Petersen Automotive Museum
Petersen Automotive Museum
On June 11, 1994, Robert E. Petersen and his wife, Margie, fulfilled a long-time dream when they became founding benefactors to start the Petersen Automotive Museum, donating $5 million to the Los Angeles County National History Museum. In April, 2000, the Petersens contributed an additional $24.8 million dollars to the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum to retire the bond debt and establish the Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation as an independent non-profit organization. Overall, their gifts to the Petersen Automotive Museum total over $30 million, one of the largest gifts to any museum in the United States.
The Petersen Automotive Museum, recognized internationally for its innovative design, is dedicated to the interpretive study of the automobile and its influence on our culture and lives. Encompassing more than 300,000 square feet, the museum's exhibits and lifelike dioramas feature more than 150 rare and classic cars, trucks and motorcycles.
Covering four floors, the facility features permanent exhibits on the first floor that trace the history of the automobile. Visitors are invited to walk through, not by, exhibits and dioramas and experience settings of early Los Angeles where the world’s first shopping district was designed.
The second floor holds five large changing galleries with state-of-the-art displays of racecars, classic cars, vintage motorcycles, concept cars, celebrity and movie cars, and auto design and technology.
The May Family Children’s Discovery Center is located on the third floor. Designed to spark interest in science by way of the automobile, the 6,500 square-foot, interactive "hands-on" learning center teaches children basic scientific principles by explaining the fundamental functions of a car.
A spectacular all-glass penthouse conference center, Founder’s Lounge and Kitchen, comprise the fourth floor, which is available for special events and functions.
The Petersen presents the first-ever museum exhibition of Hot Wheels® full-size and die-cast cars—the HOT WHEELS® HALL OF FAME. The exhibition features a rotating series of vehicles, including full-size versions of some of the most famous Hot Wheels® models ever created. Visitors get a look inside the highly prolific Hot Wheels® design studio via original models, wooden patterns, injection molds and drawings of original vehicle designs. The Hot Wheels® Hall Of Fame is housed permanently at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Visitors can purchase genuine Hot Wheels® cars in the Museum Gift Shop during museum hours.
Hollywood Star Cars – Exhibition features significant cars of Hollywood lore including , the "Black Beauty" driven by Bruce Lee in The Green Hornet television series, the "Hannibal 8" driven by Jack Lemmon in The Great Race (1965), two "Batmobiles", and the 1971 De Tomaso Pantera that Elvis shot three times when it would not start one cold morning.
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Pictures and information were provided by the Petersen Automotive Museum
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