The Art Car Museum is a private institution dedicated to contemporary art with an emphasis on art cars, other fine arts, and artists who are rarely, if ever, acknowledged by other cultural institutions.
The museum, or "Garage Mahal," as many people know it, features the most imaginative, elaborate, and artfully constructed art cars, low riders, and mobile contraptions, as well as art exhibitions by local, regional, and national artists. The conceptual origin of the museum was the 1984 Collision Show at Lawndale Art Center, which resulted in art car workshops around the city and, eventually, the Art Car Parade.
The museum showroom celebrates the spirit of this post-modern age of car culture, in which individuals have remolded the factory model sameness of their cars to the specifications of their own images and visions.
The Art Car Museum opened in February 1998. It was founded by artist Ann Harithas, a long-time supporter of the art car movement, and James Harithas, former director of the Corcoran Museum in Washington, D.C. and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Car artist David Best created the museum's distinctive scrap-metal and chrome exterior.