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The Petersen Museum January 2013

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The Petersen Museum January 2013

Post  Carps on Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:31 pm

Whenever I'm in Los Angeles I usually take some time out to visit the Petersen Automotive Museum as there's always something new to see.

If you've never been there or don't know the back story, Robert E Petersen produced a little magazine in 1948 and he called it Hot Rod. By the 1960s his publishing empire included Hot Rod, Rod & Custom, Hop Up, Popular Hot Rodding, Motor Trend and man many more hobby specific magazines. At the time of his death. The Peteresen Publishing Company was the largest producer of magazines and periodicals in the world. Many famous journalists got their star with Petersen and many stayed on for their entire working life. Others left to try their hand at producing their own magazines, some succeeded, some failed and were absorbed back into the Petesen organisation.

The Museum was created to help tell the story of the automobile and how it influenced Californian culture and life-styles.

On the ground floor, the place has been built to tell the story of life in L.A. from an automobilists point of view and starts with somme great displays of a specific nature……

Such as this duo depicting a blacksmith repairing an early car in the late 1800s.

Or these early cars parked in a typical period street.

Further into the building, the streetscapes change to depict different periods.

There's a full sized old service station, transplanted and restored from the L.A. suburbs.

A new car dealership, built from old images of similar facilities.

I've seen this one used a s a ford dealership, Chevrolet and others but it's latest guise is an upmarket Deusenberg sales room, filled with classy cars and equally classy people.

Further down the street is a forties era 'strip mall' which became popular after WW2.

The mall includes some great displays depicting life at the time and some of the products that were available.

And as you'd expect, there's all kinds of cars parked around the streets, including this Detroit Electric….

As we move through the fifties there's the latest in luxury convertibles headed to the local speed emporium for some hot rod parts.

They have all the 'latest' gear in this shop.

Including the lightweight racer brown alloy flywheel to help your flathead rev.

A few different Isky cams to help it pump fuel in and out…

And a fully equipped workshop for installing the parts.

Moving up to the next level, the displays are more specifically about the cars, or maybe a certain aspect of cars. For example on this visit the three key displays were on drivetrain technology, from the 1800s to now.

Starting with this antique electric model from the beginning of automotive time….

Through the fifties when companies its like Chrysler built their famous turbine cars……

There was a great display on how streamlining has evolved and been used to enhance performance, appearance and economy over the years, with cars like this gorgeous Delahaye.

This early Miller race car from 1916.

To the ill fated post WW2 Tucker.

Being a lover of automotive history, this is the sort of stuff that always draws me here, stuff that you just can't see anywhere else, unless you know the folks who are lucky enough to own it.

There was also a great comparison of how race car design has changed over the years, with this pair of winning Indy Cars.


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Re: The Petersen Museum January 2013

Post  Carps on Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:31 pm

In the central display room at The Pete, this time around it was filled with one off coach built cars with a difference.

In the twenties and thirties most car makers shipped only rolling chassis from the US to foreign lands and the bodies were either has produced local or as was the case with this Deuce, hand made by skilled coach builders in very small numbers, often even one only.

Even into the fifties the US car makers would ship a rolling chassis to a specialist European coach builder for their special customers, or maybe to have a show car body built.

Would you believe that this gorgeous coupe is actually a 1953 Dodge>

How would you like your 'late fifties Chevy Corvette to look like a Ferrari 330 C, four or five years before that Ferrari or anything else looking like this, went into production?

Not to be outdone by the Dodge boys, Plymouth had this 'Explorer' knocked together by Ghia of Turin in 1954.

Naturally it has the power of Hemi to back up it's good looks.

In 1953, the richest man on earth at the time, Prince Ali Khan had this series 62 Cadillac rebodied and gave it as a gift to Rita Hayworth. I guess he must fancied here a lot.

I guess he must liked the car too coz he had a second one made for himself.


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Re: The Petersen Museum January 2013

Post  Carps on Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:32 pm

As you'd expect, the museum bearing the name of Mr Hot Rod, 'Pete' Petersen, just wouldn't be right without a few hot rods on display, so in the lobby a recent AMBR winner.

No it's not a 'glass Boydster, the body is metal by Marcel and Sons, the rest was built with input from a few shops, including Coddingtons.

In the Museum store at my last visit was the life-sized rendition of the Black widow and this time the display was no less impressive with Roth's Outlaw.

Here's Tex Smith's '63 AMBR winner, original model T body, VW front end, Valiant slant six and a whole bunch more junkyard parts combined with home fabricated bits as is Tex' renowned method for building hot rods..

Whilst on the subject of AMBR cars, I never tire of seeing the first winner in the metal, it is sublime yet stunning.

It also reflects a similarity to this years winner.

We saw some Racer Brown stuff in the speed shop earlier, this was Ray Brown's daily driver during the period he was building his life, family and business.

And yes, this IS what it looked like in the late 1940s.

Another famous old hot rod, which you will see in the movie Hot Rod from 1948, looking exactly like this only in shades of grey, is the McGee/Scitchfied roadster.

Yup they really did paint 'em all shiney back in the day, it just doesn't show in the old B&W images. This car starred in quite a few movies thru the fifties and sixties and in the early seventies was officially the world's fastest street legal and daily driven roadster, holding a number of Bonneville records.

Quite possibly the best known 1932 Ford Hot Rod Roadster on earth, the Duoane Spencer roadster should need no introduction.

It's also not difficult to understand how it became so well known and it's been on the road pretty much continuously since it was built.

The Doyle Gammell coupe is famous for it's perfect chop and stance, it was also powered by a Corvette327 Fuelie and has been through many guises in a life of continuous hot rodding with all manner of drivetrains, until being restored a few years back.

As I understand it, this one has no specific claim to fame but was an old Hot Rod purchased by Bruce Meyer and repowered with the blown Ardun during the restoration process.

I have no clue on this one, it seems to be just a very nice contemporary Kustom Buick. Maybe I should have read the information board?


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