Even if you aren’t a classic car expert, there’s no denying that there is something spectacular about looking at cars from the past and marveling at their craftsmanship and design. The same goes for movie memorabilia and other classic pop culture items that the entertainment industry made famous.
So what happens when you combine those two things?
As a true Los Angeles experience, the Petersen Automotive Museum offers a unique, firsthand look at the history of automobiles and their impact on culture in “the most car-centric city the world has yet known.” Currently, there are more than 25 galleries and 300 cars on display to the public, with new exhibitions opening every other month.
No matter when you visit, you’re sure to find something to love at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Here are a few permanent displays worth exploring during a trip to Southern California.
This exhibit focuses on vehicles powered by alternative fuels, such as electricity and steam. In the early 20th century, many automobiles ran on these power sources before oil was discovered in Texas and California. After that discovery, gasoline-powered engines became far more popular. Explore some of the landmark vehicles that defined alternative power and changed the landscape of the space.
ArtCenter College of Design
This permanent display showcases the work from students in the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. Specifically, you’ll see sketches from the College’s transportation and industrial design programs. Students have access to a large network of alumni in the LA area and beyond, who are well-established in the auto industry. In this exhibit, hosted in the Mullin Design Studio, you’ll be able to view designs created by the next automotive visionaries.
Cars Mechanical Institute
This family-friendly exhibit is an interactive experience based on Pixar’s popular Cars movie franchise. Visitors can learn about automobile history, design virtual cars, and build their own Lego cars to race around a track. You can even color your own Cars-inspired vehicle to bring home with you. Don’t forget to say hi to Lightning McQueen and his friends in Radiator Springs during your visit!
You can also check out some of the other featured exhibits at the museum, including Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy (where you’ll see the DeLorean time machine featured in the Back to the Future Trilogy), Winning Numbers: The First, The Fastest, The Famous, and Legends of Los Angeles: Southern California Race Cars and Their Builders.
The Petersen Automotive Museum offers a one-of-a-kind experience for the entire family, and you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime. Learn about the invention of the automobile, how cars have evolved, and how vehicles will change in the future.
If you’re in need of a place to stay near the Petersen Automotive Museum, check out the Century Park Hotel. We are centrally located in West Los Angeles, near many of the city’s top attractions and tourist destinations. Perfect for individuals, couples, or families, the Century Park Hotel is a stylish boutique hotel in the heart of LA, ready to create a memorable stay for you.