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 “Cooper Kettle” 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Sedanca DeVille that oozes 1930s British wealth and breeding.
Those are just two of the gems at what is arguably the classiest auto museum in California with one of the world’s most significant collections of classic, rare, and unique — the Blackhawk Museum.
It’s a short drive from the Central Valley to the museum in Danville that also houses three other museums focused on the Old West, China, and nature.
Even if you aren’t an automobile enthusiast, a visit to the museum will turn your head. It’s not the fact the vehicles are in mint condition, ooze old school technology with innovations decades ahead of their time, and may take you down memory lane. The real selling points are the razzle dazzle of creations from the Golden Age of Automobiles that in many cases double as legitimate works of art.
There are 50 vehicles on display at any given time. The museum never disappoints with its constantly rotating exhibits from the just after the dawn of automobiles to contemporary creations.
Museum hours are currently 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The best way to enjoy the collection is via docent-led tours on Saturday and Sunday. The museum is open to full capacity and COVID-19 protocols, including mandatory face masks, are in place.
There are also non-automotive galleries.
The Art of Africa gallery features a variety of work created by the indigenous people of sub-Saharan Africa. The Spirit of the Old West touches on American settlers and Native Americans while including a natural history element featuring animals.
Handcrafted items from China dominate the Into China gallery.
The cost is $15 for adults, $10 for students, $10 for seniors 65 and older, and $10 for military veterans. Children 6 and under as well active military personnel are free.
The museum established in 1988 is in the Blackhawk Shopping Center.
From the 209 take Interstate 580 west to I-680 North. You then take Crow Canyon Road (Exit 36) and then right on Crow Canyon Road traveling to Camino Tassajara where you turn right. Then it’s a left turn into Blackhawk Plaza Circle.
For more information go to blackhawkmuseum.org