HomeCar CultureCommentaryHagerty helps Petersen to expand tours of its Vault

Hagerty helps Petersen to expand tours of its Vault


Access to the vault beneath the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles has been a quest for car enthusiasts for many years, to the point that the museum started doing special guided tours of the underground trove of vehicles in storage. 

But beginning June 1, and in a 10-year partnership with Hagerty, a new “World Tour” Vault Experience will be offered, allowing visitors to see more than 250 vehicles grouped by their country of origin, the museum said.

Peterson Vault, Hagerty helps Petersen to expand tours of its Vault, ClassicCars.com Journal
Some of the race cars in the Vault

Three docent-led tours will be available: a 75-minute tour for $20, a two-hour exploration for $30, and, beginning in late summer, “Tour of the Legends” for $75.

“Entitled ‘The World Tour Vault presented by Hagerty,’ the revamped excursion through the museum’s underground treasury will offer guests a chance to choose the length of their experience, with longer tours representing a longer educational opportunity and a more exclusive view of the rarest vehicles from around the world,” the museum said in its news release.

“We constantly strive to educate our guests about automotive history, technology and design and how it has impacted both local and global culture,” added the museum’s executive director, Terry Karges. “The Vault presented by Hagerty will offer the pubic an opportunity to now select their tour experience and see compelling new content that has never been displayed before at the Petersen.”

Among the vehicles stored in the vault are the Gulf-liveried Ford GT40 that won twice at Le Mans, a 1929 Bugatti Type 46, a 1936 Delahaye, a 1947 Cisitalia and Steve McQueen’s 1956 Jaguar XKSS.

“Car fans are going to be blown away by the vault tour,” said Hagerty chief executive McKeel Hagerty. “Most people haven’t had the opportunity to see a lot of these icons up close before, so we’re thrilled to give them that chance. Cars this special should be seen by everybody.”

Peterson Vault, Hagerty helps Petersen to expand tours of its Vault, ClassicCars.com Journal
Italian-built racing motorcycles for Mike Hailwood | Museum photo

Ducati Museum unveils first temporary exhibit

“The Desmo Twins of young Hailwood” is the first of a series of temporary themed exhibits scheduled at the Ducati Museum in Borgo Panigale, Bologna, Italy. The exhibit featuring three racing motorcycles built by Fabio Taglioni and ridden early in his career by Mike Hailwood, including the Desmo Twin 125, 250 and 350.

“Built at the specific request of Mike’s father, they would go on to give the popular rider his first victories,” the museum said in its news release. “Now, almost 60 years later, these ultra-rare bikes have finally been reunited in an exhibition that is an integral part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of ‘Mike the Bike’s’ win at the 1978 Tourist Trophy.

Peterson Vault, Hagerty helps Petersen to expand tours of its Vault, ClassicCars.com Journal
1911/13 Mercer Raceabout | Museum photos

Indy-themed Demo Day at the Simeone

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia stages one of its Demo Days on Saturday featuring seven cars that have raced at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The program runs from 11:15 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. with the cars being exercised in the museum’s parking lot between 12:30 and 1 p.m.

The cars to be featured are a 1911/13 Mercer Raceabout, 1912 National Model 40, 1916 Stutz Series 4C Bearcat, 1921 Duesenberg 183 Grand Prix racer, 1928 Stutz BB Black Hawk Speedster, 1929 duPont Model G Speedster and 1956 Kurtis-Ferrari Bardahl racer.

Peterson Vault, Hagerty helps Petersen to expand tours of its Vault, ClassicCars.com Journal
1916 Stutz Series 4C Bearcat

Peterson Vault, Hagerty helps Petersen to expand tours of its Vault, ClassicCars.com Journal
Paul Manning and friends

Falconry at Beaulieu (but no Fords are involved)

For the first time in 300 years, Beaulieu has an official falconer, with Lord Montagu appointing Paul Manning to that position. 

Though best-known on this side of the Atlantic Ocean for its automotive museum, Beaulieu’s history with falconry dates to the 11th century.

Manning’s appointment coincides with the museum’s “Spies and Soldiers” program scheduled for May 26-June 3 and he will tell visitors about the role falconry played in World War II. 

Special events this weekend

A special exhibit of work by students at the Pennsylvania College of Technology is featured in the Members 1st Gallery at the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Author Graham Robson will discuss Cosworth and F1: The World’s Most Powerful Engines on Saturday at the Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California. Robson is an Oxford-trained engineer who raced for Jaguar and Sunbeam and oversaw the racing department at Standard-Triumph before launching his career as an automotive journalist.

The British Motor Museum at Gaydon, Warwickshire, celebrates the 70th anniversary of Land Rover with “Adventure, Animation and Land Rovers,” a family-oriented program held May 26-June 3. It also opens its “Car S.O.S. Exhibition” in conjunction with the National Geographic television program in which Fuzz Townshend and Tim Shaw bring cars back to life. The S.O.S. showcase will include seven cars rebuilt by the TV team

Mark your calendar

The California Ag Museum in Woodland stages its Tractors & Brews event on June 7 from 6 until 9 p.m. On June 12, it will benefit from the sale of several vintage-style tour buses being offered at the Ritchie Bros. auction in Dunnigan, California.

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia plans a special 10th anniversary celebration on June 8. Admission to the museum will be free that day, and the museum will remain open until 7 p.m. However, while tickets are free, visitors must obtain them in advance through the museum website. As a special birthday gift, rides will be raffled off in some of the museum’s cars.

The Kansas City Automotive Museum hosts its Oddballs and Obscurities Car Show on June 9 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. The museum also will participate in the annual Motori in Piazza car show June 3 at Zona Rosa in Italy.

On July 8, the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, UK, stages its Simply Jaguar car show.

The British Motor Museum stages its “Classic and Vintage Commercial Show” on June 9-10 with more than 300 trucks and buses on display. On Father’s Day weekend, the museum opens its new summer exhibition, “The Art of Kustom,” featuring automotive creations by Andy Saunders, who will drive one of his customs onto the museum grounds and will unveil his newest project, Metropolis, a transformed 1939 Peugeot 202 pickup, found in a field in France and believed to have been requisitioned by invading forces during World War II. 

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, hosts its annual CARnival Car Show as part of its 15th anniversary celebration on June 16. Activities include valve-cover races, antique car rides, behind the scenes tour of the Schmidt Collection storage building, and tethered hot-air ballo0n rides.  

“Gear Up” is the title of a S.T.E.A.M.-oriented summer camp being offered June 18-22 at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in northeastern Indiana. The camp, which runs daily from 9 a.m. until noon, is geared toward those aged 8-10. 

“1980s Performance? Yes!” is the theme of an exhibit to run from June 23-July 8 at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia. The museum is looking for cars such as an IROC Camaro, SVO Mustang, Buick Grand National, Mazda RX-7, Omni GLH and Nissan Z cars to include in the showcase. For details, visit the museum’s website.

The France Family will receive the fifth annual Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for contributions to motorsports on June 28 from the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen, New York. The program will be held at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. Previous recipients were Chip Ganassi, Richard Petty, Roger Penske and Mario Andretti.

“Silver Arrows 1934-1939” is the title of an exhibit to run from July 7 to September 2 at the Louwman Museum in the Netherlands. The exhibit will feature seven of the famed Mercedes-Benz racing cars.

National Corvette Museum curator Derek Moore will lead a special Museum in Motion tour from July 8-12 with a theme “Ford vs. Chevrolet.” The trip, says the museum, will be “a fascinating expedition through American automotive history. In this tour we will see for ourselves the way that innovators, inventors, and entrepreneurs used the automobile as a vehicle to change our world forever.” Visits include The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village and the GM Global Propulsion Center. For details, visit the museum website.

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia offers its first Race Car Summer Camp for ages 10-16 from July 9 to 13. The camp will use motorsports to explore STEM subjects, and each camper will design and race a CO2-powered car. For information and registration, visit the museum website.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, offers Model T driving experience classes July 18, 21 and 28 and August 4 and 11, September 8 and 9 and October 20. 

The Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan, welcomes its Class of 2018 at a gala ceremony July 19. Those being enshrined are Kiichiro Toyoda, founder of Toyota; Tom and Ray Magliozzi of Car Talk radio fame; Frank Stronach, founder of automotive supplier Magna International; and Mike Jackson, chairman of AutoNation dealerships.

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. Sounds pretty cool. NOW..Imagine half a dozen facilities, each larger and more varied than The Petersen, each of which focuses on half a dozen marques…Each of which is housed in some of the original HQs and factories in which they may have been built…Each of them located in the epicenter of ALL things Auto Related___That’s what people are attempting to achieve in Detroit: WAM..(W.orld A.utomtive M.useums)..Long LOOOONNNNGGGG Overdue , hey Greater Detroiters?…

    • Sounds like a great idea, as well as project, Dave.
      As a born and raised Detroiter, (now living in San Diego CA) I can relate to your idea/plan.
      I can remember, as a kid, playing football on the green grass/lawn in front of the Packard Plant on East Grand Blvd. Also many visits to Henry Ford, Greenfield Village, as well as the Cadillac plant & Chev grease & axel.
      Don’t know much about present day MO Town, but can easily imagine some of those classics on display at or near the place of their origination.
      How about a, all makes, auto museum classics/collectables somewhere near those original plants.
      Best of luck on a fine idea, not just for "car guys" but also for domestic car sales for the Big Three.


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