The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, CA is every car lover’s dream. Massive exhibits across their three above ground levels could keep you enthralled for hours. Early Japanese model cars, motorcycles, and lowriders are just a few of the exhibitions currently open to the public. Still, it may be worth a trip downstairs into the recently revamped underground area that used to be a for storage only.
Originally only museum staff were allowed into the underground area known only as “the vault.” It was a dusty and poorly kept up wasteland of random cars and stored materials. Gradually the staff opened up the area to VIPs for private tours. As interest grew, management decided to make it into an official part of the museum.
They got to work dusting, painting, and generally sprucing up the place. After a few years of painfully hard work, they were ready to open to the public. The New World Tour in the Vault by Hagerty was born.
The vault is an amazing mish-mash of vehicles. Armored limousines, cars used in movies, and roadsters sit next to Porches and a Popemobile. The over 250 cars could take hours to look at, and there are two tours available to take led by some of the most knowledgeable automotive historians around. Of the two offerings, it’s advised to take the 120-minute tour over the 75. From all accounts it’s worth it. You can purchase tickets from the museum’s website at Petersen.org, and they’re delightfully affordable. Admission to the museum itself is only $16 and the 75 and 120 minute tours are $20 and $30 respectively.
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Written By: Todd Hendrickson