Seeing Red: The Petersen’s tribute to 70 years of Ferrari

Part of the 'Seeing Red' exhibition of Ferraris at the Petersen Automotive Museum | Larry Crane photos
Part of the ‘Seeing Red’ exhibition of Ferraris at the Petersen Automotive Museum | Larry Crane photos

Red, because Ferrari continues to honor the 1906 Federation International de l’Automobile decision to establish national racing colors to facilitate a spectator recognizing racers from his country — Italian participating cars would be red.

While there have been many manufacturers who spent vast amounts of money modifying production cars to improve racetrack performance, Ferrari in its early days made very minor modifications to make its racing sports cars street worthy. Continue reading

The Petersen salutes the All-American Racer, Dan Gurney

At Bonneville in 1950, Ted Bear (far left), engine-builder Raymond Torres, driver Dan Gurney and '29 Ford roadster-owner Skip Hudson
At Bonneville in 1950, Ted Bear (far left), engine-builder Raymond Torres, driver Dan Gurney (waving) and ’29 Ford roadster-owner Skip Hudson

Daniel Sexton Gurney’s father retired from a career in the aural glories of opera and moved his family to the wind-pushed murmurs of the citrus-covered foothills of Riverside, California. Tall, slender, handsome Dan was immediately became known as the prototypical California kid — and would be for the next 60 years (and counting). Continue reading

Petersen museum ‘Seeing Red’ with special Ferrari exhibit

A 250 GTO will be among 11 red Ferraris in Petersen museum's special display | Petersen photo by Scott Williamson Photodesign Studios
A 250 GTO will be among 11 red Ferraris in Petersen museum’s special display | Petersen photo by Scott Williamson Photodesign Studios

When the Petersen Automotive Museum reopened after being remodeled inside and out, it was the red-ribboned exterior that drew the most comment. But it was the “Precious Metal” display in the Bruce Meyer Family Gallery on the second floor that drew the longest and longing attention of car enthusiasts.

Arrayed around the gallery were some of the world’s most spectacular vehicles, all of them wearing silver-colored bodywork. Long-time car collector and Petersen board member Bruce Meyer had convinced each car’s owner to loan their vehicles to the museum for an extended period. Continue reading

Motorcycle rumble: It’s Harley vs. Indian at the Petersen

Vintage racing motorcycles are only part of the Harley vs. Indian exhibit at the Petersen |Larry Edsall photos
Vintage racing motorcycles are only part of the Harley vs. Indian exhibit at the Petersen |Larry Edsall photos

It was “a nearly religious war waged in dealerships and race tracks,” noted Cycle World magazine editor Mark Hoyer. And now, “Harley vs. Indian” is being waged again, and not only at their respective dealerships and on race tracks across the country but in a new exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. Continue reading

The Petersen presents the ‘Art of Bugatti’ in four acts

'Art of Bugatti' exhibit features cars but also sculpture, furniture and other art by family members | Larry Crane photos
‘Art of Bugatti’ exhibit features cars but also sculpture, furniture and other art by family members | Larry Crane photos

(Editor’s note: In October, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles opened a major new exhibition, “The Art of Bugatti,” featuring works by various members of the artistic family.)

At least four generations of the Bugatti family had their creative energy and Milanese work ethic carefully polished at the Accademia de Belle Arti di Brera, the city’s famous institution founded in 1776 by Maria Theresa, Austrian archduchess and Holy Roman Empress of the Habsburg Dynasty. Its charter was to “provide instruction in fine arts to craftsmen and private artists.” Continue reading

Bonneville, Petersen, Mullin, RK Motors, Amelia take awards

When we visited the Bonneville Salt Flats  2014, surface wasn't strong enough to  support speed record runs  | Larry Edsall photo
When we visited the Bonneville Salt Flats 2014, surface wasn’t strong enough to support speed record runs | Larry Edsall photo

Each year, a major British car magazine gets a private banking firm to underwrite a judging panel to select winners of the International Historic Motoring Awards, which honor the best of the best in the industry that most of us simply consider to be the collector car hobby.

Not only did Americans do exceptionally well in the 2016 award distribution, but, in an unprecedented move, the judging panel presented the lifetime achievement award not to a person but to a place — the Bonneville Salt Flats. Continue reading

Petersen curator shares his vision for museum’s car collection

Some of the classic cars recently on display in the Petersen  Automotive Museum
Some of the classic cars recently on display in the Petersen Automotive Museum

The original structure that still contains the Petersen Automotive Museum was designed by Welton Becket Associates, creators of many Los Angeles architectural icons including the art deco classic Pan Pacific Auditorium, the Capital Records building, the LAX theme building, and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in the city’s Music Center. Continue reading

Petersen announces new exhibits, sets 5-year targets

1936 Bugatti Type 57C Atlantic and a Rembrandt Bugatti sculpture | Larry Edsall photos
1936 Bugatti Type 57C Atlantic and a Rembrandt Bugatti sculpture | Larry Edsall photos

In keeping with its mission of being an educational institution as well as a car museum, officials of the Petersen Automotive Museum shared details at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance of upcoming exhibitions and of the museum’s five-year plan. Continue reading

2015 top stories: No. 5 — Skydome, Petersen reopen

Tape on floor shows outline of the cave beneath the Skydome at the National Corvette Museum | Larry Edsall photos
Tape on floor shows outline of the cave beneath the Skydome at the National Corvette Museum | Larry Edsall photos

Two of the most important buildings to the classic car community reopened in 2015, one after a disaster, the other after what easily could have been a disaster. Continue reading

Eye Candy: ‘Precious Metal’ at the Petersen Automotive Museum

1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 among silver cars in a special display | Larry Edsall photos
1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 among silver cars in a special display | Larry Edsall photos

Yesterday, we shared an Eye Candy gallery on the remodeled Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. In that display we included only one photograph from the inaugural exhibit in the museum’s new Bruce Meyer Family Gallery, a special exhibit space on the museum’s second floor. Continue reading