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Petersen reopens with four new exhibits

Our weekly roundup of car museum news and notes


The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles has reopened on a Wednesday through Sunday basis and offers free admission to healthcare workers, first responders and their guests throughout 2021. 

The reopening showcases in-person viewing of three exhibits that opened in 2020 online: “Supercars: A century of Spectacle and Speed,” which showcases the evolution of the supercar; “Extreme Conditions,” which highlights 11 custom competition, recreational, and utilitarian off-roading vehicles; and “Redefining Performance” which features Porsche’s most innovative road and race vehicles. 

museum, Petersen reopens with four new exhibits, ClassicCars.com Journal
museum, Petersen reopens with four new exhibits, ClassicCars.com Journal
Going to extremes

Also featured is “The Aesthetic of Motoring: 90 Years of Pininfarina,” an exhibition of four milestone examples of the evolution of the Italian design company’s styling. The cars are a 1931 Cadillac Model 452A boattail roadster, a 1947 Cisitalia 202 coupe, a 1966 Ferrari Dino Berlinetta 206 GT prototype and a 2019 Automobili Pininfarina Battista. The Dino will be part of the display only briefly and will be replaced by a 1967 Ferari 365P Berlinetta Speciale “Tre Posti.”

“With its commitment to elegant, aerodynamic design and small-scale production, Pininfarina has created some of the most innovative and revered car designs in the history of the automobile,” Petersen executive director Terry Karges is quoted in the museum’s announcement. “The new exhibit will provide visitors with a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s design history while paying homage to its innovation through these four rarely-seen vehicles.”

Paolo Pininfarina, Pininfarina Group chairman, added, “The models on display perfectly represent our identity, which today is the same as in the 1930s: the centrality of design, an aesthetic sense capable of creating timeless beauty, the obsession with quality, the force of a tradition that combines industry, technology and stylistic research.” 

Tickets must be purchased in advance through the museum website. Face masks will be required of all visitors and the museum will employ social distancing guidelines.

Greenwood Corvette at Hall of Fame

museum, Petersen reopens with four new exhibits, ClassicCars.com Journal

Joining the vehicles on display at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America museum in Daytona Beach, Florida, is the “Spirit of Le Mans” Chevrolet Corvette raced by John Greenwood, who put the car on the IMSA-class pole and posted the fastest straightaway speed at the French race in 1976.

“Few cars say American motorsports louder and prouder than a big-block, ‘Stars and Stripes’ John Greenwood Corvette,” said museum president George Levy.

“Detroit brothers John and Burt Greenwood stunned the racing world with a succession of rapid Corvettes,” the museum noted in its news release. “In them, John won the 1970 and ’71 SCCA A Production national titles and took a class win with television star Dick Smothersat the 1972 12 Hours of Sebring. John also stood on the top step at the 1974 IMSA Championship Finals at Daytona International Speedway…  and captured the 1975 SCCA Trans-Am title among a bevy of other wins, poles and fastest laps.”

The “Stars and Stripes” Corvette, wearing race number 76 during the American bicentennial year, has a unique wide-body fabrication, generated more than 1,000 pounds of downforce and had a 467cid all-aluminum V8 rated at up to 725 horsepower.

New British car museum

After being delayed in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Great British Car Journey museum plans to open in late May in the former Wire Works site in Ambergate, Derbyshire, UK. A 150-car collection is being set up as an interactive, table-led trip through the story of the British auto industry and its role in the global transportation revolution.

“The enforced break, through both ill health and the pandemic, means Great British Car Journey is coming back stronger having given us the opportunity to acquire even more fantastic British made and designed classic cars,” according to co-founder Richard Usher, former owner of Auto Windscreens and of the Blyton Park racing circuit.

In addition to the cars, the museum will offer a “Drive Dad’s Car” experience featuring more than 30 British vehicles, from an Austin Seven to a Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit, that can be driven with an instructor on an on-site driving route. 

For more information, visit the museum’s website.

AACA Museum pioneer passes

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, has announced the death of Richard Taylor, one of the museum’s “founding fathers,” after a lengthy illness. 

Taylor, of Mansfield, Ohio, not only was among those pushing for the establishment of the Antique Automobile Club of America’s museum, he was its first president and used his expertise from Taylor Brothers Construction to make the best use of its resources. The museum also was one of the first museums in the US to employ geothermal climate control.

Special events this weekend

The “Driven to Win” exhibition opens March 26 at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan.

Author and Barn Find series host Tom Cotter shares the story of his Cunningham, one of only four C3 models produced with a manual transmission, in an AACA Museum Live presentation via a Zoom webcast at 10 a.m. on March 27.

The National Packard Museum in Warren, Ohio, holds its first in-person educational programming in many months on March 27 when Charles Ohlin, director of educational services, presents “Lighting the Way: Packard Incandescent Lamp History” beginning at noon. Pre-registration is required.

The American Muscle Car Museum in Melbourne, Florida, expects more than 300 vehicles at its “Celebration of Cars” festival scheduled from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on March 27. Featured will be “Ragtops and Roadsters.”

The Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California, reopens on weekends starting March 27, though for the time being, tickets must be reserved in advance through the museum’s website.

Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California, features Dave Wolin and his IMSA RS and Showroom Stock racing books from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on March 27.

The Mustang Owner’s Museum in Concord, North Carolina, hosts a Fords on Sunday car show on March 28. Among featured vehicles will be a Mustang II drag car.

The cars may have gone to auction but Muscle Car City in Punta Gorda, Florida, still has an open gift shop and StingRays restaurant and on March 28 from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. stages its monthly flea market.

Mark your calendar

The Kansas City Automotive Museum in Olathe, Kansas, resumes its cars and coffee events on the first and third Saturdays of the month starting April 3 at 8 a.m.

Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California, features Denny Miller and his book, Indianapolis Motor Speedway: The Eddie Rickenbacker Era, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on April 3.

The Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, reopens April 9 on a Friday through Sunday basis.

“The GM Oshawa Strike of 1937” is the subject of the Third Thursday Zoomcast presentation April 15 at 7 p.m. at the Canadian Automotive Museum.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, will offer free admission to everyone who arrives at the facility in a Ford Mustang on National Mustang Day, April 17, and with a bonus perk for the first 100 Mustangs to arrive.

DeLoreans from the Northern California DeLorean Motor Club will be featured April 17 from 10 a.m. until noon outside the Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California.

The Mustang Owners Museum has moved its Spring Carolina Cruise to April 24 and its California Special Mustang Day to May 1.

Beginning in May and running into September, the LeMay Family Collection in Tacoma, Washington, hosts a second Thursday “Cars and Comedy” evening starting at 6 p.m. The museum says to bring a picnic and enjoy an evening featuring local comedians.

Michael Schumacher and Paul Page will be inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame on May 27.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, will host a “Sizzlin’ Summer Cruise In” from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on June 19.

There is more than cars to see in Beaulieu, England, home to the National Motor Museum. From June 19 to August 30, the Beaulieu Palace House will showcase more than 250 sculptures in its gardens and inside the Montagu family home.

The Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California, hosts a Father’s Day car show on June 20.

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.


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