Bernie's tour of the Petersen Automotive Museum

Oct 1, 2013

Confession: I've been holding out on showing off photos. I do have car show coverage to show off and also this experience that I'm about to talk about.

While I was in Los Angeles in August, I got the opportunity to do a few things. I got to run up and down Venice Beach, stuffed my face at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles, got a tan at the Dub Car Show in Anaheim, and the one thing I wanted to do--- Go to the Petersen Automotive Museum (or PAM).

Photo courtesy of Petersen Automotive Museum's wikipedia page
Tucked away in the Beverly Hills area of Los Angeles, is one of the greatest automotive museums in the world- the Petersen Automotive Museum. PAM 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. As someone who is kind of familiar with Los Angeles, I can say that PAM met the expectations of the previous statement.

Once you make it past the admissions desk, that's where the fun begins. You start off in The Streetscape: The car and the city in Southern California. When PAM says you're going to learn the history of the automobile, you're really going to learn the history of the automobile. The first vehicle I come across is the 1911 American Underslung Model 50 Traveler.  

I couldn't live in the early 1900's. This vehicle only had 50 horsepower. No thank you. Then I turned around and realized I didn't start with the oldest vehicle in the building... the Breer, which happened to be manufactured the same year my grandmother was born... 1901.

The Breer has a 2 cylinder steam engine with a grand total of 5 horsepower. I could probably outrun this car. Also, this car has two gears- forward and reverse.

I ran into Laurel and Hardy while at the museum.

From there, I got to see a 1931 Ford Model A Station Wagon.

A fun 1931 Twin Coach Delivery Truck

I enjoyed the scenery that they had in the museum. The people seemed so lifelike... including this guy in the insurance office. He wasn't helpful though.

I even ran into the Speed Shop and the auto parts were authentic.

From there, we got into what I thought was the interesting... the Hollywood era.

A 1940 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe named Sophia, named after the Italian actress, Sophia Loren.

Now we're heading upstairs, into the Hollywood Gallery. I enjoyed this exhibit the most, because Hollywood is the movie capital, and when you come to California, you expect to be see something that has to do with that theme.

First up, a 2013 BMW i8 Concept that Tom Cruise drove in Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol.

The 2002 Ford Thunderbird that Halle Berry drove in Die Another Day

The Original Batman Mobile and Motorcycle. This wasn't the vehicles used in the Batman movies. Before there were Batman movies, there was the 1960's Batman TV show, and that's where these vehicles were from.

Now we're in the history of the pickup trucks. I still walked through this area, even though I have a distaste for pickup trucks. We're going to zoom through this section...

a 1932 Ford Model B Pickup

a 1953 Dodge Power Wagon...

and a 1958 Jeep Forward Control.

Another interesting section: the Hot Wheels Hall of Fame. Once you head inside, there's a display of different Hot Wheels and they show the process of how to create Hot Wheels.

I did skip over a few sections of the museum on purpose so that you can check out the Petersen Automotive Museum yourself. It's really easy to get to, it's right on Wilshire and Fairfax. The museum isn't going anywhere, next year will be the 20th annivarsary of the opening. And if you consider yourself an automotive enthusiast, going to the Petersen Automotive Museum is something you should experience at least one time in your life.

For the rest of my pictures from my museum visit, you can check out Bernie's Petersen Automotive Museum gallery.

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