Rare Autos: Peek Under the Hood

Take a deeper peek at the inner workings of early cars, in Oxnard.

SEAT OF POWER: While California, being famously enamored with all things on wheels, does have dozens of primo cars shows — even "hundreds" would be accurate and without too much hyperbole — finding a museum-style automobile exhibit that welcomes visitors to look a little deeper is a more unusual occurrence. Absolutely, a parking lot gathering may see some vehicles with their engines on full, come-peruse display, but not so with cars inside hallowed institutions devoted to the art of driving. Every now and again, however, the bonnets are popped and lookie-loos are invited to swing by and study all of those pistons and reservoirs and the engine. The Mullin Automotive Museum is sending out just this call, a welcome to those car buffs who want to study the seat of power in a host of exquisite vintage vehicles. Make that incredibly vintage; the cars hail from the 1930s, and even earlier, and represent makers from Bugatti to Delahaye. The hoods'll be open for one day only, on...

TUESDAY, JUNE 21, and the cars all have pedigrees rooted in "France's prominent coachbuilders." Visitors can eye a 1902 Panhard et Levassor B1 Rear Entrance Tonneau engine, and what makes the 1935 Hispano-Suiza J12 full of vroom. These are all moving works of art that have come to a stop for the ongoing "Cars and Carriages" exhibit, which is open at the Mullin through December 2016. But after June 21? The hoods will once again be lowered on the gleamy wonders of another age. See them later, hoods down, or get a thorough look at an area of an auto not often on display inside a museum. Tickets? They're forty bucks.

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