We were also permitted to take photos within the vault – a practice normally prohibited for public visitors.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – As much as we all are proud to be automotive enthusiasts, the Internet is usually the place where we go to consume media and absorb everything there is to do with cars, and the culture and community that goes with it. Facebook and Instagram pages are good places for people to quickly get their fix, but neither of those are really ideal for things that stand the test of time. Automobiles that come from our history don’t really exist up here in Canada, unless they’re thoughtfully preserved – the salt and harsh weather just doesn’t allow for old stock to enjoy long lives. However, there is one place that is unofficially the world’s melting pot for everything automotive: California.
We were in town to cover the LA Auto Show, as well as take in some sights and sounds. One of the places that is always recommended for automotive enthusiasts is the Petersen Automotive Museum. A fixture since 1994, it underwent a major renovation in 2015 which added the awesome (and extremely colourful) external façade. The building went from a drab (almost Brutalist) concrete structure to one adorned by 100 tons of stainless steel and red accents. It’s certainly not a reserved design on the outside, but what really matters is what’s inside (isn’t that always the case?).
Inside, most of the museum exhibition space remains, but is thoughtfully updated to better accommodate new items and improve visitor flow within its walls. We were gracious to accept an invitation to check out the Petersen and its deepest parts of the vault in the basement. We were also permitted to take photos within the vault – a practice normally prohibited for public visitors. We put together a quick gallery of some of the neat things we saw, but there’s just so much more than what these internet-sized images can convey. Nearly every vehicle within the Petersen’s walls has a story attached to it: whether it’s a car formally owned by late dictators on the other side of the world, presidential transport vehicles, or cars owned by the likes of Elvis Presley. There’s something for every kind of automotive enthusiast. You owe it to yourself to check out the Petersen.