Hooray for Hollywood: Petersen stages a President’s Day parade

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Volkswagen Beetle from 'The Spy Who Shagged Me' movie was among the vehicles taking part in the inaugural Petersen museum LA landmarks parade | Howard Koby photo

In honor of the President’s Day holiday earlier this week and the Petersen’s Automotive Museum’s year-long 25th anniversary celebration, a cavalcade of iconic cars from Hollywood were driven around Los Angeles in a “History in Motion” parade honoring Southern California’s love affair with movies and the automobile. 

“The movie industry and car culture have shaped Los Angeles into the vibrant metropolis it is today, said Terry Karges, the Petersen’s executive director. “We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the city and thank Angelenos for their unwavering support over the past 25 years. We hope to continue this tradition for the community for many years to come.”

At 10 a.m. on Monday at the Spruce Goose Hanger at the airport in Playa Vista, eight historic Hollywood automobiles departed for their cruise past some of the most famous landmarks, including the Santa Monica Pier, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

1952 Chrysler presidential parade car leads the way | Museum photo by TED7

There was one planned 20-minute stop at Abbott Kinney Boulevard in  Venice for photos, and then the motoring precession continued along the route, returning to the Petersen Museum to be displayed on the third floor on the museum’s parking structure.   

The Parade was led by the 1952 Chrysler Imperial Parade Phaeton that was used by Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon as well as by the Apollo 11 astronauts after their return to earth.

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Other featured cars included the 1999 Volkswagen Beetle convertible from the comedy Austin Powers movie The Spy Who Shagged Me, the 2002 Jaguar XK-R stunt car from the James Bond Die Another Day, a 1929 DuPont Model G Speedster by Merrimac (the version raced at Le Mans), a 1979 VW Type 2 Transporter used during the filming of Little Miss Sunshine, a 2001 Honda S2000 driven in the opening sequence of the film 2Fast2Furious, the 1929 Ford Niekamp Roadster that was the first winner of the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster honors, and a perfect replica of the Back to the Future DeLorean. 

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Howard graduated with honors from the Art Center College of Design in California. He has been a photographer and automotive journalist for 35 years out of his Los Angeles studio. He has been published in Hot Rod, AutoWeek, Road & Track, Car and Driver, Jaguar Journal, Forza, Vintage Motorsport, Classic Motorsports, Robb Report, Motor Trend Classic, Hemmings Muscle Machines, and 50 Years of Road & Track (MBI Publishing). He has served on the Advisory Committee of the Transportation Design Department at Art Center College of Design. He is the author of the books Top Fuel Dragsters of the 1970s and Pro Stock Dragsters of the 1970s, both available on amazon.com.

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