After many months and $125 million, the Petersen Automotive Museum reopens to the public on Monday (there’s a preview day on Sunday, shhh!). Though opinions on the singular, eye-catching exterior run the gamut, there’s no denying the excitement of having a new feather in Wilshire Boulevard’s cap. Looking beyond the surface, the renovation added more than TK square feet of exhibit space. Here’s what awaits the public on Monday:
Automobiles in the Movies
Cars and celluloid have a long relationship dating back to a 1903 silent film, according to the museum. This exhibit looks at these two American obsessions and also show off five Bond cars: the Aston Martin DB10, Jaguar C-x75, and the new Land Rover Defender from this year’s Spectre, and the original Aston Martin DB5 and Jaguar XKR from 2002’s Die Another Day.
Hot Rods and Customs
This exhibit will focus on the very Southern California pursuit of fast cars and customized vehicles. Hot Rods, fast cars with big engines, took off after World War II, and were often tinkered with and improved by teens and young adults who wanted to maximize speed. We’re hoping the exhibit can finally explain where the term “hot rod” derives from.
Presented by Rolex (appropriately enough), this collection focuses on how Detroit equated silver with luxury, saving “silver touches for only the most prestigious models and show cars,” according to the Petersen. Little secret: silver cars always look the cleanest.
Disney/Pixar Cars Mechanical Institute
The much anticipated collaboration between the museum and Pixar will debut with the opening. The kids should love this second floor exhibit, which has Cars characters explaining how autos works while allowing guests to create their own virtual rides. There’s also a digital scavenger hunt that sounds rather fun.
OK, enough passive learning and appreciation—let’s drive! This exhibit, partially put together by Xbox, allows visitors to feel what it’s like to race the Indy 500. Ten racing simulators provide the experience of driving a Forza Motorsport 6, with eight different racing scenarios at your feet.
BMW Art Cars
Working with the Armand Hammer Museum in Westwood, the Petersen is exploring the marriage of art and auto in this first floor exhibit. The first iteration of this theme centers on BMW’s “Art Cars,” featuring two vehicles covered in the handiwork of Alexander Calder, David Hockney and Robin Rhode.
The Petersen Automotive Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard. Starting next week, the museum will be open every day from 10 a.m to 6 p.m., with adult tickets at $15, seniors and students at $12, and kids get in for $7.