Petersen museum to display futuristic Hollywood movie cars

LA museum announces several California Dreaming exhibitions, including showcase of cars from Back to the Future, The Fifth Element and Blade Runner

The Petersen Automotive museum in Los Angeles has unveiled its plans for future exhibitions, including a new display of cars from Hollywood’s imagined, usually dystopian, future.

This exhibition will include vehicles from some of tinsel town’s biggest films, from Back to the Future and The Fifth Element to Blade Runner and many more, with suggestions that there will even be Mad Max vehicles on show.

It will replace the current Porsche Effect exhibition (the largest museum display of Porsches outside of Stuttgart), and will be just one of a series of highlights under the banner of California Dreaming to mark the Petersen’s 25th anniversary in 2019.

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Other exhibitions planned include:

Imagining the Future, focused on future cars and mobility in the 21st century, accompanied by a series of events including panels and symposiums.

Juxtapoz exhibit about custom culture in the art and automotive realm and more, in the Armand Hammer Foundation Gallery, based around art and culture magazine Juxtapoz. First conceived in Los Angeles by Robert Williams, the magazine fused hot rods, customs and art to help define and celebrate urban and underground contemporary art.

Built in LA in the museum’s Motorsports Gallery will include some of the most famous race cars that were manufactured in Los Angeles, from land speed to Indy, road racing to drag racing, and more. On the opening night, the museum will honor legendary driver Parnelli Jones with the Robert E Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award for his accomplishments in the motorsports world.

Outlaw Motorcycle Culture in the Richard Varner Family Gallery will educate guests about the history of California outlaw bike culture. The museum will be hoping it’s as successful as the Lowrider exhibition staged over the summer, which prompted the highest July attendance in the history of the Petersen.

In addition, there will be other special events, including:

The annual gala on October 5, 2018, at which the Petersen will honor Dr Wolfgang Porsche. It will be hosted by Jay Leno and Tim Allen.

On the night of the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January 2019, the museum will toast the heroes of the International Motor Sports Association at a special dinner.

In April 2019, the Petersen will also host a celebratory dinner honoring Mario Andretti for his 50th anniversary Indy win.

‘As we head into 2019, the Petersen has monumental plans on the horizon,’ said Petersen executive director Terry L Karges. ‘Over the past 25 years, we have worked tirelessly to share our passion for the automobile both locally and internationally. Our announcements reflect our promise to the public to continue this mission for another 25 years to come.’

Since re-opening two-and-a-half years ago following a massive reconstruction and restyle, the Petersen Automotive Museum has attracted over one million visitors, a huge increase over pre-rebuild numbers. The museum now allows tours of its famous 60,000 sq m vault and over the past year has digitized more than 1.5m photographs in its picture archive.

It’s also currently restoring three more cars, including the legendary Muntz Jet. For more information on visiting the museum, visit

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