Bruce Meyer shares his car collection in Petersen exhibit

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Although Porsche 911s have won hundreds of races, there is only one Porsche 911 that finished first overall in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and this is it. The 935 K3 entered by the German tuning firm Kremer was later acquired by Bruce Meyer | Jim McCraw photos

Robert E. Petersen changed the car world in 1948 when he first published Hot Rod Magazine, an original idea that led to a vast publishing and real estate empire in Hollywood.  

Petersen supported the National Hot Rod Association and drag racing in general, the aftermarket industry through SEMA from its very beginnings as the Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association, and moved freely in and out of Hollywood’s power circles as a fine-art gallery owner and restaurateur.  

In the 1970s, Pete Petersen put a bunch of movie cars in an old building at the end of Hollywood Boulevard and called it The Cars Are The Stars.

That led to opening the first Petersen Museum in a former department store in the Wilshire district.  And that, years after Petersen’s death, led to the fabulous $100 million museum that now occupies the southeast corner of Wilshire and Fairfax.

The Petersen has become famous as much for what is inside the building as it has for its completely original exterior wrap in ribbons of red and silver, because what’s inside keeps changing all the time.  

The original idea from the 1970s, movie cars, has been expanded into a huge collection, but there is plenty of room in its 300,000 square feet of display space to feature half a dozen special collections at once.

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Beverly Hills retailer, car nut, Bonneville racer, vintage sports car racer and drag racer Bruce Meyer, who has supported the Petersen in every possible way since the new museum was started, is currently showing almost a dozen of his cars in the Bruce Meyer Family Gallery, and they are a very special bunch of machines.  

Meyer likes to find cars that made history, cars that won big races and big championships and otherwise moved the needle by being the first or the best.  He has displayed his cars at every significant concours d’elegance in the world over the years, and, to see this many of them in one place, was a rare treat.

The rest of the fluid collection is, as always, spiced and dotted with all kinds of interesting machines that have two wheels, four wheels, and no wheels at all.

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Jim McCraw has been writing about cars, motorcycles, design, technology, car people and racing for 50 years, in such publications as Hot Rod Deluxe, Super Chevy, Muscle Mustangs, Road & Track, Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Penthouse, Winding Road, The Mercedes-Benz Star, AutoWeek, The New York Times, and a number of European publications. He was executive editor of Motor Trend, editor of Hot Rod and Super Stock. He co-holds the record for the drive from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to Key West, Florida, 96:22, and has run in major events such as the Mille Miglia Storica in Italy, Goodwood, the California Mille, the Colorado Grand, the New England 1000, Forza Mille, and four One Lap Of America competitions He owns a pristine Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan.

1 COMMENT

  1. A lot of beautiful cars but I am pretty certain that Bruce Meyer would be the first to tell you that the No. 2 1960 Corvette retired with engine failure during Hour 20 at Le Mans. It was the No. 3 car, currently owned by Lance Miller, that won its class in 1960, the first Corvette to do so.

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