Petersen Automotive Museum

6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles
California, United States
Phone: +1-323-930-2277
closed on: open daily
Museum Type: Transports / Automotive

The Petersen Automotive Museum is a museum in Los Angeles, California, dedicated to motor vehicles and automobile, with a collection spanning over 120 years.

The museum was founded in 1994 by American publisher Robert E. Petersen, housed in a former department store in the Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles. In 2015 the museum’s building was fully renovated and reconfigured after a design by acclaimed architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox. The $90 million renovation project also added an iconic “red and silver” facade made of stainless steel ribbons.

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Petersen Automotive Museum Los Angeles facade

New facade of the museum; photos courtesy Kohn Pedersen Fox associated PC

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The collection of the Petersen Automotive Museum encompasses about one hundred vehicles – cars and motorbikes – dating from 1886 to the present.
The museum includes permanent exhibition galleries, where items from the collection are displayed on rotation and contextualized through graphics and videos, a large temporary exhibition space at the second floor, and a learning center, especially aimed to children, at the third floor.

Notable pieces from the collection include, among others, a 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen, a 1900 Smith Runabout, a 1903 Indian Thor Camelback, a 1912 Harley-Davidson X8A, a 1913 Mercer Type 35-J Raceabout, a 1915 Detroit Electric Model 61, a 1932 Ford Ray Brown Roadster, a 1933 Duesenberg Model SJ, a 1939 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante, a 1948 Davis Divan, a 1952 Ferrari 212/225 Barchetta, a 1953 Dodge Storm Z-250, a 1953 Fiat v8 Supersonic, a 1953 Delahaye Type 178, a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196, a 1954 Lancia D24R, a 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa, a 1959 Chevrolet Corvette XP-87 Stingray, a 1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ, a 1986 Porsche 962, a 1980 Williams FW07B F1 race car, one of the three DeLorean DMC-12 “Time Machine” used in the 1981 movie “Back to the future”, a 1994 Bugatti EB110, one of the only five official “Batmobile”, and a 2003 Dodge Tomahawk.

The museum organizes temporary exhibitions, often made in collaboration with major car manufacturers and research institutions, educational activities, workshops, special events, and family programs.

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A Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, image courtesy Kohn Pedersen Fox associates

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1954 Ferrari 375 MM Spyder; photo by David Zaitz

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View of the exhibition “We love the automobile”; photo by David Zaitz

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View of the exhibition “Alternative power”; photo by David Zaitz

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Image from the exhibition “Precious Metal”, photo by David Zaitz

Petersen Automotive Museum Los Angeles motorbikes

Image from the exhibit “Two-wheeled transportation”; photo by David Zaitz


View of the exhibition “Made in Italy”; photo by David Zaitz

Dodge Tomahawk Petersen Automotive Museum Los Angeles

2003 Dodge Tomahawk from the museum’s collection

All photos courtesy of Petersen Automotive Museum and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

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copyright Inexhibit 2019 - ISSN: 2283-5474

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