So there is an Indiana Jones guy who loves cars and car design and he finds a personal museum with many amazing cars in an anonymous industrial park far from population centers.

Look at the walls, it’s like Jay Leno’s Garage!

 This is really two stories in one.  One is about the Mike Malamut Vintage Car Museum just north and west of Los Angeles.  And the other is about AutoDesignO, a professional association devoted to the automotive design industry.  For car lovers, both are worth knowing about; both you may well not know about.

The Malamut Museum is a best kept secret in Thousand Oaks California, and visitation is by rare invitation only.  So no drop-ins.  But the location seems to be 1121 Lawrence Drive Thousand Oaks, CA 91320.  We were tipped off about the museum by our friend John Grafman, Executive Director of AutoDesignO who wrote a wonderful report about it.  We’ll give you some of his highlights here…

Automotive Museums Malamut Museum

All photos by John Grafman



The Malamut museum is a personal mission of Mike and wife, Barbara.  Mike made his money with Autoland and  The collection spans the 50s and 60s, encompassing American, European, and Japanese cars.   According to John, almost all the 200 cars are concours ready.

  • VW and Porsches take up one-third of one building.

“Flawless examples of Beetles and Micro Buses reside both on ground level and on hoists. A multitude of 911 variants fan out right across the walkway.”

  • Curator range of Fiats include a factory tour car with clear Plexiglas top for illuminating visibility
  • Tiny, micro cars are testament to the limited resources Germany faced after World War II. Like the colorful BMW Isetta and Messerschmitt cars
  • Early imported cars from Datsun, Honda, Toyota, Mazda, and Subaru are eye-openers as well as Japanese domestic market products that few Americans have seen
  • Like Woodies?  Got ’em, presented with other period outdoor paraphernalia like canoes and boat motors
  • Muscle cars include ’63 Corvettes, presented in a diorama of the era, including mini-bikes!
  • European cars from fascinating daily drivers to gullwings
  • John points out the memorabilia on the walls is almost as much fun as the cars

The museum website is  

Car posters and automobelia

Mike Malamut Vintage Car Museum


AutoDesignO  is a professional association dedicated to the automotive design industry. Membership is available to design studios, designers, clay modelers, color and trim, digital design and modeling, fabricators, studio engineers, students… you get the idea.  The folks that are involved in designing future car designs belong here.  Their website and events invite car enthusiasts in to revel in the process.

You can sit around a hot tub with J Mays, Henrik Fisker,  Ian Callum… those sorts of people.  We speak metaphorically of course.  But whether you qualify to join or not, their website is open to all car enthusiasts — that is, who the museum couple invites.

Thanks to John Grafman!