October 31, 2011

The Petersen Automotive Museum

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to visit the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and I have to say this was probably the BEST automotive excursion for me yet. The collection of cars was quite impressive, every single vehicle on display left me in awe.

There were more classic cars than anything, but that was fine by me.  It's certainly a treat to see old cars looking just as good today as they did back when they were in their prime. This '59 Bentas Raven is a perfect example rocking vintage white wall tires.

Here's a custom '55 Cobra job by Motorama looking sweet. There aren't too many cars out there that can pull off white on white but I find classic cars wear it quite well.  It's a great combination on the retro body styles from the 50's and 60's.

Speaking of cool shapes, check out these old gas pumps! Each one has its own unique set of colors and height.

Many of the cars on display just oozed cool, but these two Stutz customs really dazzled me.  Sparkly paint, chopped tops, side skirt exhaust, slammed to the ground. I call them Ebony & Ivory!

It's been scientifically proven coolness is directly correlated to the amount of points, curves and angles present in the design of any car. What better place to display all three than the front end?

Onto the Hollywood Cars!  You probably recognize this VW Beetle as Herbie from "Herbie the Matchmaker" and "The Love Bug," where the car has a mind of its own and entertains the audience with its playful antics. If only all cars could come alive like Herbie does! 

The Hannibal 8 (Twin-8) from "The Great Race" driven by Professor Fate, played by Jack Lemmon.  I admit I haven't watched this film but after seeing this psychotic looking thing I've got to see it in action.  It even has its own torpedos.

This '49 Delahaye type 178 Drophead Coupe was formerly owned by Sir Elton John. I can totally see him driving this. You have to admit, the man has always had excellent taste in cars. I'd be inspired to write songs too if I got to tool around in something like this. 

The KissCat, a '99 Plymouth Prowler custom built for KISS to celebrate their first album in 17 years.  It was later given to a fan who won the sweepstakes giveaway for which the Kisscat was the prize.  It tows a stock Prowler trailer full of amps & guitars. 

You already know what this is! The '89 Batmobile driven by Michael Keaton in "Batman" and "Batman Returns." This has got to be one of the most bad ass movie cars ever made.  It's actually quite huge, I had to back up pretty far to get the entire thing in one shot. 

One last photo before I get to the really good stuff. This insanely purple Lincoln Continental was part of the Hot Wheels display, a scale version is available as part of the Hot Wheels collection. I had quite a few Hot Wheels as a kid (about 50 cars) and this made me miss them.  They're in a box in storage somewhere...

Now for the Supercars Collection.  Let's begin with the Maserati MC-12. Jeremy Clarkson once called it the bastard child of the Enzo, since it's essentially a stripped version of it bearing the trident badge.  Even still, it's an impressive vehicle.

Jaguar's XJ220, a largely unsung hero these days. There isn't much said about it now, but back during its better years it held the world speed record at 217.1mph in '92 as well as the Nurburgring production car lap record between '92 and '00 with a time of 7:47:37.


The F40 was also a force to be reckoned with at one point in time, revered as "the greatest supercar the world had ever seen" by Top Gear U.K. Not far away was its successor...

...the F50, originally built in celebration of the company's 50th birthday.  Three racing versions were also built to replace the previous F40 models in the GT1 series, but unfortunately they never saw the track. 

The beautiful rarity that is the Lamborghini Miura. At the time of its creation it was the fastest production car available, despite it originally being a side project done against the wishes of company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini.  Its design was revolutionary then, but it seems a bit tame now compared to the car that followed...

..the devilish looking Countach. It was revered as one of the top sports cars for two decades, particularly for its sharp angles and wedge-like shape (designed by Marcello Gandini, who is also responsible for the look of the Miura). I can see where the Aventador gets its looks from, it runs in the family!

The Bizzarrini Manta, apparently designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and built from various parts of other Bizzarrinni cars.  It's extremely short, measuring only 13.6 feet in length, and stands no more than 41.5 inches. It seats three and the driver is in the middle!

Ford's GT-40 MKII, it's a lot more chromey than the MKIII, but I think it looks amazing like this.  It hasn't changed much over the years has it? Guess they felt like they got the design close to perfect from the beginning!

The Ferrari Superamerica 400, one Ferrari's last models to be uniquely customized to the desires of its owners.  It is a member of the America series, which includes seven different models, with the 400 denoting the displacement of its front engine. Its original price was about $400,000 it's now upwards of $5 million!

Last but certainly not least,  the Bugatti Veyron 16.4! I couldn't believe I actually got to see this amazing machine in person.  I was speechless, there's nothing quite like the feeling of standing a mere 4 feet away from one the world's fastest, rarest, and most expensive cars. It runs a top speed of 253mph & costs $1.7 million.

I hope you enjoyed the photos from my visit, apologies for poor quality, my camera doesn't do so well with low yellow light.  Until next time!


  1. Awesome entry! I'm impressed by your knowledge and enthusiasm. Keep blogging!

  2. i tell you... That car is totally insane!!!!

    Keep at it!!!!