The Petersen Automotive Museum was the dream of publishing magnate and philanthropist Robert E. Petersen. Opened in June 1994, the Petersen has become one of the most famous car museums in the World.

Parking was easy but cost $17. Adult admission ticket $16. Adult plus Vault Tour $44.

Just like the Mercedes and Porsche Museums in Frankfurt, Germany, you start on the top floor and work your way down. The vault, unsurprisingly is underground.

The cars on display are rotated, but until June 2020 the theme is Hollywood Dream Machines:
Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy explores cult classic films and stories that have envisioned fantastic futuristic worlds, technologies, characters and cars. Through props, design drawings and physical vehicle models, this exhibit brings pop culture’s visions of dystopian, utopian, and science fiction worlds to life.

It was great to see the restored ‘Hero’ car from Back to the Future.

Petersen – DeLorean – BTTF 03


Petersen – DeLorean – BTTF 04


Petersen – DeLorean – BTTF 01


Petersen – DeLorean – BTTF 02

I was pleased to see how close it was to the replicas produced by Bruce Coulombe.

There was also the 2015 Police Car from Back to the Future 2.

Petersen – Police Car 2015 – BTTF 02


Petersen – Police Car 2015 – BTTF 01

Here some more famous movie and TV cars.


Petersen – KITT – Knight Rider


Petersen – KITT – Knight Rider


Petersen – KITT – Knight Rider 02


Petersen – Batmobile – Batman OS 01


Petersen – Catmobile – Batman OS


Petersen – Batcycle – Batman OS


Petersen – Batmobile – Batman Movie


Petersen – Black Beauty – Green Hornet


Petersen – Corvette – Death Race 2000


Petersen – Intereceptor – Mad Max Fury Road


Petersen – Ford Taurus Police Cruiser – Robocop 2014


Petersen – Audi – Minority Report


Petersen – Minority Report


Petersen – Bumblebee VW – Transformers


Petersen – Lightning McQueen – Cars

The Lost in Space original series model brought back memories.

Petersen – Chariot – Lost in Space

There were also some great classic cars.

Petersen – Ford GT40 MKIII 01


Petersen – Ford GT40 MKIII 02


Petersen – Greer-Black-Prudhomme dragster


Petersen – Display


Petersen – Racing Legends


Petersen – Display 02


Petersen – Audi R8

We spent almost two hours wandering around until it was time for the vault tour.

It was exciting to be lead into what is effectively just a parking garage, but containing some of the World’s most expensive cars. No photographs are allowed and a security guard accompanies the guide and tour group throughout. I think there were about 15 people in the tour group.

I’m not very good with tours as I usually think the guide goes on too long and often focuses on what they are interested in – which is not necessarily what I’m interested in. This tour was no exception. There was maybe 45 minutes of standing around vintage cars, listening about their history. During the two hours or so, we practically breezed past the car we most wanted to see – the Gold-plated DeLorean with tan interior.

this picture is from the Petersen website and you just see the Gold DeLorean in the background

I understand that most people wouldn’t choose the Gold DeLorean as No. 1, but I think the vault tours should be set up to cover different eras.

Following the vault tour, we ate in the Drago Restaurant


Petersen – Drago Ristorante

The place was almost empty. The food and service were good but I think the Petersen would be better served by a more casual dining restaurant – the Drago is somewhere you might go for an Italian dinner in the evening. The Porsche Museum still retains the crown as the best car museum restaurant.

We enjoyed our visit to the Petersen, particularly because of the movie and TV cars theme. I think the vault tour is expensive – but if you’re visiting the Petersen, you really have to do everything.

Petersen Automotive Museum
6060 Wilshire Boulevard,
Los Angeles, Ca, 90036,
United States



Mon – Fri 10am – 5pm
Sat & Sun 10am – 6pm