Jul 07 2019

Current Treasures of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles

Last month, Roz and I went to Los Angeles to visit our youngest daughter Dana. It was also an opportunity to tour the amazing Petersen Automotive Museum. Here are some treasures on display and hidden in the Petersen Vault.


Howard Kroplick

Clay Model for the Tucker Torpedo Prototype.

With the assistance of Rob Ida and Mike and Sean Tucker, archivist Laura Fisher arranged for us to visit the clay model of the Tucker Torpedo prototype.

Tucker 1030

Petersen's Tucker is a highlight of the Petersen Vault Tour.

1966 Batmobile

Through May 2020, the Petersen Museum has a special exhibit: Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

On display is a replica of the 1966 Batmobile.

1989 Batmobile

As depicted in Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992)

Based on a 1967 Chevrolet Impala, this was one of five cars authorized by ht studio for promotional purposes.

Star War's Sorosuub X-34 Landspeeder

Based on the 1970 Bond Bug 700 ES.

1954 Plymouth Explorer by GHIA

Number built: 1

1955 Mercury D-528 Concept

Largest fiberglass car ever built by Ford.

1981 DeLorean DMC-12 "Time Machine"

Driven in Back to the Future (1985), Back to the Future II (1989) and Back to the Future III (1980).This is only example to appear in all three films.

Builder: Universal Studios

Based on: 1981 DeLorean


Jul 07 2019 Chris Osborne 7:54 AM

Hello Howard, thanks for a fun tour at the Peterson Museum!  Here’s a picture of George Barris (designer of the original Batmobile) and me in my art booth at the Glenmoor Gathering in Ohio, circa 2009.  George was often the Grand Marshall, sweet guy and full of great stories (he pointed out people in my art for whom he had done custom car work).
Best wishes, Chris Osborne

Jul 07 2019 frank femenias 7:57 AM

The 1955 Lincoln Futura Concept Batmobile (1966) in my opinion will always be a tough design to beat. I tried comparing but I cannot find anywhere a 1967 Impala on the 1989 Batmobile, not even the doors match!

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Jul 07 2019 JeRita 12:48 PM

My friend Carl Casper built the Batman Returns car I got to see it at his shop in Louisville and again last year in at the Kruse museum before it closed in Indiana

Jul 07 2019 Rich 6:03 PM

These cars look amazing.  Hope I have a chance to get here on an upcoming LA trip.

Jul 09 2019 JF Purcell 11:15 AM

Thanks for the recommendation of the Peterson Automotive Museum in LA.  Will try to catch it next time we are there.

Over weekend we went to the Gene Autry Museum of Western Art.  What a treat to see how The West and LA were developed.

Also recommend the Aviation Museum in Santa Monica.

JF Purcell
Volunteer, Nassau County Photo Archives

Jul 09 2019 Brian D McCarthy 7:39 PM

Checked out their website to learn the story behind the interesting architecture surrounding the museum. A creative mind came up with this design for sure!

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