After a 14-month total transformation and $95M upgrade, the Petersen Automotive Museum will reopen its doors to the general public on Monday, December 7th. The new Petersen now has three full floors of cars, interactive experiences, NS over 95,000 square feet of exhibit space. Yesterday, we got special access to see the brand-new museum before it opens to the public. Here’s a preview of what you can look forward to on your next visit.
The Peter and Merle Mullin Artistry Floor (1st floor) features some of the most artfully designed vehicles from history. These true works of automotive art can best be described as rolling sculptures. One of our personal favorites was the 1936 Type 57sc Bugatti Atlantic (shown above). It just exuded coolness and we couldn’t help but imagine motoring down some old country roads head for a picnic in the countryside. The first floor also houses the BMW Art Cars exhibit in the Armand Hammer Foundation Gallery, the renovated gift shop, and a cafe that will be opening in spring 2016.
A trip up the stairs will take you to the Industry Floor (2nd floor). This was our favorite floor as it is dedicated to exploring the diversity of automotive design and technology. It also features cars and have been specially modified for speed and efficiency. The Pixar Cars Mechanical Institute features a life-size Lightning McQueen and uses augmented reality technology to tech children how cars really work. At the Art Center College of Design Studio in the Mullin Design Gallery, visitors can watch real students transforming the ideas of today into the cars of tomorrow.
Our two favorite exhibits at the Peteresen Automotive Museum were on this floor. They were the Precious Metal exhibit and the Motorsports exhibit. Seriously, who doesn’t like fast race cars and timeless sports cars? The 2017 Ford GT (shown above) is one of only two in the world currently on display. As if the all new GT wasn’t impressive enough, an original ’66 is parked right next to it so you can see them side by side. One other exhibit on the Industry Floor we’d like to point out is the Forza Motorsport Racing Experience. While we didn’t test it out personally, museum visitors can get behind the wheel of a variety of vehicles and try their hand at racing some of the most famous road courses in the world.
The History Floor (third floor) features “Concept Cars as Art” in the Audrey and Martin Gruss Foundation Gallery as well as the Hollywood Gallery. Attendees will get a kick off the Hollywood Gallery as you get an up close look at cars like the Batmobile, Magnum P.I.’s Ferrari, and event Walter White’s Pontiac Aztec from Breaking Bad.
Overall, the transformation of the Petersen Automotive Museum is quite impressive and we recommend paying it a visit if you’re in the Los Angeles area. There is definitely something for everyone who attends and we like the fact that the museum has placed a huge emphasis moving forward on updating and changing the exhibits on a regular basis. Their stated goal is that every time you attend, you should discover something new. The Petersen Automotive Museum is open seven days a week, from 10am to 6pm, and admission prices range from $15 to $7. Active duty military and educators can get in for free. For more information on the Peteresen, or to see a list of the latest exhibits and upcoming special events, visit their website.