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New Exhibition Opening At South Coast Museum Stars Some Of The World's Rarest Autos

It’s lunchtime, and a couple of workers are sitting at some outside benches enjoying their meals in an Oxnard industrial park.

The complex near Rose Avenue and Channel Islands Boulevard is filled with giant gray warehouse style buildings which mostly look alike. But, one of these buildings shocks everyone who steps through its doors. It’s Disneyland for hard core auto lovers, and home to some of the most prized vehicles in the world.

Rick Ebers is with the Mullin Automotive Museum.  He says the museum is opening a new exhibition, which the public will be able to see for the first time this weekend.  It's called "The Art And Times Of The French Coachbuilders," and is focused on the people who built custom vehicles from the ground up in the 1920's through the 30's.

The football field sized building is filled with more three dozen art deco styled vehicles which look like they came right out of a 1920’s or 30’s movie. They all look like they are brand new. Ebers says the cars came from a period between World Wars I and II in the 1920’s and 30’s. The ultra rich went to a place in Paris to meet with designers, who would build them a custom car from the tires to the roof.

Many of them have features decades ahead of their time. The style is amazing.  

Ebers has driven some of the vehicles. He says they are nothing like today’s vehicles. The dashboards often look like the cockpit of an airplane.  Some of the designers of the time had their roots in aircraft, and just starting the car sometimes is a two dozen step process.

Ebers says it’s amazing that some people that live five minutes away have never visited the museum, while they get other guests from around the world. It’s not just a building filled with vintage vehicles, but has all the trappings of a world class museum, complete with side exhibits on things like art deco furniture.

The Mullin Museum does private tours, but also has public days, where you can visit by buying an advance ticket for a guided tour. The next two public days are Saturday, April 14th, and Sunday, April 29th, with tours at 10 and 11:30 a.m. Ticket information is available at the museum’s website,

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.