HomeThe MarketPetersen, VW display an ‘Electric Future’

Petersen, VW display an ‘Electric Future’


Volkswagen’s conversion to electric power for its vehicles is the subject of a special exhibition scheduled to run through September 2022 at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. 

“Building an Electric Future” showcases the design and production of VW’s electric transformation with five rooms of displays in the museum’s Production Gallery. 

“We are exploring the impact an electrified future will have on a local and global scale,” museum executive director Terry Karges is quoted in a news release. “The exhibit offers visitors an interactive behind-the-scenes look at how the world’s largest automaker is paving the way for the future of mobility.”

Last-minute holiday shopping ideas

Need a last-minute gift for that special car guy or gal? Consider an annual (or even lifetime) membership in your local car museum. Or if he or she already are is a member, how about a family-level membership? 

Already set in that regard? Then do some holiday shopping in the museum’s gift shop.

Concept cars at French museum

Until March 23, 2020, the French National Automobile Museum at Compiegne, some 50 miles north of Paris, features an exhibition, “Concept car. Pure beauty,” featuring around 30 cars and motorcycles. In addition to the vehicles, the exhibition includes more than 100 photographs drawings and models. 

The museum was founded in 1927 in Compiegne Castle, which was built by King Louis XV in the 18th century. The new exhibition “marks the starting point for extensive renovations in the museum, which will show a cross-section of the entire automobile heritage of the 20th century in the future,” according to the facility’s announcement.

For more information, visit the museum website.

Simeone extends Ford v Ferrari exhibit

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia is extending its Ford v Ferrari exhibition through January 5. The exhibit was developed in cooperation with 20th Century Fox and includes many of the real cars behind the story, including a 1958 Aston Martin DB41, 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Interim Berlinetta, 1963 Ferrari 250P, 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, 1965 Shelby Cobra 289 roadster, 1966 Ferrari 365 P2/3, 1966 Ford FT40 Mk II and 1967 Ford GT40 Mk IV.

The museum opens its next major exhibit, “Best of Britain — British Racing at Le Mans,” on January 4. The showcase runs through February 2.

Simeone, AACA get reference collection

The Free Library of Philadelphia is donating its automotive literature collection, more than 100,000 items valued at more than $1 million, to the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum and to the Antique Automobile Club of America library.

Known as the Thomas McKean Collection, the items include advertising, technical bulletins, owner’s manuals, photographs, books, journals and even historic license plates. McKean was a co-founder of the AACA and started his collection in 1935. He donated it to the Philadelphia public library in 1949 and the collection has grown in ensuing years thanks to additional donations by a variety of people, including a young Fred Simeone.

Steve Moskowitz of the AACA told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the owner’s manuals are the best such collection in the world. 

AACA, Bus museum merge

1945 Aerocoach bus

Officials of the AACA Museum and the Museum of Bus Transportation have agreed to a formal merger as of January 1, 2020. The museums have a relationship that dates to the founding of the Bus museum in 1994. The Bus museum has a fleet of 40 vehicles dating to a 1908 White. 

“Buses are relatable, just like cars,” said Jeffrey Bliemeister, executive director of the Bus museum. “Most people have bus stories and personal experiences. Even those who don’t can appreciate the Forest Gump and Speed movie buses.”

LeMay Collections offers Model T classes

LeMay Collections at Marymount in Tacoma, Washington, has released its schedule of Ford Model T driving classes for 2020. They will be held May 16, June 20, July 12, August 2 and September 6, running from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and including the history of the Model T, driving of a Model T and a visit to the museum’s car collection. For details, visit the museum’s website.

The museum also has announced its complete 2020 calendar of events, including valve cover races, auctions, motorcycle days, the 43rd annual LeMay car show and more. Again, visit the museum website for details.

3D printing featured on Family Sunday at BMW

January 26, 2020, will be a Family Sunday at the BMW Museum in Germany, where from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. the museum becomes a MakerSpace with families learning about 3D printing and with children 8-and-older printing 3D pens.

Hoods up at Newport museum

Engines exposed at Newport Car Museum | Museum photo

The Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island will offer a “hoods up” weekend December 21-22 with engines on more than 75 cars exposed for viewing.

The museum recently welcomed the Rhode Island Transition Academy of CCR who donned white gloves so visually impaired visitors could explore the car collection.

Diavion Fonseca goes hands on with one of the museum’s cars | Newport Car Museum photo

Special events this weekend

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles opens a special exhibit, “Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success / 30th Anniversary Tribute” on December 14. Running through April 15, 2020, the exhibit will include 10 vehicles, trophies and other items. 

Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California, hosts Larry Grossman and his calendars featuring art work of hot rods and customs, classic diner, vintage airplanes and classic trains from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on December 14.

The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento welcomes Harry Sherrard to share the 300-year tale of The Goodwood Story, from King Charles II through World War II and to the racing circuit and current collector car events, at 10:30 a.m. on December 15. 

Mark your calendar

Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California, features Vladimir Cettl’s photography book, Abandoned Cold War Aircraft, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on December 21.

The British Motor Museum at Gaydon hosts the Historic Rally Car Register’s Open Day on January 11, 2020, as the HRCR celebrates the 60th anniversary of the RAC’s first use of forest stages. The day at the museum will showcase “how that diversification has led to a full and multi-disciplined sport today” and will feature rally co-driver Mike Broad in a series of forums covering the various aspects of rallying.

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, reopens its Performance Gallery on April 22, 2020. The gallery closed on November 20 for “a much-needed refresh.” 

Does your local car museum have special events or exhibitions planned? Let us know. Email [email protected].

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. Hi, Just would like to say that I am old school and would love to see a Dunn buggy
    Come back as an ev ! that would Great as a commuter for work and play !
    BEST of both worlds!


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