The Murphy Auto MuseumAutomotive dreamscape and restoration house
Certainly if you are a car lover you have fantasized about amassing your own collection of fine automobiles. Well...if you had the means to create the assemblage of some of your favorite cars, what would you do with these treasures? You'd want to share them with your friends, right?
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Dan Murphy is one car lover who is living his dream. When Murphy retired from his neurosurgery practice, he had the love and the means to collect cars. And as a collector he knew of many more enthusiasts who had some great treasures tucked away in garages and rarely seen. Murphy set about creating a venue for the display of his and other collectors' vehicles and formed the Murphy Auto Museum located in Ventura, California.
Opened on August 3, 2002, the Murphy Auto Museum is a dynamic and growing collection of more than 60 cars put on display by "friends of the museum" from the surrounding Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties. The museum offers admirers of fine automobiles the chance to view treasures seldom seen by the light of day. Since these cars are on loan from many different collectors, all makes and models are on display. Showcased are a large collection of Packards (1927-1958) and a wide array of classic, milestone and special interest vehicles. Many of the early Packards were used in the 2004 Tournament of Roses Parade. The museum also houses a workshop with several projects undergoing restoration for all to see.
On this particular day the members of several Southern California Pontiac clubs cruised their classic Pontiacs up the Pacific Coast Highway along the Malibu coastline to Ventura for a special Saturday opening of the Murphy Auto Museum. These enthusiasts were treated to a display of vehicles ranging from an original 1903 Olds, highly sought after American musclecars, unique street rods, and some significant imports as well.
Drawing particular attention was the rare 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst Edition hardtop. This special edition 440 cubic inch, 375 horsepower mammoth was one of the last in a long line of specialty cars produced by George Hurst and his company for the Chrysler Corporation that included the infamous Hemi-powered Dodge Dart Super Stokers.
And then on the other extreme was Honda's original roadster, the 1965 S600. This car was never imported for sale in the U.S. and was brought here by a Navy nurse upon her return from being stationed in Japan. And you thought the S2000 was Honda's first roadster.
But indeed the Packards and the early classics are the heart of this automotive display. Several V-12 Packards and a V-16 Cadillac Sport Phaeton deliver us back to the horsepower wars of the '30s with hoods longer than some of today's daily drivers. One has to marvel at the hand-built detail on the 1933 Rolls Royce Phantom II Continental Sedanca Coupe, the only survivor of the two cars built. And of course being in Southern California, who wouldn't love to cruise the California coastline in one of the pastel-colored Packard Caribbean convertibles.
This is one of those museums that you can enjoy in about an hour's time and well worth the small donation the museum asks of each entrant. The Murphy Auto Museum is a nonprofit organization and relies on the support from many fans of the car hobby. The museum is frequently open to the public. Special showings for groups such as car clubs can be arranged. You are encouraged to come by for a visit.
MURPHY CLASSIC CAR FOUNDATION, Murphy Auto Museum, 2340 Palma Drive, Suite 104, Ventura, CA 93003, 805-654-0731
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