A group of local business leaders and dedicated supporters of our Graffiti heritage have been developing a plan to establish a Graffiti USA Classic Car Museum and family friendly experience in Modesto, California, U.S.A.
The nonprofit is in the process of acquiring a 41,000 sq. ft. facility located on the old US99, less than a mile from the original Burge’s Drive In, thelegendary turn around point in the Modesto Cruise Route in the late 50s and early 60s. The Graffiti USA Museum will showcase a vintage exterior, complete with an operating replica classic diner, inviting visitors inside for the immersive Graffiti USA experience, taking the visitor back in time to 1962, bringing the nights of the cruise to life.
MODESTO USA is already an entertainment destination where each June American Graffiti ‘s history is celebrated on a grand scale. Anchored by the North Modesto Kiwanis, Graffiti festivities that include numerous car shows, concerts and gatherings. Information about American Graffiti and George Lucas is the number one request from people who contact the Modesto Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The GRAFFITI USA MUSEUM will be the heartbeat of visitors experience, generating new and exciting tourism to our region.
The GRAFFITI USA MUSEUM is sure to attract people from all over the world, generating a substantial increase in travel and tourism revenue to Modesto and the surrounding area. The museum will offer educational opportunities for visitors and locals of all ages, with an ongoing rotation of exhibits and an exciting schedule of events.
Graffiti USA Classic Car Museum Modesto, California USA is the home of American Graffiti, the award winning film by George Lucas. The film is known around the world and it is a positive part of Modesto’s history. The culture of Modesto USA still represents the small town charm, but with the benefits of being a larger city. Our “classic car culture” currently draws visitors from around the world, especially during the annual Graffiti Summer.
Modesto USA has developed some tourist locations, but lacks a showcase museum, that captures and celebrates the spirit of American Graffiti. A new non-profit has been created to design and develop the year-round Graffiti USA Classic Car Museum and Experience that will attract visitors from near and far away. The Graffiti USA Museum will be the cultural center for our classic cars, our rock and roll history, and will tell the stories that inspired Modesto native George Lucas to make his landmark film that paved the way for his future creations like Star Wars.
Mission Statement Our Mission is to grow the attraction of Modesto as a destination for events, entertainment, vacations, and tours while capitalizing on the nostalgia and Modesto’s cultural history celebrating Modesto’s love affair with the automobile.
Our Vision Our Vision is a thriving Graffiti USA Classic Car Museum that brings people, revenue, events, students and business to downtown Modesto. We see a healthy and thriving tourism attraction for Modesto all year long based on Modesto’s authentic classic car history, people and events. The Museum will create an immersive experience, taking the visitor back to the days of the cruise, with replica store fronts and murals of the Graffiti Era, that will be the backdrop to the cars and memorabilia on display.
Our museum committee is made up of 22 local residents who are passionate about the establishment of a car museum in Modesto. They are giving their time, treasure, knowledge and support to make our Graffiti USA history come to life in this amazing experience museum.
BOARD MEMBERS John Sanders, Chairman. Retired businessman Brent Burnside, Vice Chairman. Owner of Burnside Auto Body Shop Michael Johnson, Secretary/Treasurer. Retired school teacher Doug Ridenhour, Modesto City Council. Retired Modesto Police Officer Cecil Russell, Past CEO, Modesto Chamber of Commerce Richard Jantz, Retired Stanislaus County official Chris Murphy, Co-Owner, Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group, publisher of Modesto View Denis Wilson, civil engineer and car guy
COUNCIL OF ADVISORS Brad Hawn, car guy, structural engineer Don Wood, automobile appraiser Peter Hischier, long time car guy Jim DiMartini, Stanislaus County Supervisor and car collector Brian Gini, owner of Collins Electrical Contractors Ted Brandvold, Mayor of Modesto, commercial architect Dave Gianelli, attorney Jerry Sauls, owner, Wille Printing Co. and a car guy Craig Lewis, real estate professional Tom Watling, vintage car dealer Joe Pope, former General Motors Car dealer Bob Rose, Vintage car memorabilia restorer Ron Pippin, retired businessman, car guy Ken White, author of Modesto History books
The nonprofit is in the process of acquiring a 41,000 sq. ft. facility located on the old US99, less than a mile from the original Burge’s Drive In, the legendary turn around point in the Modesto Cruise Route in the late 50s and early 60s. The Graffiti USA Museum will showcase a vintage exterior, complete with an operating replica classic diner, inviting visitors inside for the immersive Graffiti USA experience, taking the visitor back in time to 1962, bringing the nights of the cruise to life.
The Graffiti USA Museum will update exhibits regularly, with new seasonal offerings and donated collections.
The Museum hopes to feature: · Classic Car Museum · Replica street scenes of 10th and 11th St · Drive In showing American Graffiti · Modesto Radio History Exhibit · Classic Radio Station · Modesto Convention and Visitor’s Bureau · Operating Classic Diner · Special storefronts for Modesto Police and Fire · Gift Shop and Art Gallery · Rotating car collections · Tribute to Rockabilly Music · American Graffiti Memorabilia · Legends of the Cruise Exhibit · Operating custom car shop · Event space available to rent · Interactive education center · Lucas career history exhibit
How it will change Modesto Many people come to Modesto now to catch a glimpse of our classic car culture, but there are few places that showcase. The Graffiti USA Experience will capture our share of the growing global entertainment and film tourism industry and expose and enlighten visitors to Modesto’s amazing Graffiti History and it’s place in pop culture. The Graffiti USA Experience will create new Modesto evangelists and change the perception of civic pride, but celebrating the authentic stories of our people, places and events. #modestousa #homeofamericangraffiti
What is happening now Phase 1 5,000 square ft Graffiti USA Welcome Center Plans are to build a Graffiti USA Welcome Center, creating a reception lobby showcasing the plan, explaining key exhibits, and providing a venue for education that draws potential donors as well as visitors. This phase includes a new diner facade, a show room and gift shop.
Phase 2 15,000 square ft 10th and 11th St Downtown Experience This phase will include a Modesto radio history exhibit, functioning diner, police, fire and retail facades. A Walk Of Fame featuring a Legends of the Cruise exhibit and Classic Car exhibits.
Phase 3 20,000 square ft The Modesto and Classic Car Experience The Modesto Classic Car Experience, a classic car restoration garage and interactive educational center, event and meeting space, a performance stage, a banqueting space seating 700, replica drive-in theatre space and additional exhibits.
Potential Partnerships Modesto New Car Dealerships – This is key to help reorganize. This group is mission critical in that the co-marketing opportunities to have a kiosk promoting the Graffiti Museum on a daily basis.
National Car Companies- Grants from the leading car companies should be written with the assistance of the local brand dealerships
Insurance Companies – Every company that sells auto insurance should be approached.
MJC Foundation – Engage MJC during their 100 years to add the educational part of the museum to their financial programming
Stanislaus County Office of Education This partnership should be explored to operate all of the food service at the Graffiti USA Museum
PLEASE CLICK HERE AND DONATE TODAY! We can’t wait to get this going. Decide the right donation level below, and conveniently pay online with your credit or debit card knowing your information is safe and secure with :
Staffing • Initial work will be done by the Board of Directors and divided into committees: Operations, Marketing, Finance and Design. Medium term, we will need only 2 employees. 1) Executive Director and 2) Finance • Executive director – Founding Executive Director – Cecil Russell • Need for organization, project management, grant writing, promotion and sponsorship solicitation • Need to hire permanent Executive Director when financially feasible. • Volunteer board to operate until financially feasible to hire director. • We will need someone that is responsible for fundraising, corporate partnerships, sustaining grants and more. • Develop network of volunteer docents, Class of 46-65.
Fundraising The Graffiti USA Museum is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 Corporation – Tax ID # 82-4385136 Donations are tax deductible and will be used to build the museum.
Donation Levels Please consider becoming a supporting donor to the Graffiti USA Museum so we can keep our classic history alive for future generations. There are unique founding and naming options as we move to the construction part of this project.
All memberships receive the Classic package: • Modesto Graffiti USA Museum Pin • Subscription to our Newsletter • 10% discount on gift shop merchandise • Advanced notice of upcoming events
Annual Donation levels: • Cruiser / $100 – Classic package plus 2 free entries • Pit Crew / $500 – Classic package plus, Graffiti USA T- shirt, 2 free entries • Woodie / $1000 – Classic package plus, unlimited annual entries +1, recognition on annual donor wall • Director / $2500 – Classic package plus souvenir jacket, unlimited annual entries +3 Recognition on Annual Donor Wall and Wall of Legends • Legend / $ 5000 – A pair of souvenir jackets, poster, unlimited annual entries +3, museum pin, early entry to museum sponsored events, recognition on annual donor wall
Permanent Donations Founder / $10,000 – Museum Pin, Leather Jacket. Poster, unlimited annual entries for four, Recognition on Annual Donor Wall and Wall of Legends and permanent position on founders statue, Invitation to all Graffiti USA sponsored events.
Hall Of Fame / $ 20,000 – Custom donations, building and exhibit naming rights and other opportunities. Talk to us.
Founding Naming Opportunities: 10th Street Wing 11th Street Wing Education Center Custom Car Shop Diner Drive – In Theater Lobby Event Center
TimeLine: Phase 1 – Completed before Graffiti Summer 2020 Phase 2 – Completed before Graffiti Summer 2021 Phase 3 – Completed before Graffiti Summer 2022
Founding Sponsors: – Modesto View Magazine – John and Maryanne Sanders – Cecil Russell – Chris and Becky Murphy
Take a visit to the Modesto Historic Cruise Route, the legendary 10th and 11th Streets of Modesto where the cruising started. Back then it was called “draggin’ 10th” and you can see and meet the legends and read the stories of the history of the Modesto cruise that inspired the film American Graffiti.