Petersen Automotive Museum marks 25 years on the Mile

| February 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

PRESIDENT’S DAY parade is suitably led by a Chrysler Imperial Parade Phaeton, which belonged to President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Petersen Automotive Museum, located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard. To celebrate, the museum is hosting events all year long. 

Brief history

The Petersen Automotive Museum first opened to the public on June 9, 1994 on the corner of Fairfax and Wilshire in a building that previously housed the department store Seibu. The museum’s benefactors, Margie and Robert E. Petersen, had a dream to showcase automotive culture from around the world while continuing to celebrate Southern California’s rich history of automotive innovation, competition and design. 

The Miracle Mile’s skyline was forever changed when, in 2015, more than 300 sections of silvery steel ribbons were assembled to form a dramatic contrast to the building’s “hot rod red” exterior as, perhaps, the most visible part of a 13-month, $125 million renovation to the then nearly two-decade old museum. The result was 95,000 square feet of exhibit space on three floors devoted to the history, industry and art of the automobile.

Anniversary events

Kicking off its 25th-anniversary celebration, the Petersen Museum paraded some of Hollywood’s most famous cars past Los Angeles landmarks on President’s Day, Feb. 18, including the “Little Miss Sunshine” Volkswagen bus and the James Bond XK-R car from “Die Another Day.”

Starting at Playa Vista, the cars cruised through Venice along Ocean Avenue to San Vicente Boulevard, across the Sunset Strip and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, then they paraded south to the Petersen Museum parking garage, where the iconic vehicles were displayed for parade-visitors to get a closer look. 

Winning Numbers

The museum’s newest exhibit, which opened Feb. 23, is from the collection of Petersen Founding Chairman Bruce Meyer. “Winning Numbers: The First, The Fastest, The Famous,” features 10 groundbreaking racecars, each with a unique story of triumph and victory, including dragsters and road racers. 

Running through Jan. 19, 2020, the “Winning Numbers” exhibit represents the first installment of the three-part “California Collecting” exhibit series, which will focus on three prominent collections belonging to the region’s most revered enthusiasts. 

Bruce Meyer

Affectionately known as the “car guy’s car guy,” Meyer is internationally recognized for his passion for all things automotive. He was a close friend and neighbor of Petersen Publishing founder Robert Petersen when he and “Pete” hatched the idea for the Petersen Automotive Museum in 1992 — officially opening its doors to the public in 1994. Twenty-five years later, Meyer remains one of the museum’s biggest supporters. 

“Bruce Meyer is perhaps one of the most influential ‘car guys’ in the world, and there is no better collection than his to kick off our 25th anniversary,” said Petersen Automotive Museum executive director Terry Karges. “He epitomizes true automotive passion, sharing his knowledge, fervor and immense love for the motorsports hobby with the next generation of enthusiasts.” 

Looking forward, Petersen will welcome its most celebrated exhibit of the year on May 4 with a dystopian-movie theme, in partnership with ComicCon. Organizers say the exhibit will be a “blockbuster event” for the museum. 

“Classic Futures: Hollywood Envisions Tomorrow” will feature vehicles used in cinema to depict a dystopian future. Think of movies like “Mad Max” and “TRON.” More details in the months ahead. 

Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $16 for general admission, $14 for seniors and $11 for children ages 4 to 17. For more information, visit


Category: Entertainment

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