Issue No. 33
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Riverside International Automotive Museum
Could this be the world’s largest collection of Maseratis?
In Issue 24 of Maserati Monthly, we brought you a profile of Doug Magnon, who has taken Maserati ownership to new heights. Doug has developed a magnificent obsession with the famed Italian marque, and he has accumulated a remarkable collection of Maserati road cars – between Doug and his father, Ray, there are close to thirty cars in the collection.
Doug has now opened the Riverside International Automotive Museum, with his Maserati cars at its heart. Located at Suite 200, 815 Marlborough Avenue, Riverside, CA, the museum also showcases two of Doug’s other interests – local driver Dan Gurney, and the Riverside International Raceway. In addition, it also illustrates Doug’s hands-on nature to his collection; there aren’t too many other museums with two car hoists amidst the exhibits, or where you might find a car body mounted on a giant rotisserie allowing access to the underside – or even Doug himself, working on the cars.
Doug’s interest in Dan Gurney explains the race cars in the collection – Gurney joined with Carroll Shelby to create the ‘All American Racers’ team, whose Eagle chassis competed in both Formula One and Indy Car racing. All the rest of the cars are roadgoing – an eclectic mix including an E-Type Jaguar, a Jaguar XJ220, Ford GT and one of the most recent additions, a Riley RM convertible in wonderful condition.
But it is the Maseratis which form the bulk of the collection. Doug has found some remarkable cars over the years, and his aim is that they should all be usable. The oldest is a gorgeous A6G 2000, dating from 1951, its body painted a lustrous maroon. One of Doug’s favourite models is the 3500 GT – he has no fewer than three of them, in various states of repair. One is fully roadgoing, in largely unrestored condition; one was partly restored when we visited, while a third ‘barn find’ car awaits a full restoration.
At this point, it is worth explaining that not all cars are on display – and since they are used quite often, the cars which are there change frequently. For example, the MC12 supercar was absent on our second visit – it was at the Maserati dealership being serviced, prior to being used to give journalists some thrilling laps of the Laguna Seca track.
One of the most significant cars in the collection is a 1966 Quattroporte, an example of the first four-door model made by Maserati. Next in the Quattroporte line is also the rarest – one of only two prototypes of the Mk.II Quattroporte; Doug’s example was once owned by the king of Spain. There are also no fewer than three Mk.III Quattroportes.
Doug has not neglected the modern era when acquiring cars; as well as the aforementioned MC12, he has a Spyder and a 90th Anniversary Spyder, together with a GranSport MC Victory. Don’t expect to see either the GranSport or the current Quattroporte in the museum – Doug uses the GranSport and Ray uses the Quattroporte as their daily drivers.
There is a roll-call of some of the great cars from the sixties and seventies – Sebring, Mexico, Mistral, Ghibli, Indy and Khamsin; there is also a Bora, the mighty supercar powered by a mid-mounted V8 engine, not to mention two examples of the V6-engined Merak. Another recent acquisition is amongst the prettiest – the Mistral Spyder shows that while the design of the original car was good, removing the roof actually improved it.
Along with the cars, Doug has amassed all kinds of Maserati memorabilia – from slot racing cars to paperweights, brochures to keyrings. There are similar displays of memorabilia from Riverside Raceway – tickets, programs, all kinds of mementoes.
There is no admission charge for the museum, which is a non-profit organization – there is a suggested donation of $5. The museum is usually open from Tuesday to Saturday each week – check the museum’s website for details.