Petersen Automotive Museum – Experience The History of Cars (Floor 2)


Road cars or race cars, old cars or new cars; it makes little difference to me because I’m fascinated by all of them. The Petersen Automotive museum houses all types of cars under one roof. Below you will find some of my favorites from the second level of this one of a kind auto museum.



Disney Pixar Cars – Lightning McQueen


The Pixar Cars Mechanical Institute at the Petersen Automotive Museum features a life-size Lightning McQueen. The partnership with Disney Pixar allows visitors of all ages can experience the inspiration and creation of the Pixar movie Cars. Visitors can see Lightning McQueen and many other Disney Pixar Cars movie creation at the remodeled Petersen Automotive Museum.

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2005 Ford Shelby GR-1 Concept


Intended as an homage to the classic Shelby Daytona Coupe, this Ford GR-1 concept was designed at Ford’s Advanced Design Center in Irvine, California. J Mays, graduate of Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design and then-Chief Creative Officer for Ford, first noticed George Saridakis’ sketches of the GR-1 at a design review and encouraged the young designer to model his vision in clay as quickly as possible. The finished concept was executed with merely three reference sketches.

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1997 Porsche 911 GT1


The Porsche GT1 is the first mid-engine 911, and the first 911 to feature a water-cooled engine.  Porsche constructed a small series of three GT1’s for the 1997 FIA GT Championship, all of which were based on 911 GT2 Works team cars. This car (Chassis #101) competed at Le Mans Sebring and Laguna Seca.  It also won the Three Hours of Zhuhai in China and successfully competed in the British GT Series.  An unusually successful car the GT1 ultimately won eight races and achieved 21podium finishes of the 36 competitions in which it was entered.

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1970 Plymouth Barracuda AAR Trans-AM Car #48 – 302 C.I. Plymouth V-8


A latecomer to Trans-Am racing, Chrysler’s Plymouth division backed three cars prepared by AAR in 1970, and driven by Dan Gurney and Swede Savage. To comply with Trans-Am rules, the engine was a destroked 340 cubic inch V-8. Gurney drove this car throughout the 1970 season, including his last professional race at Riverside where he qualified third and finished fifth.  Shortly after the end of the season, the car was sold to Chrysler France, where it was raced in the 24 hours of Le Mans and European hill climbs.  The car returned to the U.S. in the 1990s, where its original AAR livery was found still intact under layers of paint.

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1975 AAR Indy Jorgensen Eagle #48 – 161.5 C.I. Turbocharged Drake Offenhauser Inline 4


Driven by Bobby Unser, this All American Racers team car won the Indianapolis 500 in 1975. It was the first Indianapolis 500 victory for sponsor Earle M. Jorgensen, founder of Jorgensen Steel Corporation, the second for driver Bobby Unser, the third for car builder Dan Gurney and the thirtieth for a Drake-Offenhauser engine.  The 1974 USAC National Championship winning “Olsonite Eagle” was repainted in Jorgensen blue and given the traditional Gurney #48 for the 1975 season.   

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1993 AAR-Toyota Eagle MK III GTP #99 – 128 C.I. Turbocharged Toyota Inline 4


The Toyota-powered Eagle Mk III GTP car was the culmination of a decade-long partnership between AAR and Toyota.  AAR’s chief designer John Ward and aerodynamicist Hiro Fujimori designed the GTP Mk III and Toyota Racing Development supplied the turbocharged 16-valve DOHC inline-four cylinder engine.  In addition to winning two manufacturers and two drivers championships, the Eagle MK III GTP car won every race in which it entered, including a record 17 consecutive victories.

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1954 Mercedes-Benz W196


Designed For Victory: Mercedes-Benz introduced the innovative W196 for its return to Grand Prix racing in 1954. It featured a fuel-injected straight-eight engine, a five-speed transmission, a tubular space frame and a stunning streamlined body that was developed in a wind tunnel. It was regarded as the most advanced race car of its day. Driver Juan-Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss won 9 of 12 races with the W196 in 1954 and 1955 vefire Mercedes-Benz withdrew from racing.

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1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS


Fabulous Fiberglass: Painted silver to signify the national racing color of Germany, The body on this Porsche 904 is actually made of fiberglass-reinforced plastic. This was Porsche’s first use of the lightweight material, and also their first design featuring a ladder-type chassis. This Porsche found early success in German hill climb events with privateer Joseph “Sepp” Greger at the wheel, and was later owned by noted race team leader Vasek Polak, who upgraded the 904’s 4-cylinder engine to a 6-cylinder powerplant.

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Dual-Purpose Drive: The 250 GT SWB was produced fom 1960 to 1962 and became Ferrari’s ultimate dual-purpose grand turismo. Introduced at the 1959 Paris Auto Salon as a competition car, the first SWBs featured lightweight aluminum bodies and race-tuned engines. Ferrari later built a number of steel-bodied SWBs with slightly de-tuned engines, such as this example, for road use. All versions were powered by a 3.0-liter, V-12 engine with dual overhead camshafts and three Weber carburetors.

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1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB






1953 Nash-Healey By Pinin Farina


In 1951 Nash motor company collaborated with British engineer Donald Healey to produce the Nash Healey, an Anglo-American hybrid that used the chassis of the Healey Silverstone sports car and the six-cylinder engine of the Nash. A mere 104 British-bodied Nash-Healey roadsters were built before a chance meeting between Charles Nash and Battista “Pinin” Farina aboard an ocean liner led to a collaboration that would impact the styling of the entire Nash lineup. Introduced in 1952, the new Pinin Farina designed Nash-Healey combined recognizable styling elements of full-size Nash vehicles with the fleet silhouette popularized by the Italian school.

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1929 Ford Tudor Custom


This custom Tudor exemplifies the nostalgia and artistry that persist in contemporary American hot rod culture. Designers Andy Lowry and Gary Wood were inspired by the fortified but lightweight riveted paneling of midcentury bombers, hearkening back to the golden age of hot rods in the postwar period. In keeping with the aviation design theme, this hot rod features leather bomber seats, an aircraft-style instrument panel, and over 2,500 hand-laid rivets. It is powered by a 1930s 276-cubic inch Ford flathead engine with a Roadrunner Weiand supercharger.

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1948 Cadillac Sedanette CadZZilla – Rock ‘n Roll Monster


Based on a production 1948 Cadillac Sedanette fastback and inspired by Japanese movie monsters, CadZZilla was one of many custom cars commissioned by Billy F Gibbons, guitarist for the rock band ZZ Top. The striking vehicle is powered by a massive 500 cubic-inch V-8 Cadillac engine and has appeared on covers of numerous magazines and ZZ Top albums.

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1992 Jaguar XJ220 – World’s Fastest Car


Though conceived by Jaguar engineers in their spare time, the XJ220 held so much promise that company executives elected to put it into production. Like those of previous Jaguars, the XJ220’s model designation was derived in part from its top speed of 220 miles per hour, the fastest of any production vehicle at the time. Its twin-turbo, 3.5-liter V-6 engine produced 542 horsepower. Acceleration from zero to sixty miles per hour took a mere 3.5 seconds. The declining demand for supercars during the 1990s assured that the market was quickly saturated and a mere 350 of the $678,000 exotic cars were produced.

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1956 Jaguar XKSS – Steve McQueen’s Favorite Car


Of the many cars owned by actor Steve McQueen, this race-bred Jaguar was his favorite. He enjoyed driving the car fast and is reported to have received enough speeding tickets that his driver’s license was almost suspended twice during his first year of ownership. Unhappy with the original white paint and red interior, McQueen had the car repainted an appropriate British racing green and re-trimmed with black 149 MPH leather upholstery.

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Petersen Automotive Museum – Experience The History of Cars (Floor 3)


Time to visit the World’s greatest automotive museum! Located in the heart of Los Angeles, California. Full of cars from every generation known to man. If you have never been or haven’t been, well you are in luck! We have put together a batch of photos of cars that have made a considerable footprint in the automotive world. We won’t necessarily start from the beginning but we will plug in a few to keep it interesting. Enjoy a ride in to the past!


1948 Davis Divan – Today’s Value $9800.Top Speed: 75 MPH. Horsepower: 57. Number Built: 16.


After World War II, Los Angeles-based entrepreneur Gary Davis built a radically engineered car with aircraft-inspired styling, concealed headlights, four-abreast seating, aluminum body construction and the simplicity of three wheels. Touted as the car of the future, only 16 of the highly maneuverable vehicles were built in a hangar at the Van Nuys Airport before production was suspended due to poor management and a lack of capital.

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1996 General Motors EV1 – Today’s Value $855/Month.Top Speed: 80MPH. Horsepower: 137. Number Built: 1,117.


The EV1 was the first modern, mass-produced electric vehicle (EV) built by a major manufacturer. It was ultra aerodynamic, lightweight, had an acceptable commuting range and could be easily driven by the average motorist. Consumers could only lease (not buy the cars from select dealers in California, Arizona and Georgia. After four years of costly production the EV1 was discontinued and all but 40 we dismantled.

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1947 Cisitalia 202 Coupe – Today’s Value $8000.Top Speed: 100 MPH. Horsepower: 70. Number Built: 170.


Cisitalia was one of several small post-World War II Italian firms to build specialty sports cars using Fiat mechanical parts. The taut lines and low hood of the 202 Coupe’s Pinin Farina-designed body set a new standard for automotive beauty. Considered a work of art in its day, an example was famously acquired by the New York Museum of Modern Art after its inclusion in their landmark 1951 “Eight Automobiles” exhibition.

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1992 Aluma Coupe – Today’s Value N/A.Top Speed: N/A. Horsepower: 320. Number Built: 1.


 The Aluma Coupe is a one-of-a-kind custom vehicle built by Southern California car designer Boyd Coddington. It was one of the first modern vehicles to combine the style and feel of a 1950s hot rod with the engineering comfort and refinement of a modern car. This aluminum-bodied vehicle was built as a concept car for Mitsubishi to debut at the 1992 New York International Auto Show.

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1914 Renault Type EF – Roscoe’s Renault


One of the first film stars to take a pie to the face for laughs, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle was a multi-talented comedian, actor and director. He was one of Hollywood’s first wealthy celebrities, signing a then-unheard-of $1 million contract with Paramount Pictures in 1918. Arbuckle’s larger-than-life persona (and bank account) was reflected in his car collection, which included this rare Renault, bodied by Los Angeles-based Earl Automobile Works. Harley Earl, son of EAW founder J.W. Earl, went on to a successful career as head of design at General Motors after working in his father’s shop.

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1958 Plymouth Fury “Christine”


Based on the book by Stephen King, the film Christine follows a possessed Plymouth Fury That wreaks havoc on the life of its owner and those around him. While a total of 24 Plymouth Furys were acquired for production, this was one of only two stunt cars in running condition used during filming. Coded “Muscle Tow,” the stunt car was supposed to be crushed after the movie debuted, but was saved by current owner Martin Sanchez. He used parts from the other Christines to restore the car back to original condition.

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1963 Volkswagen Beetle “Herbie”; Driven in Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005)


In Walt Disney Pictures’ Herbie: Fully Loaded, the endearing Volkswagen that debuted in the 1968 movie The Love Bug returns, transformed into a NASCAR contender. To make sure the racing scenes looked realistic, the Beetle was modified for the track and equipped with an upgraded suspension, full roll cage, disc brakes and Goodyear racing slicks. One of several Herbies built for the film, this example was the car driven by Lindsay Lohan as Maggie Peyton in the racing sequences.

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1982 Ferrari 308 GTSi – Driven in the television series Magnum, P.I.


This 1982 Ferrari 308GTSi was the actual car driven by both Tom Selleck and Larry Manetti during the 1982-1983 shooting season of the television detective series Magnum P.I. The driver’s seat was modified to fit six foot, four inch Tom Selleck. The seat rails were relocated and the filler material from the driver’s seat bottom cushion was removed. The mid-engine successor of the Ferrari Dino, the 308GTSi is powered by a fuel injected 3 liter V-8.

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1981 DeLorean DMC-12 “Time Machine” Driven in Back to the Future (1985)


Famous for transporting main character Marty McFly back in time, this was the first of three DeLorean Time Machines built for the original Back to the Future movie starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. After appearing in all three films and spending 25 years as a tourist attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood, the Time Machine showed signs of wearing. A skilled team of fans meticulously restored the iconic car, which included replacing the missing flux capacitor, the key component for time travel.

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1999 Mach 5 Prototype


The Mach 5 from the animated television series Speed Racer has been described as the most famous race car in the world, yet it only existed as a two-dimensional cartoon illustration before this fully operational example was constructed. In 2000, this hand-built interpretation of the cartoon Mach 5 completed a nationwide automotive safety tour sponsored by the Child Safety Network. The Speed Racer Motors organization then unveiled plans to build a series of 100 road-ready replicas based on front-engine Corvette platforms, but few were made.

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2008 Batpod


Conceived by director Christopher Nolan, the Batpod provided a two-wheel alternative to Batman’s usual mode of transportation. It was designed to be operated with the rider in a prone position and features a custom chassis with Hoosier racing tires and a braking system operated by controls on the left handle and right pedal. One of six built for use in The Dark Knight by Christian Bale (Batman), it was later used in The Dark Knight Rises by Anne Hathaway (Catwoman).

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1989 Batmobile


Almost 20 feet in length, the Batmobile was based on the platform of a 1967 Chevrolet Impala found in London. It was powered by a 327-cubic-inch V-8 Chevrolet engine mounted low in the frame. Rolls-Royce jet engine components were used to form the hood-mounted intake, and turbine blades in the nose piece were sourced from a British Harrier fighter jet. This example was one of five cars authorized by the studio for promotional purposes.

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1967 Toyota 2000GT – Today’s Value $7230.Top Speed: 135 MPH. Horsepower: 149. Number Built: 351.


Secretly fabricated entirely by hand in the Yamaha factory in Shizuoka, Japan, the 2000GT represented Toyota’s earliest attempt to make a sports car that could rival European supercars like Lamborghini and Porsche. The 2000GT was introduced in 1965 at the Tokyo Motor Show and special racing versions quickly claimed three world endurance records. Its performance-oriented, two-liter twin-cam six-cylinder engine produced a remarkable 149 horsepower.

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