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The Horseless Carriage Foundation, Inc. (HCFI), doing business as The Automotive Research Library, was established in 1985 in an effort to make automobile research and restoration information readily available to hobbyists, restorers, and scholars worldwide. This continues to be our mission. The Library encourages and supports collaboration between other institutions and automotive clubs within the United States and across the world. 

Our funding comes from YOU, our membership, individual donations, grants, and from various charitable organizations; including the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation. Additional income is received from research fees to help maintain the collection of 500,000 printed items.

The Collection

The primary focus of The Automotive Research Library is to provide automotive related literature of all years with a primary focus on Pre-War (pre-1942) American automobiles.  The Library has a comprehensive collection of motor vehicle literature which includes Classics (1916 to 1948 luxury cars), imported automobiles, race cars throughout the decades, sports cars and heavy equipment including trucks, buses, and large machinery.  Materials include all aspects of pioneer motoring.  We hold a collection of early periodicals along with automotive manuals, original factory literature and advertisements, club publications and the history of auto enthusiasts' organizations.

The Library maintains the following Automotive Literature Collections:

  • The Richard A. Teague Collection
  • The Art Twohy Collection
  • The Julian Eccles Collection
  • The James Valentine Collection
  • The David Rice Collection
  • The Lindley Bothwell Collection


The Automotive Research Library of the Horseless Carriage Foundation, Inc. (HCFI) is a 501(c)(3) public educational library.

The Automotive Research Library actively solicits the following:

  • Gifts of cash
  • Memorabilia
  • Antique cars
  • Automobile-related literature

NOTE  - All gifts to HCFI are deductible from State and U.S. Federal Income Tax to the extent allowed by the law.

The Automotive Research Library of the Horseless Carriage Foundation, Inc. is not part of, or a subsidiary of, the Horseless Carriage Club of America. 

Generously Supported by the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation. 

  • The HCFI library is my secret weapon in cataloguing, research and archival work.

    -David Traver Adolphus


Visit Our Extensive Southern California Library in San Diego, CA.

8186 Center Street, Suite F
La Mesa, California 91942

Located along Interstate 8 (I-8), we are within two blocks of the Grossmont Shopping Center and a variety of restaurants. A choice of lodging is within a two mile radius.
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  • Sunday - Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday - Friday: 10:00am to 3:00pm PST
  • Saturday - HFCI Bookstore Open the 2nd Saturday of each month:  10:00am to 3:00pm PST
  • Closed Most Holidays

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Proudly Associated with
The National Association of Automobile Museums (NAAM)

The National Association of Automobile Museums is a professional center of excellence for automobile museums and affiliated organizations that supports, educates and encourages members to operate according to professional standards of the museum industry.

Visit www.naam.museum