Archives For Automobile

As an Angeleno and car aficionado, I was eager and excited to visit the Petersen Automotive Museum this past weekend. The museum, conveniently located on Wilshire Blvd, is dedicated to the exploration and presentation of the history of the automobile and its impact on American life and culture using Los Angeles as the prime example. I recommend parking in the designated parking structure located directly in the museum, then walk into the lobby where you are greeted with a beautiful Plymouth Explorer. Purchase your ticket and begin your automotive journey.

The museum is best explored in chronological order, beginning with the earliest models and working your way up the different floors to the latest models. Enjoy three floors packed with fascinating automotive history. The vehicles on display reflect decades of period styles interwoven with technological  developments. Pictures are allowed and fun to take.

The First Floor:

By far my favorite exhibit was “The Streetscape” which chronicles the evolution of the automobile and its influence on life and car culture in Southern California during the 20th century. The winding path provides sights and sounds of automotive life beginning with a turn of the century blacksmith’s shop where the earliest automobiles were built, and takes you through 100 years of automotive history. Here you can explore how the automobile helped shape modern Los Angeles. You can enhance your Streetscape experience by using your cell phone as a free guide. Call (323) 209-4149 and look for the blue emblem on the wall for prompt numbers.

The Second Floor:

This floor boasts seven exhibition galleries such as the Hollywood gallery with cars used in film and television, the Hot Wheels Hall of Fame gallery displaying Mattel’s official display of diecasts and full-size vehicles and the Otis Chandler gallery with historic motorcycles and scooters. View the cars of the stars up close and personal, relive your childhood and learn the building process of your favorite Hot Wheels, and explore the two-wheeled history of the motorbike.

The Third Floor:

On this floor you will find the May Family Discovery Center. This area is designed to spark a child’s interest in science by way of the automobile. This hands-on learning center teaches basic scientific principles using the fundamental elements of the car. Experience becoming the human spark plug in a giant combustion engine. Ride on a Model T or race an Indy car. The Center is also host to a mural replica, Los Angeles: The Living City.

After visiting the exhibits, make your way to the Johnny Rockets Great American Burger Restaurant located inside the museum. Its motif is meant to capture all of Americana. The décor includes juke boxes, chrome accents, and red leather seats, while the walls are adorned with images of America’s past. You are served by waiters and waitresses dressed in period attire. The staff is known to sing, dance, twirl straws, and make ketchup smiley faces!

Los Angeles is a city of innovation. It’s where dreams become reality and everyone can make their mark. While most of the world was still driving a horse-and-buggy, Angelenos were driving the automobile. Visit the Petersen Automotive Museum for the ultimate driving driving experience, you’ll drive away with a greater understanding and feeling of appreciation for your vehicle.

“There are towns in the East that boast an automobile to every one hundred of the population…Los Angeles, with a quarter of a million people, has an automobile for every eighty persons. It is without exception the banner automobile city of the world” – Los Angeles Time, January 1907

WHAT: Petersen Automotive Museum
WHEN:  Tuesday – Sunday | 10:00 am – 6:00 pm | Closed on Mondays
WHERE: 6060 Wilshire Blvd | Los Angeles, CA 90036  

CONTACT INFO: (323) 964-6331

DETAILS: 

  • Ticket prices: Adults $10, Seniors $8 (62 and over), Students with I.D. $5, Active Military with I.D. $5, Children $3 (5 – 12 years old), Children under 5 free
  • Museum parking: $2 per 30 minutes, $8 maximum with paid admission for up to four hours, $12 maximum all others

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Take a journey through one of mankind’s greatest achievements… The Automobile

The Petersen Automotive Museum is dedicated to the exploration and presentation of the automobile and its impact on American life and culture using Los Angeles as the prime example. Encompassing more than 300,000 square feet, its 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. You can walk through exhibits and dioramas and experience settings of early Los Angeles where the world’s first shopping district was designed. The second floor presents five rotating 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 Discovery Center is located on the third floor. Designed to spark your interest in science by way of the automobile, the 6,500 square-foot, interactive “hands-on” learning center teaches you 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.

Current Exhibits:

From the grand classics of the 1930s to modern supercars of today, Italian designers have influenced the look of automobiles on a global scale. The Sculpture In Motion: Masterpieces Of Italian Design Exhibit explores the many ways in which Italian coachbuilders and manufacturers have contributed to the evolution of the automobile from a collection of disorganized parts to a single, visually appealing unit. Already well aware of the Italian contribution in the look of clothing, art, and architecture, you will be fascinated to learn that the country that gave the world Michelangelo and Botticelli also gave it the designers responsible for the exotic and inspired automobiles we have now come to expect from Italy.

Scooters have captured the attention of motorists throughout the world and the Scooters: Size Doesn’t Always Matter Exhibit displays this era. In addition to their quirky and often endearing styling, the diminutive two-wheelers are affordable, maneuverable, extremely economical to operate, simple to park or store, and often easier to license and register than cars or motorcycles. Thanks to their mechanical simplicity and wide availability, scooters have long played a vital role in the pursuit of personal mobility throughout the world. Not surprisingly, they outsell automobiles in many areas and are even a preferred means of family transportation in places like India, Pakistan, China, and elsewhere. In the United States scooters are becoming increasingly popular as gas prices continue to rise and the motoring public seeks a new way to proclaim their individuality and personal style on a budget.

Permanent Exhibits:

The Streetscape Exhibit features historical displays that chronicle the evolution of the automobile and car culture in the 20th century. The lifelike dioramas were designed based on real places and people that existed throughout Southern California. The Streetscape begins with a blacksmith shop in 1901 where 17-year-old Carl Breer built a car powered by a 2-cylinder steam engine. The winding journey continues with 30 detailed displays that bring back the sights, sounds, and even smells of old Los Angeles and help you understand the automobile’s vital role in sculpting our modern automotive landscape.

The capital of both car consumption and movie production, Los Angeles has witnessed the potent relationship between these two forms of expression. Both cars and movies combine art, technology, and image making. Both revolutionized how people spent their leisure time. And both represented a mixture of glamour and mechanical convenience to the American public. The Hollywood Gallery Exhibit presents an array of vehicles that illustrate how cars were used on-screen, how they played an essential part in the opulent Hollywood lifestyle, and how they helped put the “motion” in motion pictures.

A little more than one hundred years ago, any conveyance not propelled by a horse or mule was considered an alternative power vehicle. The thought of being taken from place to place in any kind of mechanically-powered contraption was considered ridiculous by the large majority. But by the turn of the twentieth century, vehicles powered by steam, electricity, and petroleum had captured the imagination of the buying public and were being sold in ever increasing numbers. As oil became more available, gasoline-fueled vehicles came to dominate the market and all but a tiny number of their steam and electric-powered counterparts were consigned to history, the definition of an automobile propulsion system came to be extremely narrow. By 1910, the typical vehicle was any car, truck, or motorcycle powered by a gasoline powered, piston driven, internal-combustion engine. As the piston engine gained a reputation for power and reliability, more and more capital resources were channeled to perfecting it and a complicated fuel refining and distributing infrastructure was developed to support it. The Alternative Power Exhibit show cases this important era in car manufacturing.

In 2003, Mattel marked the 35th anniversary of the Hot Wheels brand by unveiling the first-ever long-term Hot Wheels Exhibit with full-size and die-cast cars. The Hot Wheels Hall of Fame hosts a selection of Hot Wheels cars, both miniature and full-scale, which embody the brands’ signature speed, power, performance and attitude.

Explore the evolution of the Automobile and its impact on our culture. Experience the last 100 years of automotive history at the museum, there is always something new to discover for the whole family.

WHAT: The Petersen Automotive Museum  
WHEN:  Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm | Closed on Mondays
WHERE: 6060 Wilshire Blvd | Los Angeles, CA 90036  

CONTACT INFO: (323) 964-6331

DETAILS: 

  • Ticket prices: Adults $10, Seniors $8 (62 and over), Students with I.D. $5, Active Military with I.D. $5, Children $3 (5 – 12 years old), Children under 5 free
  • Museum parking: $2 per 30 minutes, $8 maximum with paid admission for up to four hours, $12 maximum all others

Dear reader,

I appreciate your support and feedback. Please respond to this article now by leaving a comment and/or “liking” it. For exciting, up to date events in Los Angeles, subscribe to this blog via email. You can also share this article with friends and family and visit my Facebook and Twitter pages.

Stick with me and I guarantee you’ll never run out of things to do because you’ll always be connected, and your friends and family will admire you.

Thank you!

Mr. Events.