Carly Starr is the curator of the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento. She has incredible knowledge of the cars and trucks in the unheralded museum as well as its diverse outreach programs throughout the year.
The museum, located at 2200 Front St., opened in May 1987. It has more than 150 classic cars, race cars, trucks and rotating displays of different generations of vehicles from various regional clubs.
The California Automobile Museum is also unique among car museums. It selectively buys and sells vintage cars and trucks.
During a recent visit to the museum, co-host Bruce Aldrich and I visited the museum, chatted with an outgoing docent and then interviewed Starr for The Weekly Driver Podcast. (Visit the episode at the bottom of this post.)
Starr’s detailed information and passion for the museum and cars is impressive, particularly since she admittedly said he had little knowledge of the automotive industry when he began her job about five years ago.
A graduate of UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in history, Starr’s career has included marketing, administration and specialty museum training. She was also a docent at the California State Railroad Museum.
We discussed the history of the 72,000 square-foot museum, its ownership legacy and its recent upgrades after extensive roof damage. Starr also shared some of the museum’s plans for special events and the vehicles she hopes will soon join the museum’s collection.
We talked a lot about cars, including the museum’s original donation and how the museum works in conjunction with the Sacramento community for special exhibits, parades and school visits.
The museum’s automotive treasures are varied and include: a 1933 Lincoln KB once owned by Bank of America founder A.P. Giannini, Gov. Jerry Brown’s 1974 Plymouth Satellite, and a 1987 Lamborghini Contact 5000SQV previously owned by Malcolm Forbes.
Visit the museum’s website: www.calautomuseum.org for museum hours of operation, membership details and special attractions.
Article Last Updated: August 27, 2021.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.