the kind and knowledgeable guide who accompanied him throughout the tour. The information provided about car designs, their constructors and history was of massive importance.
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Several days later, Mike was back at the museum with as much enthusiasm as the first time. This time he came with a purpose and a well outlined list of objectives. He came not only to enjoy his visit but also to learn about the magnificent automobiles. The receptionist received just as warmly as before. Although this time round, there was an element of familiarity. This time round, he just checked through the vehicles he saw during the first visit with a swift glance. He really wanted to cover as much ground as possible.
Mike was in true amazement to find even horse carriages. They were many and varied in terms of design, size and complexity. Some of the carriages were of the royal class while the rest were in use by the army, traders and commoners. In terms of design and complexity, some had roofs while the rest were roofless. He was really happy to find one of the carriages that the Americans used in the great Revolution. This was of particular importance as it signified the fight and success of Americans in the quest for their independence. Some of the carriages were very old and dated back to the nineteenth century. Surely, this place was more than just a museum to Mike.
He walked into the motorcycle show room and was pleasantly surprised to find motorcycles of a great variety of sizes. Some were very minute while the others were huge and complex almost the size of a saloon car. To his greatest surprise, he found some of the engineers from the Yamaha motorcycle company doing a case study of some of the motorcycles. This was an intriguing event in that one of the giant automobile companies was literally involved. He, therefore, decided to engage one of them in a conversation. “These are truly marvelous and superb machines,” the engineer told him.
Before he concluded his visit, he got a just to visit the gift shop. As a person who loves keeping items for the sake of memory, Mike decided to purchase some items. He decided to keep some of the items in his home and give the rest as gifts to his friends and family members who also appreciated the significance of automotives.
At the end of the second visit, Mike loved cars even more. He even loved the museum more. Many people, just like Mike, leave the great museum not only impressed but overwhelmed as well. The amount of knowledge about cars and other automobiles is so enormous that they feel like they know everything about antique cars. The presence of new cars is also a bonus as it helps people learn more about the machines. Mike appreciated the role played by the cars in the past to the current and future cars. He said that the past automobile development laid a foundation for the present and future automobile construction.