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Reimagined Petersen Automotive Museum Reopens With Interactive Exhibits


Following a $90M renovation, the Petersen Automotive Museum at 6060 Wilshire Blvd has officially reopened. Museum space nearly doubled with the addition of another floor with 12k SF and rearranging and downsizing office space, and exhibits were reimagined with interactive electronics to appeal to younger visitors and keep them coming back.

The new museum has 10 Microsoft Xbox Forza driving simulators, allowing visitors to race against virtual professionals or one another. Improvements were funded with a fundraising campaign the generated $94M in donations.

The bigger, bolder exterior is wrapped in a façade of stainless steel ribbons over a "hot-rod red" skin. Car collector and real estate investor Bruce Meyer, who formerly served as Petersen chairman, noted at a press tour last week: "Before, nobody knew we were here. Now, nobody's ever going to drive by this building and not know we're here."

This world-class museum not only rivals its neighbors along LA’s Miracle Mile, but also revered institutions like Italy’s Ferrari and Maserati; Germany’s Porsche, BMW and Mercedes-Benz; Paris’ Musee D'Orsay; and DC’s Smithsonian and National Air and Space museums.

Exhibits feature 100 automobiles, 23 motorcycles, four scooters and a bobsled. Themed exhibits include: “Precious Metal,” which features silver-skinned American and European cars valued at $120M; $80M worth of race cars; Hollywood's Batman’s Batmobile and James Bond’s Aston Martin DB10; and a "Rolling Sculpture" collection of French Art Deco cars that includes a 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, considered the most valuable car in the world, according to the LA Times. The underground “Vault” also displays 125 to 150 of the museum’s permanent Petersen collection, and a motorcycle collection takes visitors through the history of two-wheeled vehicles with the best examples from each decade. [LAT