balboa park

Classic Car for Sale: San Diego Automotive Museum Finds Unique Way to Raise Funds

1968 Dodge Coronet, anyone? The raffling of a classic car is one way that the San Diego Automotive Museum is trying to keep its staff employed through the holidays

The regional stay-at-home order may have put the brake, for now, on museums that operate in Balboa Park but the San Diego Automotive Museum is finding a unique way to keep its staff employed through the holiday season.

Like all museums at the San Diego landmark, it’s really been quite the roller coaster ride since spring for the San Diego Automotive Museum.

The museum first closed in mid-March, as the coronavirus pandemic reached San Diego County. COVID-19 safety guidelines allowed the doors to open again in June. In July, the museum had to close again.

The path continued to be windy.

In September, the San Diego Automotive Museum was able to reopen again.

But this month, as California's COVID-19 cases surged and Gov. Gavin Newsom imposed regional stay-at-home orders, the museum once again had to close.

All of Balboa Park's indoor museums are currently closed.

With the ups and down of pandemic restrictions, 2020 has been a tough year for museums to raise money and keep their staff working.

Because of COVID-19, the San Diego Automotive Museum has a shortfall of about a half-million dollars from no ticket sales.

So, to make some cash, the museum is taking one of its classic cars and raffling it off.

One lucky gearhead will be the winner of a beautiful 1968 Dodge Coronet with exceptional ground-up restoration, with a subtly modified 440" V8 and other muscle upgrades.

For $100, participating parties will receive a ticket for the raffle. More information about the raffle can be found here.

“It raises $30,000 for the museum," Lenny Leszczynski, CEO of San Diego Automotive Museum, told NBC 7. "Which is a month of payroll for us. So I can keep the staff on through the holidays."

The museum is a nonprofit and relies heavily on the 60 volunteers who are also not able to work in person during this time.

Of the 12 employees, two have been laid off and six furloughed already, Leszczynski said.

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