The Petersen Automotive Museum
Founded on June 11, 1994 by magazine publisher Robert E. Petersen and his wife Margie, the Petersen Automotive Museum is owned and operated by the Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation. In 2015, the museum underwent an extensive $90 million renovation. The striking exterior features a stainless-steel ribbon assembly, made of 100 tons of 14-gauge type 304 steel in 308 sections, 25 supports and 140,000 custom stainless-steel screws.
This year, the Petersen Automotive Museum will unveil a new experience in the newly expanded and renovated vault. The exhibit will house some of the finest sports cars, collector cars, Hollywood movie cars, racecars and motorcycles ever shown to the public. They will also allow visitors to experience global car culture with more than 250 iconic vehicles from the past 120 years grouped by country, including rarely-seen favorites such as a 1929 Bugatti Type 46, the two-time Le Mans-winning 1966 Gulf GT40, a McLaren P1 and more.
The Petersen Automotive Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard (at Fairfax) in Los Angeles, California. Museum hours are 10 am to 6 pm. For more information visit Petersen.org.
The Porsche Museum
On June 8, 1948, the 356 ‘No. 1’ Roadster hit the road and the Porsche brand was born. With this vision became reality, and with reality became history. Immediately next to the headquarters of Porsche AG in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen you can find one of the most spectacular car museums in the world: The Porsche Museum. With over 80 vehicles in the 5,600 square meter exhibition area, the building designed by Delugan Meissl is a bold statement. Supported on just three V-shaped columns, the museum’s dominant main structure seems to float above the ground like a monolith. This bold and dynamic architecture reflects the company’s philosophy: It is designed to convey a sense of reception and approachability in order to welcome visitors in a friendly manner. “The Porsche Museum creates a space that gives architectural expression to the company’s confident outlook and discerning standards, while also capturing Porsche’s dynamism. Knowledge, credibility and determination are as fundamental to the philosophy as courage, excitement, power and independence. This museum endeavors to reflect all of that,” said architect Delugan Meissl in his dedication.
The Porsche Museum is located at Porscheplatz 170435 Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm. For more information visit porsche.com/museum. Photo courtesy of Porsche AG.
The Mercedes-Benz Museum
The Mercedes-Benz brand is constantly reinventing itself, and the Mercedes-Benz Museum depicts the entire history of the automobile, giving the future a past. It takes the visitor on a journey through time, from the birth of the automobile and the fascinating origins and developments of the brand, to the future of mobility. With 160 vehicles on display and over 1,500 exhibits on nine levels, two tours take the visitor through the extensive permanent exhibition in wide-ranging curves. The tour through the seven Legend rooms relays the history of the brand in chronological order since the invention of the automobile in 1886. The second tour presents vehicles across the different eras in their various categories in five collection rooms. Visitors can switch between the two tours at any time to complete their museum experience. The icing on the cake is always the Legend 7 area: Silver Arrows – Races & Records; the spectacular presentation of a banked curve with racing and record-breaking cars from the entire motorsport history of the brand. The museum has achieved an extraordinarily high level of international fame, with more than 8 million visitors since its opening in 2006.
The Mercedes-Benz Museum is located at Mercedesstraße 100, 70372 Stuttgart, Germany. Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm. For more information visit mercedes-benz.com/museum. Photos courtesy of ©Daimler AG.
The Ferrari Museums
The Ferrari Museums are among the most visited in Italy, attracting fans and enthusiasts from all over the world. Just over 12 miles apart, these exquisite museums owe their appeal to the exciting attractions renewed every year, with major themed exhibitions, exhibits featuring iconic cars and original museum tours that take visitors on a journey through the history of the Prancing Horse brand.
The Ferrari Museum in Maranello invites visitors to live the Prancing Horse dream first-hand. It offers a unique and enthralling voyage of discovery, a story told through cars that have made automotive history on streets and circuits the world over. In the Ferrari Museum, you have the chance to sit in a semi-professional Formula 1 simulator and get a taste of the kind of exhilarating driving that F1 drivers experience. The Ferrari Museum in Maranello has also enjoyed significant success hosting the “Rosso Infinito” (‘Infinite Red’) exhibition.
The Museo Enzo Ferrari in Modena delivers an exceptional museum experience that takes visitors back to the roots of the world’s most famous marque. Topped by a striking yellow car bonnet-inspired roof that stands out against the Modena skyline, the Museo not only tells the story of Ferrari’s founding father but also showcases some of the most beautiful cars ever built. The Museo Enzo Ferrari draws crowds for the “Driving with the Stars” exhibition that sees the Ferraris driven by stars from the sporting, cultural, industrial and entertainment worlds on display.
The exhibition “Il Rosso & il Rosa” at the Enzo Ferrari Museum takes another look at the iconic brand, this time from the women’s perspective. Passion knows no gender and, as the years went by, women became involved in the car world and the Ferrari story in particular, sharing the same love of speed and falling under the spell of the sublime forms crafted by the Maranello designers. Although motorsport and technological development started out as almost exclusively male domains, women gradually began edging towards it too. Technology and elegance met and melded to produce masterpieces that gained acclaim well beyond the male world. Ferraris proved themselves to be more than just engineering marvels – they also become genuine style icons, celebrated in the past yet never more so than in the present. There is another side to that particular tale: the story of the women that moved over from the passenger seat to take the wheel, confirming that driving is a joy shared by all. The result was an all-encompassing, all-consuming love story between the female world and Ferrari. This exhibition details that deep and abiding bond through models from every decade driven by exceptional women – stars of stage, screen and sport, even royalty.
The Ferrari Museum Maranello and the Museo Enzo Ferrari Modena are both open November – March from 9:30 am to 6 pm and April – October from 9:30 am to 7 pm. For more information visit musei.ferrari.com. Photos courtesy of Ferrari.