After a year-long shutdown and a $125 million overhaul, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles has reopened. So a small group of SWC members, on 8/27/16, made the trek to visit the "Petersen" and see valuable vehicles, historic roadsters, celebrity cars and exquisitely designed automotive machinery, and the transformation.
The "Mission" statement of the "Petersen" is : To explore and present the history of the automobile and its impact on American life and culture using Los Angeles as the prime example, and so our journey began.
The ticket attendant suggested we start on the History Floor (3) and satisfy our thirst for nostalgia as we explore the multi-faceted history of the automobile and our love for it. Learn how Holly wood embraced cars, how Los Angeles grew to depend on them, and how the "the future' of the automobile looked long ago.
We then went to the Industry Floor (2) to explore the diversity of automotive design and technology and see cars that have been modified for speed or efficiency. Learn what it's like to work in the car industry and watch automotive design students as they envision cars of the future.
And then finally, the ground floor. The Peter and Merle Mullin Artistry Floor. Discover the most artfully-designed vehicles ever built, often regarded as rolling sculptures. Explore how the automobile has been interpreted as the subject of fine art and even used as a canvas for artistic expression. (Mr. Mullin was the person in charge of the remodeling project.)
Here are just a couple of stories and attached pictures from the "Petersen" - with many, many more that could have been brought to you.
This is a Jaguar XKSS. Jaguar built 12 of them in 1956 with plans to build 18. A factory fire destroyed some of the parts so they couldn't build all 18 they had planned. They sold for $11,000 back in 1956. They recently completed the other 6 which they sold for $1.5 million each. This model was owned by Steve McQueen who changed the color from white to British Racing Green.
This is a 1959 Corvette Stingray XP-87. It was the first use of the name Stingray and the first use of the Corvette emblem from the 1963 Stingray. The rest of the Stingray saga is history and many of us presently own Stingrays, both old and new.