Petersen Automotive Museum

From the Batmobile to Marty McFly’s DeLorean: The Petersen Museum’s New Show Spotlights Hollywood’s Most Iconic Rides

From the Batmobile to Marty McFly’s DeLorean: The Petersen Museum’s New Show Spotlights Hollywood’s Most Iconic Rides

Petersen Automotive Museum is giving cinephiles the chance to get up close and personal with the vehicular stars of the big screen.

The LA institution, which houses one of the largest automotive collections in the world, launches a new exhibition on March 12 dedicated to Hollywood’s most iconic rides.
Located in the Omaze Hollywood Gallery on the museum’s third floor, the show comprises an array of world-famous cars, motorcycles and bespoke vehicles that have one thing in common: They’ve all been featured in film over the past century.

The 1989 Batmobile that was driven in the Batman films starring Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader. 

Petersen Automotive Museum

“We are excited to display what are genuinely some of the most iconic vehicles from Hollywood’s long and storied history of film and television series production,” Petersen’s executive director Terry L. Karges said in a statement.
One of the stars of the show is the Batmobile, which was driven by Michael Keaton in Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). Based on a 1967 Chevrolet Impala, the black beast is powered by a powerful Chevy V-8 and features parts sourced from a British Harrier fighter jet.
Other standout cars include the 1981 DeLorean “Time Machine” featured in the Back to the Future trilogy (top), the wildly popular 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor dubbed “Ecto-1” that appeared in the Ghostbusters films and a 1933 Auburn Speedster Replica used in The Great Gatsby (2013).

The Moto-Terminator from “Terminator Salvation.” 

Petersen Automotive Museum

It’s not just four-wheelers on display, either. The motorcycle from Terminator Salvation (2009) will be on display alongside a bonkers one-wheeler from Men in Black 3 (2012). You might remember Agent J (Will Smith) and a young Agent K (Josh Brolin) chasing down Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) on this high-tech monocycle.
“The unique collection is sure to appeal to fans of movies and television along with any automotive enthusiasts,” Karges added.
While at the museum, movie buffs can also check out the “Bond in Motion” exhibition in the Mullin Family Grand Salon, which features more than 30 vehicles from the beloved 007 franchise.
Tickets can be purchased on the Petersen Museum website.
Check out more photos below:

A 1933 Auburn Speedster Replica used in “The Great Gatsby.” 

Petersen Automotive Museum

The 1959 Miller-Meteor Futura Duplex “Ecto-1” from “Ghostbusters.” 

Petersen Automotive Museum

Monocycle used in “Men in Black 3.” 

Petersen Automotive Museum

The Petersen Automotive Museum and Michelin Team for a Private Tour of Holy-Grail Cars

The Petersen Automotive Museum and Michelin Team for a Private Tour of Holy-Grail Cars

Just a short jog away from where the crush of automotive devotees that is Monterey Car Week happens every August, a group of 15 gearheads convene in the courtyard of a serene, stately home. An obsession with exquisite vehicles brings them together, but the collection housed in the sprawling standalone garage is about to turn their jaded eyes green with envy.

The gathering, orchestrated by the Petersen Automotive Museum and blessed (i.e. sponsored) by the patron saint of premium tires (and haute cuisine), Michelin, is led by Bruce Meyer. The quintessential enthusiast’s enthusiast, Meyer is a notable collector in his own right. When he arrives in a seemingly mile-long 1930s Bugatti and emerges with Gatsby-like savior-faire, he teases the group that they’re about to experience one of the most exceptional assemblages of cars and motorcycles to be found anywhere. He then shepherds the coterie into a hall that has about as much in common with a garage as The Breakers does with a single-family residence in the burbs. In a moment of instantaneous recognition, an eyeful of singular automotive icons leaves the group speechless.

The iconic front end of a Ferrari 250 GTO. 

Photo by Larry Chen.

Straight ahead is a legendary Ferrari 250 GTO, one of 36 in total. Any GTO is as rare as a star sapphire, but this particular specimen is not just any example: of the few coveted GTOs in existence, this is reportedly one of the only examples that has never been crashed. Parked alongside it is the last Ferrari Formula 1 car ever piloted by seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, his colorful helmet resting on the car’s minimalist carbon-fiber chassis.
Rows of immaculate vehicles form a sea of sheet metal. A passel of Ferraris, both racers and road-going automobiles, flank 1920s- and ‘30s-era Bugattis, Lancias, Packards and Talbot-Lagos. There’s also a slew of race cars circa 1950s through ‘70s, and a delectable smattering of one-off goodies dispersed throughout the jaw-dropping array.
A few motorcycles hang tidily against a far wall, but the vanishing point of cars leads the eye to the holy grail of two-wheeled competition: the John Edgar example of a Vincent Black Lightning, better known as the “Bathing Suit Bike.” The stripped-down motorcycle forged one of the most memorable images of a moving vehicle, a capture of racer Rollie Free stretched over the tank in his briefs in order to achieve a record-breaking 150.313 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1948.

An outstretched Rollie Free on his record-breaking run at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1948. 

Photo from the Herb Harris Collection.

No intimate gathering would be complete without a communal experience. As such, we pause for a toast from Napa-based Wine Access, which has brought along a selection of varietals for tasting. Onward down a staircase to a lower section, the mood goes modern. Though there’s a workshop where routine maintenance is being performed on a coveted Birkin Team Bentley Blower (naturally), the surrounding supercars offer a punk counterpoint to the bygone era of stately steeds with scarves flowing out the window. The room reads like a checklist of poster cars, among them a Porsche 959 and Carrera GT. Literally rounding out the collection is an impossibly swoopy McLaren Speedtail, conveniently aimed at the garage door as though it’s ready for liftoff.

The McLaren Speedtail presented as a concept at the Geneva International Motor Show in 2019. 

Photo by Cyril Zingaro/Keystone via AP.

The tour ends with new friends and an afterglow of conviviality. Although Monterey Car Week always leaves an indelible impression, those fortunate enough to visit this secret enclave have a shared appreciation that it will be an apex experience. It all ends with a toast to the Petersen Museum, Michelin and Bruce Meyer with glasses of 2014 Harlan Estate Proprietary Red—another collectible in its own right.
Editor’s note: As photography of the private collection was prohibited, the images shown here are representative of the examples on display.

Meet the 1,250 hp Czinger 21C Hypercar Geared to Jumpstart the Digital Revolution

Meet the 1,250 hp Czinger 21C Hypercar Geared to Jumpstart the Digital Revolution

Sitting just inside the entrance of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is the Czinger 21C, a $2 million hybrid hypercar boasting Formula 1 technology and a laundry list of impressive specs. With its dramatic, swoopy curves, aggressive front splitter and imposing rear wing, the 21C could, at first glance, be dismissed as yet another piece of vaporware from a boutique car maker selling a pipe dream to eager collectors. But for Czinger Vehicles founder Kevin Czinger, the 21C represents the future of automotive construction.

“The idea of this was really a new brand—100 percent American—invented, designed and manufactured based on the world’s first full digital production system and intended to represent the apex of that technology,” he tells Robb Report at a small briefing around the car.

The Czinger 21C hypercar. 

Photo: Courtesy of Czinger Vehicles.

The 21C is the halo atop Czinger’s vision. It cranks out 1,250 hp and can go from zero to 62 mph in just 1.9 seconds, thanks to a nearly 2.9-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 combined with an electric motor on each front wheel and two small battery packs derived from Formula 1. Shifts come from a seven-speed, automated manual transmission. Two variants of the model are available: a low-drag iteration and a lightweight, high-downforce version. Czinger claims that his 21C, which has a dry weight of about 2,734 pounds (and about 2,910 pounds with fluids), has the best power-to-weight ratio of any production car. It will be homologated in North America and Europe, as well as other specialty markets, and will be limited to 80 examples.
Czinger, a Yale Law School graduate with a rigid stance and an intense tone that’s more West Point than New Haven, points to jets rather than cars as his early inspirations. Czinger tells us his team of 150 people is modeled after Lockheed Skunkworks, the aerospace company’s advanced development program—fist led by engineer Kelly Johnson—that produced cutting-edge military aircraft including the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane during the Cold War.

Czinger Vehicles founder Kevin Czinger (left) and his son Lukas, who is the vice president of Operations, Automation and Manufacturing for the company. 

Photo by Ted Seven, courtesy of Czinger Vehicles.

Much of the 21C, including the engine, was developed in-house, down to the hardware and software stack. Czinger says the vehicle contains parts or systems from about 500 patent filings, with around 130 of those patents officially granted. And Czinger hired Dave O’Connell, a 25-year veteran at Mitsubishi, to lead design efforts with a team of only 6 people. (The average automotive design studio typically employs dozens, or even hundreds of people.)

When asked why he chose to fit the 21C with a combustion engine instead of going all electric, Czinger notes, “We are power-train agnostic and we say there should always be a diversity of approaches. We need to think more about the entire manufacturing process and not just the tailpipe emissions.”

Industry veteran Dave O’Connell leads Czinger’s design team. 

Photo by Ted Seven, courtesy of Czinger Vehicles.

But what really sets the 21C apart is how it’s built. Comprising multiple materials, the car is 3-D printed with the use of automated, artificial intelligence–based software. This is accomplished via majority owner Divergent, Czinger’s technology company focused on digital manufacturing.
Located in Torrance, Calif., amongst the industrial complexes that once housed much of the aerospace industry, Divergent aims to replace huge, centralized automotive production facilities with smaller, localized centers that can print a variety of parts on demand, allowing greater agility and flexibility.
“We do this all without tooling or stamping. It frees up the design from manufacturing constraints, and what we will do is provide our tools to people as a licensed application and provide them with on-demand production,” says Czinger. He also aims to do it with zero waste.

The 21C will be limited to 80 examples. 

Photo: Courtesy of Czinger Vehicles.

It’s not quite clear from our visit how Czinger will meet its customers’ demands or how it will take its technology mainstream. When asked how long it takes to produce one 21C, Czinger gives no clear answer. “Every single car is different,” he says. To questions about the parts, tools and processes, he responds, “You’ll have to sign an NDA and come to the factory.”
Czinger does confirm that his company is working on securing a dealer network and that 21C deliveries are slated to begin in 2023. And more models are on the way. “We are going to show next a four-seat GT vehicle at Pebble Beach and then a whole series of ultimate performance vehicles in different segments. The digital revolution that the industry thought would happen in 15 to 20 years is going to happen only in a few years—starting right now.”

Move Over, Supercars. The Hypercar Is Getting a Show at the Petersen Automotive Museum

Move Over, Supercars. The Hypercar Is Getting a Show at the Petersen Automotive Museum

What’s the difference between a supercar and hypercar? The Petersen Automotive Museum wants to make the distinction crystal clear.

This week, the Los Angeles institution announced that its next exhibition, “Hypercars: The Allure of the Extreme,” will open in early December. Over the course of the next 18 months, the two-part show will aim to define, once and for all, what counts as a “hypercar.”

As far as the museum is concerned, a hypercar is a vehicle situated at the absolute peak of performance, technology, price and exclusivity. In other words, it’s a car so outlandish that it can make something like the $215,000 Lamborghini Huracán—a vehicle that stops people in their tracks on a city street—look like a bargain-priced daily driver by comparison.

Aria FXE concept 

Petersen Automotive Museum

To help illustrate this, the museum will play host to some of the rarest and most memorable vehicles produced in recent memory. Confirmed to appear in the show are the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, Aria FXE concept, Koenigsegg Agera RS Final Edition, McLaren Speedtail and the all-electric Rimac Concept One, according to a press release. There were also be a couple of motorcycles the museum feels fit the description on display too—the Lotus C-01 and Aston Martin AMB 001. Interestingly, the museum says the Czinger 21C will also be on hand for “occasional, brief appearances.”

Koenigsegg Agera RS Final Edition 

Petersen Automotive Museum

“Hypercars are a glimpse of the future today,” Terry L. Karges, the museum’s executive director, said in a statement. “With this extensive exhibit, we want to nail down what a hypercar is while giving guests the opportunity to view some of the rarest and most luxurious vehicles available.”

McLaren Speedtail 

Petersen Automotive Museum

“Hypercars: The Allure of the Extreme” will be split into two parts. The first, which the above cars will appear during, will run from December 4 to September 22, 2002, and the second, which will feature a group of unannounced vehicles, will run from September 17, 2022 to May 14, 2023. Tickets are available through the Petersen Automotive Museum website and cost $17 for adults, $15 for seniors and $12 for children age 5 and above.
A small price to pay to never have to worry about mistaking a supercar for a hypercar again.

Over 30 of James Bond’s Cars, Boats and Planes Will Star in a New Petersen Museum Exhibition

Over 30 of James Bond’s Cars, Boats and Planes Will Star in a New Petersen Museum Exhibition

As has been proven time and time again, James Bond knows his cars, but a new exhibition makes clear that he also knows his motorcycles, boats and aircraft.

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will open “Bond in Motion” later this month—just in time for the release of Agent 007’s 25th movie, No Time to Die. The exciting new show will feature over 30 vehicles from the beloved movie franchise and represents the largest collection of Bond vehicles ever displayed in the US at the same time.

The exhibition, which was previously hosted by the London Film Museum, is a collaboration between EON Productions and the Ian Fleming Foundation and was curated to shine a light on the many incredible cars, motorcycles, boats, submarines, helicopters and planes Bond has piloted on the silver screen since 1962’s Dr. No. Along with the spy’s most famous vehicle, the 1964 Aston Martin DB5, highlights include a 1977 Lotus Esprit S1 Submarine from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), a 1985 Aston Martin V8 from The Living Daylights (1987) and a 1999 Heron XC-70 Parachute Parahawk from The World Is Not Enough (1999). DHL, which is sponsoring “Bond in Motion,” brought eight vehicles over from the UK specifically for the show.

1999 Heron XC-70 Parachute Parahawk from “The World Is Not Enough” (1999) 

Petersen Automovie Museum

“James Bond is an international pop culture icon and the vehicles he drives are an integral part of his character,” Terry L. Karges, the museum’s executive director, told Forbes earlier this month. “The Petersen is excited to showcase so many of the series’ most well-known vehicles. We are sure that there will be something to satisfy every generation of Bond fan.”
“Bond in Motion” will be located in the Petersen’s Mullin Family Grand Salon and runs from Sept. 25 to Oct. 30, 2022. Pre-purchased tickets are required and run $16 for adults, $14 for seniors and $11 for children 17 and below. There will also be a special opening event held on Sept. 23, which includes early access to the exhibition, a curator’s talk and complimentary food and drinks. General tickets cost $60, while VIP tickets, which include access to a secret agent lounge, cost $199.

The 1985 Aston Martin V8 from “The Living Daylights” (1987) 

Petersen Automovie Museum

If you can’t make it to the Petersen, don’t worry. A whole lot of Bond vehicles, including the DB5, will be on display in No Time to Die when it premieres on Oct. 8.

Check out more cars from “Bond in Motion”:

1977 Lotus Esprit S1 Submarine from “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977) 

Petersen Automovie Museum

2008 Aston Martin DBS from “Casino Royale” (2008) 

Petersen Automovie Museum

1998 Jaguar XKR from “Die Another Day” (2002) 

Petersen Automovie Museum

2019 Aston Martin DB10 from “Spectre” (2015) 

Petersen Automovie Museum

Watch a 1967 Ford GT40 Race a 2005 Ford GT and Pretend You Don’t Know the Winner

Watch a 1967 Ford GT40 Race a 2005 Ford GT and Pretend You Don’t Know the Winner

Drag racing is one of the most accessible and simple ways to get into motorsports. Really, all it takes is a license and a car—plus maybe a nominal fee—and you’re literally off to the races. As a result, it’s relatable to the vast majority of car enthusiasts. The simple form of head-to-head automotive competition is also easy to watch as well, which makes videos about the sport increasingly popular with today’s attention-limited internet audience.

The intrigue of drag racing only grows when you stir rare, high-dollar vehicles into the mix. The Petersen Automotive Museum, guardian to some of the world’s most exclusive machines, figured it had a magic recipe when it recently decided to bring some of its storied metal to Central California’s Santa Margarita Ranch airstrip.

Having been invited by the Petersen to witness this event, I took a lovely 200-mile drive north from Los Angeles to get a whiff of the action. Unfortunately, everything that could have gone wrong for the museum seemed to, well, go wrong. Road closures and broken transport vehicles meant that most of the cars slated to line up that day never showed up.

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It wasn’t a complete waste of an all-day drive, however. Bad luck couldn’t keep the museum’s 1967 Ford GT40 Mark III away from the strip. It’s one thing to see this car inside the museum, but it’s a whole new thrill watching firsthand as it rips through gears down the quarter-mile stretch. Considering all the day’s hiccups, it was also a little nerve-wracking to see a $2.5 million machine, of which only seven were built, outside the museum’s protective walls.

The classic cockpit of the 1967 Ford GT40 Mark III. 

Photo by Manuel Carrillo III.

Though the GT40 was the car that brought Ford victory at Le Mans from 1966 to 1969, the more than five decades that have passed have done no favors to this classic beast. When going against the museum’s Tesla Model S, it stood little chance and there was really no contest. Then, just after a handful of runs, the GT40 blew a coolant line and had to be put to bed.

The Ford GT40 and Tesla Model S return to the line after a one-sided run. 

Photo by Manuel Carrillo III.

One day later, however, the GT40 was ready for action against one of its modern successors. YouTube personality Doug DeMuro brought out his 2005 Ford GT to race its antecedent. If you’re guessing the Sixties sensation got annihilated, you’d be right.

The 1967 Ford GT40 Mark III having issues with a coolant line after going against a Tesla Model S. 

Photo by Manuel Carrillo III.

That same day, DeMuro raced his 1994 Audi RS 2 Avant against a 2021 Audi RS 6 Avant that the museum is giving away through philanthropic auction platform Omaze. And you didn’t have to be a fortune-teller to predict how that turned out. While the new Audi did as well as you’d expect, I’d much rather be driving the RS wagon of my childhood. Vintage cars may not be as fast as their modern counterparts, but there’s a magic about exercising the classics that will never get old.

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