Summer Family Fun: Petersen Automotive Museum

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Photo by Ashley Erikson

This summer, visiting the Petersen Automotive Museum, is a must-do for your bucket list. From the outside the giant red and metal structure looks like something out of a space film, but once inside hundreds of the most unique and rare cars glisten and sparkle covering three floors of space. Their featured exhibit, Bond in Motion, holds the official collection of James Bond vehicles that is now on display through October 23rd.

Burbank Chamber
Photo Courtesy of the Petersen Automotive Museum

Bond in Motion is the largest Bond exhibit in the United States and celebrates the 60th anniversary of the 007 films when Dr. No was released in 1962.  The exhibit features an open floor plan of vehicles ranging from the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 that was used in the films GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, Skyfall, Spectre, and No Time to Die. Other fun vehicles to see on display in the Bond exhibit is the 1977 Lotus Espirit S1 nicknamed “Wet Nellie.”  The car is used in the film The Spy Who Loved Me and transforms into a submarine under water to release missiles, torpedos, a smoke screen and a mine launcher.  The exhibit doesn’t stop with cars, and even contains boats, helicopters, motorcycles, and snowmobiles.

Photo by Ashley Erikson

My kids really enjoyed the Cars of Film and Television exhibit where we got to see the sleek 1989 Batmobile from Batman featuring Michael Keaton, and of course classics like Ghostbuster’s Ecto-1 and Back to the Future’s 1981 DMC DeLorean. Their favorite was the 2018 Lexus driven in Marvel’s Black Panther film.  The blue LC 500 has the Black Panther’s scratch marks across the hood of the vehicle from the scene when he was pursuing his assailants through South Korea.

Photo by Ashley Erikson

The Petersen is home to many more exhibits including The Color of Success: McClaren’s Papaya Livery, Building an Electric Future, Ford Forever: the Deuce Turns 90, The Aesthetic of Motoring: 90 Years of Pininfarina, and another one of our favorites, Hypercars: the Allure of the Extreme. The hypercar exhibit is only open through September 11, so hurry over to check out the cars that have the speed and price tag to match. Colorful, sleek, and burning with horsepower, cars on display like the 2017 Lamborghini Centenario. are absolutely stunning to see up close and in person.

Photo by Ashley Erikson

The museum is very kid-friendly and has a few things for families to engage and interact within the exhibits.  The Cars Mechanical Institute is a room on the second floor designed as a discovery center for kids and is themed after Disney’s Cars movie.  Inside the room you can find an automotive book corner, a light-tracing table to learn how to draw and color some of your favorite Cars characters, and an interactive screen to create and design your own car.  A Honda dirt bike sits on display for a photo op and then you can build a LEGO car to race against other guests on a track.

Photo by Ashley Erikson

In the Forza: A New Horizon exhibit, guests get to try their luck in a unique racing experience based off the Forza Horizon video game series. My kids love playing that game at home so it was really fun to get behind the wheel of the racing simulator and put our skills to the test. There is also little gaming cubicles to try out the newest Forza Horizon 5 video game in person.

Photo by Ashley Erikson

Three floors of innovation and design will keep you busy for hours and give you a new appreciation of the past vehicles and an exciting outlook on the future.  For more information on the museum, exhibits, or to purchase general admission tickets, visit www.petersen.org.

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