Petersen Museum Tour, Fuel Curve

Petersen Museum Tour – A Walk Among Giants

I got the chance to take a Petersen Museum Tour a few weeks ago. If you haven’t been to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California you are seriously missing out. The Petersen is a one-of-a-kind historical haven for gearheads and automotive enthusiasts of all kinds.

Petersen Museum Tour, Fuel Curve

If you can’t make the trek any time soon, don’t worry — we have you covered. From the Porsche Effect to the High Art of Riding Low, we made a stop by all of the museum’s public exhibits on our trip to Formula Drift Long Beach


Right when you walk in the door you’re immediately met with a pair of prestigious Porsches. The tobacco-sponsored 1997 911 GT1 was the first mid-engined racing spin off of the classically rear-engined 911.

Petersen Museum Tour, Fuel CurvePetersen Museum Tour, Fuel CurvePetersen Museum Tour, Fuel Curve

The car appears a bit off-red in person so that the color would look just right to television audiences that the sponsors were marketing towards. This specific chassis got plenty of media attention over its 36 races where it achieved 21 podium finishes and eight outright wins.

Petersen Museum Tour, Fuel Curve

With a top speed of 206 mph, the 1997 model edges out the clean, white 996-based road-going version also on display in the lobby.

Both are insanely gorgeous cars in their own right, and we’re just getting started.

Petersen Museum Tour, Fuel Curve

Also on display up front was the old-school Sunoco blue ‘73 917/30 of Roger Penske with 1500hp and a top speed of 250mph. This was the car (recently restored at Canepa) that demolished the 1973 Can Am Series with Mark Donahue behind the wheel. Just imagine the feeling opening this thing up on the straight!

Petersen Museum Tour, Fuel CurvePetersen Museum Tour, Fuel Curve

Entering one of the first exhibits off the lobby, you’ll find a variety of displays paying homage to the amazing art form that is the lowrider.

Petersen Museum Tour, Fuel CurvePetersen Museum Tour, Fuel Curve

El Rey is a 1963 Chevy Impala that Albert de Alba, Sr. inherited and built over a six year period, turning the car into the amazing masterpiece it is today. With nearly every surface covered in chromed etching, pinstriping, and candy paintwork, it’s certainly a car that belongs in a museum.

You’ll find plenty of other artwork on display in this exhibit, as well as another art car with a completely different philosophy behind it. Check out this rad ’50 Chevy!

Petersen Museum Tour, Fuel Curve

Continuing on to the Porsche Effect, the Petersen Museum has a handful of the most iconic racing Porches lined up on display.

Petersen Museum Tour, Fuel Curve

Tucked around the rest of the exhibit are several of Porsche’s flagship models from over the years, from the 964 Turbo to the Carrera GT.

Petersen Museum Tour, Fuel Curve

You’ll also notice a nice lineup that takes you from a 356 up to a Kramer racecar; there’s just so much awesome stuff packed in each room here.

Going even more old school in the other corner you’ll find a Type 64 60K10 from the 1930s.

Petersen Museum Tour, Fuel Curve

It’d be easy to spend all day checking out the “Porsche Effect,” but a massive collection of Ferraris are found upstairs in the “Seeing Red exhibit.”

Petersen Museum Tour, Fuel Curve

Petersen Museum Tour, Fuel Curve

You’ll see everything from a 2006 Ferrari F1 car piloted by Michael Schumacher to the classic ‘63 250 GTO.

Petersen Museum Tour, Fuel Curve

With the only Ghia-bodied Supermerica on display alongside a handful of other iconic Italian machines, the Ferrari room alone is automotive heaven.

Petersen Museum Tour, Fuel Curve

Scattered between the exhibits are plenty of other phenomenal cars in the walkways.

McLarens, Dodges, and movies cars alike can be found strewn around the place.

Petersen Museum Tour, Fuel CurvePetersen Museum Tour, Fuel Curve

From exhibits like the Forza Experience and a collection of tiny kid cars, Petersen has everything.

Petersen Museum Tour, Fuel Curve

The top floor has a dozen movie star cars as well as a blast from the past with the first conventional car ever built and a handful of classic prototypes.

Petersen Museum Tour, Fuel CurveWe spent all day at the Petersen Museum and have a huge gallery for you below. But don’t think these photos are any substitute for the real thing!

Petersen Museum Tour, Fuel Curve

If you’re in LA take a walk through automotive history, surrounded by the most beautiful cars ever built. Tickets can be had for $16 dollars, less for students, and half that for children. Totally worth it in our book!

Petersen Museum Mega Gallery!

Trevor Ryan is a track day photographer from Northern California. He has experience in many different areas of photography but always comes back to automotive work in the end. To him, nothing is more rewarding than creating an amazing image of a car. Having purchased a ’66 Mustang almost six years ago, he had no choice but to end up immersed in car culture sooner or later. He also owns a ’99 Miata that he takes to the track. He has love for every part of car culture and besides track days often makes it to drift events, Cars and Coffee, tuner shows, and anything else he can find.

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