Petersen Automotive Museum honours to LA heroes in new exhibit

The prestigious museum is paying homage to the 'Legends of Los Angeles' such as Parnelli Jones in a new display of motorsport and engineering.

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When you think of American Motorsport – places like Bonneville, Austin, and Indiana instantly spring to mind. However, there’s another big contributor to the world of US racing that is sometimes forgotten about… Los Angeles.

LA has been home to some ingenious designers and iconic drivers such as Parnelli Jones over the years, something the Petersen Automotive Museum is celebrating with a new exhibition.

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The new attractions are titled “Legends of Los Angeles: Southern California Race Cars and Their Builders” which might be a bit of a mouthful, but its a fascinating exhibit. 

Southern California’s passion for the motor car came alive in the 1900s with its versatile landscape leading to people modifying or building vehicles for their needs. Engineers tinkered with cars to make them faster on Tarmac or more capable on mountain terrain. The Charles Nearburg Family Gallery of the Petersen Automotive Museum now plays homage to engineers and designers such as Fred Offenhauser, Harry Miller, Frank Kurtis, and Max Balchowsky.

Arguably the most famous name is Parnelli Jones who is a real American racing hero. As well as his Indianapolis 500 victory, Jones has also seen success in sports car racing, and off road events. His impressive tally includes six indy car victories, four in NASCAR, 25 sprint car wins, and another 25 in midget cars.

Executive Director Terry L. Karges said: “Our new exhibit pays tribute to this rich history and honors racing greats such as Parnelli Jones, who has been a hero to fans around the nation for decades. We are thrilled to host and recognize Parnelli at the opening night reception as one of the most successful racers to come out of Los Angeles with accomplishments in a wide range of motorsports.”

The display offers an immersive 180 degree video and a series of impressive machines on display. That roster includes; a1924 Miller 122, 1929 Ford 22 Jr. Model A Roadster, 1963 Ol’Yaller Mark IX, 1966 AAR Eagle #31, and the 1975 Edmunds Tamale Wagon.

It sounds like another fantastic addition to the museum with select guests first sampling it on 8th November, with the exhibit opening to the public on 10th.

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