Petersen Automotive Museum Vehicle Sale Re-Visited

One of several proposed new exterior designs for the Petersen Museum. Image courtesy Petersen Museum.

One of several proposed new exterior designs for the Petersen Museum. Image courtesy Petersen Museum.

A few weeks ago, we reported on the changes coming to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and the impending auction of over 100 cars from the museum’s collection, as well as a number of automobiles that had already been sold off. We have an update to that story with some more information.

According to Petersen Museum representatives, the museum is expanding and modernizing its interior and exhibits so it can showcase vehicles exemplary of the Southern California car culture, as all as some of the finest automobiles from other parts of the world. Hot rods and race cars will still be included in the museum’s collection. Also on exhibit or a part of the collection will be exotics, art deco automobiles, and vehicles with Hollywood connections.

The Petersen Automotive Museum's current exterior.

The Petersen Automotive Museum’s current exterior.

As to the culling of the approximately 400-vehicle collection held by the Petersen Automotive Museum for the first time in nearly 20 years, museum representatives stated that the museum was not only unable to display all of the vehicles (some were in the “vault,” which had recently become a tour in of itself), and the maintenance of that many cars was becoming difficult. And that the “jewels” of the collection are not being sold, only vehicles that the museum has in multiples or are not in show-worthy condition.

The “Pete” will keep what museum representatives refer to as one of the greatest collections of hot rods in the world, including nine “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” title winners, and rare and unique vehicles from turn-of-the-century horseless carriages to modern super cars. The current exhibitions are to stay, but the plan is to update with new technology for a more interactive experience.

Part of the auction, the 1954 Edwards America Coupe created by Californian Sterling Edwards (V-8 and fiberglass body) to market against cars like the Ferrari 195 and 212 Inter. Car images courtesy Auctions America.

Part of the auction, the 1954 Edwards America Coupe created by Californian Sterling Edwards (317 ci Lincoln V-8 and fiberglass body) to market against cars like the Ferrari 195 and 212 Inter. Image courtesy Auctions America.

The building (which was originally a department store) is to be redesigned and that new plan by architecture firm Kohn, Perdesen and Fox (KPF) will be unveiled August 18th, 2013, so check back here for more details. It was also made clear that the Petersen Automotive Museum Board of Directors has officially stated no funds from sales of any of the collection’s cars will be used for exterior renovations, and that these funds will be used to grow and restore the collection, to enhance interior displays, galleries and other improvements. A discussion about the goals for the future of the museum will be held the same day during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

About the author

Stuart Bourdon

A passion for anything automotive (especially off-road vehicles), camping, and photography led to a life exploring the mountains and deserts of the Southwest and Baja, and a career in automotive, outdoor, and RV journalism.
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