The Petersen Automotive Museum is a car museum located in Los Angeles. Open since 1994, it is located along Museum Row, part of the city’s Miracle Mile. It is directly across the street from the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which makes it easy to visit both locations.
While the museum has a large collection of cars from around the world, I specifically wanted to visit as they have an exhibit on vehicles from movies and television. Unfortunately I only had about an hour to visit the museum, so I focused on that exhibit. There were two cars that were very high on my bucket list.
On display at the museum is the Delorean from Back To The Future. There were several versions of the car, but this one is the main car, referred to as the Hero Car. In props and costumes, the word “hero” refers to the main item, as it’s created in such detail that it can be used for closeups.
This car sat on the Universal backlot for years, ending up in very rough shape as it was exposed to the elements. The car ended up going through an extensive renovation, and a documentary entitled OUTATIME. The documentary is included as a bonus feature on some of the home video releases. After the restoration, the car was put on display for period at Universal Studios, but fortunately was preserved indoors. In 2016, the car was moved to the Petersen Automotive Museum.
The other car I really wanted to see at the Petersen Automotive Museum was the Ecto-1. This famous car from Ghostbusters has been on display since 2022. This particular car was used in Ghostbusters 2, and then again in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The Ecto-1 has it’s aged appearance from that most recent film, including wear and tear, and patches of rust. The other original Ecto-1 is on display at Sony Pictures Studios.
Cars of Movies and Television
Some of the other entertainment-related cars include vehicles from Supernatural, Lovecraft Country, Starsky and Hutch, Cars, Magnum PI, and Black Panther.
Of course, when you are visiting the museum, you should take the time to see all the exhibits. Hopefully you’ll have more time than I did, as this is one of the largest automotive museums in the world.
Bond In Motion
The Museum hosted an exhibit featuring cars and vehicles from the James Bond franchise. The exhibit ran from September 2021 to October 2022. Unfortunately the exhibit is now closed, and moved on to Brussels where it will be displayed until May 2023.