Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Streetscapes and Supercars

1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible "Elvis II" customized by John D'Agostino

I recently visited the Petersen Automotive Museum. I'm not much of a car enthusiast, but I can certainly appreciate a fine bit of design and engineering. Additionally, I enjoy looking at things from a historical perspective, and the Petersen does a good job of displaying their collection within a historic context.

Their "Streetscape" exhibit is specifically geared towards examining the development of automotive culture over the course of the 20th century. Vintage cars are displayed within dioramas representing the appropriate era. This is further enhanced with educational placards providing information on the era, auto, or display. Although designed for accessibility to a young audience, there is sufficient material to capture an adult's interest.

Here are a few photos from the "Streetscape" exhibit:

1903 Cadillac Model A Runabout; top speed: 30mph

1935 Ford Phaeton & 1939 Pontiac Station Wagon

1994 Bugatti EB110; top speed: 210mph
 Of course, one of the highlights of visiting the Petersen is the "Hollywood Gallery" wherein cars from movies and television are on display. My favorite was:

Although the movie was horrible, I was still charmed to see the Mach 5.

On the other hand, when I saw Herbie, I got fairly excited but then I noticed that it was from that abominable Lindsay Lohan movie from 2005. Bummer.

I also enjoyed looking at the Hot Wheels gallery. I used to be an avid collector when I was child. Somewhere, my parents still have it packed away. Ah, the memories. . .

But the best exhibit was "Supercars: When Too Much Is Almost Enough." Merely walking into the gallery made my testosterone level increase. Normally, I don't get "car envy" but these aren't normal cars. My favorites were:

1963 Ferrarii 400 Superamerica; top speed: 164mph

1969 Lamborghini Miura 5; top speed 173mph

1992 Jaguar XJ220; top speed: 213mph
 Yeah. Most excellent display of automotive greatness. I want!!! ;-)

Here's a vid from the Petersen in promotion of the Supercar exhibit:

Here's a link to the Petersen Automotive Museum.


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