HomeCar CultureWith Petersen closed for reconstruction, groups of its cars will be parking...

With Petersen closed for reconstruction, groups of its cars will be parking at the Reagan Library


Ordered the day after Pearl Harbor attack, this '42 Lincoln served Roosevelt and Truman | Larry Edsall photos
Ordered the day after Pearl Harbor attack, this ’42 Lincoln served Roosevelt and Truman | Larry Edsall photos

Hollywood, History and Heads of State are the themes for three displays of cars that opening soon at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. The cars will be coming from nearby Los Angeles, where most of the Petersen Automotive Museum will be closed during a massive renovation project.

“This partnership with The Petersen Museum is a wonderful way to showcase their extraordinary collection in Ventura County while their museum is closed for renovation,” John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, said in a news release.

“Whether you’re an enthusiast of the movies, history or just beautiful cars, this exhibit is a must-see.”
“This is a fairly rare collaboration between two world-class museums,” added Terry Karges, executive director of the Petersen. “The ‘Amazing Automobiles’ exhibit allows Reagan Library visitors to see several significant cars from the Petersen collection, and the Heads of States cars will be appropriately displayed near Air Force One.”

The gold-plated DeLorean
The gold-plated DeLorean

“Amazing Automobiles” is the overall name of the various displays.

The Head of State gallery will be on display from November 17 through October 2015 and will include:

  •  Pope John Paul II’s 1998 Cadillac Papal Parade Phaeton
  • the 1942 Lincoln Limousine (ordered the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor and used by Presidents Roosevelt and Truman)
  • the 1938 Packard Super 8 Parade Phaeton used by Juan and Evita Peron, President and First Lady of Argentina

Running January 31 through May 1, 2015, the Historic Cars gallery will include:

  • 1981 gold-plated DeLorean DMC-12
  • 1952 Ferrari 212/215 Inter Spyder
  • 1913 Mercer Raceabout
  • 1939 Bugatti 57C Atalante

Being shown at the Reagan from October 28 through May 1 will be a Hollywood gallery including:

The King of Cool's Jaguar
The King of Cool’s Jaguar
  • 1956 XKSS owned by Steve McQueen (one of only 16 built)
  • a 1971 DeTomaso Pantera owned by Elvis Presley (which still has the three bullet holes from when he shot the car)
  • the Batmobile driven by Michael Keaton in “Batman” (1989) and “Batman Returns” (1991)
  • • a 1946 custom “Grease Lightning” Ford used by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in “Grease” (1978)
  • • a 1966 Ford Thunderbird driven by Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon in “Thelma and Louise” (1991)
  • • a 2001 custom Honda Roadster driven by Devon Aoki in “2 Fast, 2 Furious” (2003)

The Reagan Library is located at 40 Presidential Drive in Simi Valley, California. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, although the facility is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.
For additional information, visit the museum website.


Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
  1. Once the The Petersen Museum reopens, I will urge any car lover to, at sometime in their life, to schedule a trip there when in LA. My wife and I went there a few years ago. She is not a complete car person (but she does love my red ’64 Vette convertible). After touring the Petersen and having to pull me away from the amazing cars there, she told me,” now I understand your love of cars”. I told her I grew up in the time of American muscle, Hemi cars, 427 Corvettes (owned one), big block Mustangs, Cobras, “Goats”, 396 Camaros, Deuce coupes, all the cars I lusted over when I was a kid. To see Bruce Meyer’s owned, Doane Spencer ’32 Ford Roadster, the Godfather of all hot rods, was a sight to behold!

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