The Petersen Automotive Museum, founded by Robert E. “Pete” Petersen and his wife Margie has been a gathering point for gearheads, a home for amazing iron, and a place that every car guy should visit for decades. After getting a little long in the tooth, museum leadership decided to take control of the situation and transform a solid car museum into a globally recognized destination for car lovers and after visiting it yesterday we can say that the Petersen Automotive Museum is the most incredible gathering of cars and trucks we have ever seen in one building.
Spread out over three floors, there’s literally something to satiate the tastes of every gearhead. While the cars from floors one to three are stunning, the real magic is hidden in the basement of the place which is known as The Vault. Tours of The Vault are given at intervals during the day and the stuff you will see in these photos is stuff that anyone can see and everyone should see! The only special treatment we got was the fact that our group look at the vehicles in The Vault consisted of a total of four people instead of a larger group. We bought tickets and stood in line like everyone else to get in!
The photos that you will see represent stuff that caught my eye as we were wandering around. These photos, along with the ones that I’ll publish tomorrow represent just a small smattering of the whole of the museum. It is something that truly needs to be seen to be believed. Additionally there’s the building itself.
The origins of the structure are pretty mundane. The place was a big, multi-level store. Rather non-descript on the outside, lots of thought and debate went into a plan that resulted in three sides of the structure being “wrapped” in an amazing stainless steel exoskeleton which honestly makes it one of the most dramatic buildings you’ll see in your life. It has already created a huge stir in LA and once you drive up to the place, you’ll never forget it.
From the most historically significant hot rods you can imagine to some of the most powerful and exotic racing machines ever, to the magnificent cars of the Art Deco era and beyond, there’s amazing history and horsepower in the building. I could go on for hours because it was an honestly impactful experience to visit the Petersen.
Tomorrow I’ll be back with more photos, more impressions, and more information. For now, check these out!