What It's Like Driving (And Being Driven In) A 1926 Rolls Town Car

There's probably no better visual metaphor for the class structure than the traditional Town Car. Driver exposed to the elements up front for all to see, the wealthy owner carefully installed in a cushioned jewel box in back. The Petersen has a great Town Car exhibit now, and, even better, they let me use one for an… » 5/06/14 12:30pm 5/06/14 12:30pm

Actor And Racer Patrick Dempsey Reveals His Muppet Co-Driver Choice

Last night was the Petersen Museum's big Gala, and thanks to some lax security work, I was able to get in there and intermingle with my betters, at least for a little while. I did manage to corner actor and 24 Hours Of Le Mans racer Patrick Dempsey and ask him some questions before being ejected from the event and… » 10/25/13 2:20pm 10/25/13 2:20pm

Elvis shot this car because of a girl

Crawling around behind-the-curtains at The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, one of the first cars I noticed was a bright yellow De Tomaso Pantera. But this wasn't any Italo-American exotic. It was Elvis Presley's Pantera and it has the bullet holes from The King's revolver to prove it. Here's how they got… » 11/15/11 2:00pm 11/15/11 2:00pm

La Vida Lowrider: Cruising the City of Angels

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is hosting a selection of the city denizen's automotive creations that defy the soulless mechanicals of modern commuter boxes by proudly representing the culture and families that crafted the machines. While one group of post WW2 hooligan Angelenos were seeking higher… » 10/26/07 6:30pm 10/26/07 6:30pm

Hydrogen Propulsion Circa 1966: The GM Electrovan

It looks like a harmless 1966 GMC Handivan hiding a whiskey still, but it's really a 40-year-old antecedent to modern fuel-cell vehicles. It's the GM Electrovan, one of the first experiments in using hydrogen to propel a car — a swashbuckling exercise marked by exploding storage tanks, leaking electrolytes producing… » 5/16/06 8:05am 5/16/06 8:05am

Petersen Museum to Feature History of Alternative Propulsion

It began with the first neanderthal who lit his mammoth-bone pipe over a methane vent in LaBrea and rocketed himself into Laguna Hills: Human propulson. After that, man developed more advanced forms of transport propelled by steam, electricity, coal, wombat feces, petroleum, turbines, french-fry oil and hydrogen —… » 4/18/06 6:01pm 4/18/06 6:01pm