Petersen Museum marks Enzo's birthday with Ferrari Cruise-In

Le Mans winners, historic show cars, three F40s and over 80 more Ferraris old and new attended the Petersen's celebration of Enzo's birth 120 years ago

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There are certain things you take for granted when you live in Los Angeles, like the beach (you know it’s there even if you can’t see it), Hollywood (where movie stars come from), and the Petersen Automotive Museum.

Since the Petersen’s grand re-opening in 2015 they’ve been working non-stop bringing the Los Angeles car culture closer together. I’m a professional car photographer, I live in Los Angeles, but today I’m just a nerdy guy with a camera walking the show.

Now on this warm February Sunday morning the museum has brought us together for an Enzo Ferrari Birthday Cruise-In. Somehow over 80 motivated Ferrari owners have made their way for a morning of show and tell.

This gathering isn’t about how fast or rare your Ferrari is. They’re all fast and rare, and yes, they’re all expensive otherwise we’d all be driving them. It’s not about cost because today is free. It’s just a beautiful LA morning of non-pretentious Ferraris.

You walk up and down the lines of cars, everybody’s smiling, taking pictures, swapping stories. You almost don’t notice the three F40s sitting side by side, then new car, new car, new car… and over there a 512BB with doors and hoods open, motor gleaming, perfectly spotless. Trying not to drool I back up into a 246 Dino – oops, pardon me – which is next to a 275 GTB… just surrounded by Ferraris.

Collector Bruce Meyer has brought his 1961 250GT SWB (below). This car won Le Mans, it won Monza, and here it is, driven over to join the crowd. Bruce hops in the 250, starts it up – the exhaust note is exhilarating, that alone makes the show – and he re-positions it in a profile stance for photos. More clicking of shutters.

Bruce says, 'Hey Evan, you gotta meet this guy, he’s got a great car collection.' I give him my card, he texts me his info, I just goggled him… Bruce wasn’t kidding.

Someone says, did you see the 250 GT Paris show car? Really? There she is, beautiful black with just enough chrome. She’s just sitting there, no red velvet ropes, no Pebble Beach short-cut grass. I gathered my courage and walked right up to her. 'Hi, I’m Evan. Can I get you some water? Are those your original tires? Can I take your picture?' I’m such a fool. I fumble with my camera, trying to act cool. This is what Sunday mornings are all about.

Someone points out a guy in a blue shirt. 'Yeah, he invented the Vector W8'. No way! I was only 15 when the Vector was launched, we saw pictures of them in our car magazines – it was my first supercar lust. The cockpit was designed after a jet, and there’s the guy responsible.

Los Angeles is special in this kind of way; it’s the 'you never know factor'. I continue to walk: there’s a 400i, a 308 GTB4, a few Porsches, Triumph TR6 and a TR8. The TR8 is perfect in every way, and it doesn't matter that it's a Ferrari show.

By 10am the lot was empty, just a memory, people off for a deli breakfast or home to tidy their yard. Why go to the beach? It’s always there. The Petersen has just opened a new exhibit called The Porsche Effect, from the very first Porsche to the rarest and coolest if you needed more cars after the Drive-In. Me, I went home to download my shots and reflect on another perfect LA Sunday.

Photography by Evan Klein

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