Museum hours: Tues - Sun | 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. | Closed Mondays (except holidays) Buy Tickets

Exhibitions

Current Exhibits

The World’s Greatest Sports Coupes

April 10, 2014 - October 18, 2014

Sports coupes and celebrities will share the limelight in the Petersen Automotive Museum’s latest exhibition. In a rare change of pace, the Petersen Museum has asked celebrity automobile enthusiasts to choose what sports coupes they would most like to own. The museum then scoured the . . .

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Town Cars: Arriving in Style

February 15, 2014 - February 08, 2015

Today the name Town Car is closely associated with Lincoln, but that was not always the case. From the early 1900s to the mid-1960s, the term “town car” referred to a body style distinguished by an open chauffeur’s compartment and an enclosed passenger area. Elegant and dignified, . . .

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Art Wall: License Plates: Unlocking the Code

November 23, 2013 - December 07, 2014

Beginning in 1914 the State of California began to issue license plates itself, creating an entirely new and fascinating branch of automotive history. The Petersen Automotive Museum is celebrating this centennial by presenting an exhibit that traces the history of license plates from . . .

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Permanent Exhibits

Permanent exhibit

The Vault

Tour schedule:

Weekday Hours 11:00am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm
Weekend Hours 11:00am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm, and 5:00pm
Tours may be scheduled by calling 323.964.6331 or visiting the admissions desk.


An additional ticket purchase of $20 is required and includes access to the Vault, as well as a . . .

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Permanent exhibit

Bruce Meyer Gallery: Hot Rods

Few vehicles evoke the spirit of Southern California motoring like hot rods. Though familiar to only a small number of enthusiasts before World War II, postwar magazines such as Hot Rod helped popularize them among teenagers, young adults, and returning servicemen. Eager to transform . . .

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Permanent exhibit

Otis Chandler Gallery: Motorcycles

Motorcycles and motorized trikes have long been a part of the Los Angeles motoring landscape. The Otis Chandler Gallery at the Petersen Automotive Museum celebrates these two- and three-wheeled engineering marvels by offering a look at some of the most unusual, desirable, and . . .

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Permanent exhibit

Discovery Center

The Discovery Center offers hands-on, interactive displays through which children learn about the science and culture of the automobile. Older kids can experiment with the physical sciences of automotive technology while younger gear heads can race model cars and build their own toy . . .

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Permanent exhibit

Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels cars revolutionized boys’ toys in 1968 with an original line of super-fast customized cars built for speed, power, and performance, wrapped in attitude. Now more than 40 years later, Hot Wheels is a global lifestyle brand that represents the coolest cars imaginable in scales . . .

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Permanent exhibit

Alternative Power

An adaptation of the Museum’s popular 2006 exhibition on the same subject, the exhibit Alternative Power: Lessons from the Past, Inspiration for the Future explores the history of automobile propulsion. Using the ubiquitous reciprocating internal combustion engine as a baseline for . . .

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Permanent exhibit

Hollywood Gallery: Cars of Film and Television

Cars and movies are among the most influential technologies of the twentieth century. Born in the same era, Hollywood and Detroit developed on parallel paths and rapidly achieved substantial economic and cultural power. Together, they revolutionized leisure time and came to symbolize . . .

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Permanent exhibit

The Streetscape: The Car and the City in Southern California

The Streetscape exhibit features historical displays that chronicle the evolution of the automobile and car culture in the 20th century. The lifelike dioramas are designed based on real places and people that existed throughout Southern California. The Streetscape begins with a blacksmith . . .

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