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Ventura County museum that's home to rare cars, trucks, SUV's, and even travel trailers to close

Murphy Auto Museum Executive Director David Neel looks at one of the cars in the museum's collection.
Lance Orozco
Murphy Auto Museum Executive Director David Neel looks at one of the cars in the museum's collection.

There's still time to visit, but the Murphy Auto Museum will shut its doors permanently this summer.

Start your motors! The Tri-Counties is home to a one of a kind museum
that's home to more than 40 rare and unusual vehicles.

But, the chance to see them is going to become even more rare, because the two decade old Murphy Auto Museum is closing.

"The oldest (vehicle) is 1910, and its a Durocar, it's very rare. This one is very well kept...very original. The newest car is probably that Ferrari we have sitting over there, which is a 2003," said David Neel, who is Executive Director of the Murphy Auto Museum.

He takes us inside of the building just off of Rose Avenue in Oxnard. We walk into the center of the building, where we are surrounded by nearly a century of automotive history.

The museum was founded nearly two decades ago by a Ventura County physician. Dr. Dan Murphy was a car collector who wanted to find a place to keep his cars.

"He was a Packard collector, he had quite a few of 'em," said Neel. "He started a 501-C3 (non-profit group) and put his cars in a building, and had his doctor friends put their cars in the building. He charged them a little rent. And, them it just exploded." 

When Dr. Murphy stepped away from the non-profit museum a decade ago, Neel volunteered to keep it running.

They added elements over the years like a huge model train display, toy cars, a working slot car track, and even a tiki-themed lounge. In addition to the cars, the museum features a rare travel trailer collection.

But, Neel said after serving as the museum’s volunteer Executive Director for a decade, and spending most of his weekends at the facility, it’s time for him to step back. The non-profit’s board couldn’t find someone to take over, and decided to close the museum.

The museum owns a few of the vehicles, and will sell them.


While the museum is closing, there are still several weeks to visit it.

It's open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through its final day of operation, which is July 7.




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.