Petersen Auto Museum Celebrates 90th Anniversary of the 1932 Ford

If you haven’t been to the Petersen Auto Museum, you must add it to your bucket list. I’ll go out on a limb here and say it’s our favorite auto museum in the country not only because of the quality of cars, but the artfully curated exhibits as well.

Located in the heart of Los Angeles, the building had a radical exterior facelift a few years ago but the history and provenance of the place remain intact. We have been to many events, car shows, and reveals at the Petersen and their latest exhibit promises to be one you won’t want to miss.

The  Petersen Automotive Museum will honor the 90th anniversary of the 1932 Ford with a new national holiday, Hot Rod Day on June 11, and celebrate the special day with its new “Ford Fever: The Deuce Turns 90” exhibit in the Ross and Beth Myers Gallery. Opening to the public on June 11, the new exhibit includes a definitive collection of groundbreaking 1932 Fords such as Doane Spencer’s historic Highboy and the influential McGee Roadster.

Luminaries from the hot-rod world, including ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons and Henry Ford III, will gather for the special Deuce Gala the evening of the opening with a live performance by Gibbons, an award ceremony, and a once-in-a-lifetime live auction. On Sunday, June 12, the museum’s annual Deuce Day Cruise-In will be hosted at the Petersen Automotive Museum and will attempt to be the largest gathering of 1932 Fords in Southern California.

McGee Roadster

Stars of the new “Ford Fever: The Deuce Turns 90” exhibit include the famous McGee 1932 Roadster. Originally owned and built by Bob McGee, it paved the way for hot rods by combining speed and beauty with its shaved door handles, welded decklid, louvers, and seamless look. McGee’s Roadster would later make appearances in a host of television shows and movies, including “Hot Rod Gang” and an episode of “Happy Days,” before being showcased on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Doane Spencer Roadster

Another icon on display is Doane Spencer’s 1932 Ford Highboy, which won several show awards in the 1940s. Bored with the show circuit, Spencer took his Highboy racing at El Mirage and extensively modified it for Mexico’s Carrera Panamericana road race. Other iconic 1932 Fords on display include the coupes of Doyle Gammell and Andy Kassa and the roadsters of Ermie Immerso and Ray Brown.

Ray Brown Roadster

Held the same evening as the exhibit’s opening, the Deuce Gala is a mid-year celebration recognizing luminaries in the hot-rod world. The museum will present the Hot Rod Icon Award to legendary musician Billy Gibbons, the frontman for the rock group ZZ Top and a renowned automotive enthusiast. Tickets are $250 and consist of a 45-minute performance from Gibbons, access to a live auction, complimentary dinner, an open bar, and admission to the annual Deuce Day Cruise-In taking place the following day.

For more information about the Petersen Automotive Museum, go here.

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About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and an Editor at Power Automedia. A zealous car geek since birth, he digs lead sleds, curvy fiberglass, kustoms and street rods. He currently owns a '95 Corvette, '76 Cadillac Seville, '99 LS1 Trans Am and big old Ford Van.
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