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Take Dad for a spin around The Cobra Experience museum in Martinez.


Cari Courtright Photography

As someone who doesn’t know the difference between a piston and a spark plug, I wasn’t sure what to expect at The Cobra Experience museum in Martinez. I was familiar with Mustangs and Jaguars, but not the Shelby Cobra, a rare sports car produced by Ford and Shelby American in the ’60s.

But the museum’s founder, Drew Serb—also the head of Pro Media/Ultra Sound, a sound and electrics company—created the museum to educate people like me. He transformed his passion for the cars (six of the 18 on display are his) into The Cobra Experience.

Cari Courtright Photography

“Having them hidden away in his garage wasn’t furthering anyone’s education,” says his daughter Emily Lambert, the museum’s managing director. “That’s really the purpose—to educate the next generation on the impact and importance of these cars.”

Inside the museum, which opened in November, are perfectly preserved pieces of history, including a cobalt blue Dragonsnake (one of only six produced in 1964), a bright orange race car with wide rear wings, and a stretch of four Mustangs.

“Our goal is to always have it changing,” says Lambert. “It’s exciting to have new metal; that’s what keeps it fresh.”

The museum holds private tours and special events, such as its first annual car show on June 6, featuring 100 classics and replicas, ice cream, snacks, and beer. The museum also opens to the public the third Sunday of the month, including this Father’s Day, June 21.

Before leaving, I snapped a picture of a Mustang and texted it to my dad, who recently took his ’68, named “Marvel,” out of storage. “Visiting Marvel’s cousins,” I typed. “Wish you were here.”

777 Arnold Dr., Ste. 200, Martinez, (925) 558-5585, cobraexperience.org.

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