Highlights From The Petersen Automotive Museum Reopening

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By Troy Siahaan

Located in the heart of Los Angeles, arguably the car capital of the world (sorry Detroit), the iconic Petersen Automotive Museum has undergone a massive and comprehensive renovation. First opened on June 9, 1994, the museum’s mission, as set by founders Margie and Robert E. Petersen, was to showcase automotive culture from around the world while celebrating Southern California’s rich history within it. The museum has done a respectable job of accomplishing this mission, but as the automotive landscaped changed over the last 20 years, the museum has stayed largely the same. Obviously that had to change.

Drawing inspiration from, and benchmarking numerous museums from around the world, the new Petersen Museum is distinctive on the outside by its unmistakable stainless steel ribbons that “float” over the red building.

The new Petersen museum is nothing if not eye-catching, making it nearly impossible to miss, even among the scores of buildings surrounding its West Los Angeles location. Photo by David Zaitz.

The completely overhauled Petersen now features three display floors which, granted, are predominantly dedicated to our four-wheeled friends, but if you’re anything like us MOrons, you can appreciate a classic car just as much as a classic motorcycle. That thinking works in reverse, too, as the Petersen administration, made up of Terry Karges, Peter Mullin, Bruce Meyer, David Sydorick, Richard Varner, William Ahmanson, Charles Nearburg, Lawrence Piro, Richard Roeder, Greg Penske, and Michael Armand Hammer – the gearheads that they are – recognized that motorcycles are an important part of the transportation landscape as well.

With that, here are some highlights of the motorcycles on display at the Petersen, which is set to open to the public on Monday, December 7. To keep the galleries fresh, expect these vehicles to be rotated out periodically.

1903 Thor Camelback

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One of …read more

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