Magnificent machines a few minutes by car

DANVILLE – “Eleanor” – a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 Fastback that mirrors Nicholas Cage’s dream car from the movie “Gone in 60 Seconds” – awaits you in Danville.

So does the lavish 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Sedanca DeVille “Cooper Kettle” that oozes 1930s British wealth and breeding.

These are just two of the gems of what is arguably California’s fanciest auto museum with one of the world’s most significant collections of classics, rare and unique – the Blackhawk Museum.

It’s a short drive from the Central Valley to the Danville Museum which is also home to three other museums focused on the Old West, China, and nature.

Even if you are not an automobile enthusiast, a visit to the museum will make your head spin. It’s not that the vehicles are in pristine condition, that they breathe old-fashioned technology with innovations decades ahead of their time, and that they can waste your time. The real selling points are the dazzling creations of the golden age of the automobile which, in many cases, are doubled as legitimate works of art.

There are 50 vehicles on display at all times. The museum never disappoints with its constantly rotating exhibitions, from the dawn of the automobile to contemporary creations.

The museum’s opening hours are currently 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The best way to enjoy the collection is to take guided tours with guides on Saturdays and Sundays. The museum is open at full capacity and COVID-19 protocols, including mandatory masks, are in place.

There are also non-automobile galleries.

The Art of Africa gallery presents a variety of works created by the indigenous peoples of sub-Saharan Africa. The Spirit of the Old West addresses American settlers and Native Americans while also including an element of natural history featuring animals.

Handcrafted objects from China dominate the Into China gallery.

The cost is $ 15 for adults, $ 10 for students, $ 10 for those aged 65 and over, and $ 10 for military veterans. Children 6 and under and active military personnel are free.

The museum established in 1988 is located in the Blackhawk Shopping Center.

From 209, take Interstate 580 West to I-680 North. You then take Crow Canyon Road (exit 36) then right onto Crow Canyon Road towards Camino Tassajara where you turn right. Then turn left onto Blackhawk Plaza Circle.

For more information, visit blackhawkmuseum.org

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