Attention, L.A. car fans: The Petersen’s “Splendor and Speed” exhibit is evolving

Brandan Gillogly

The Petersen Automotive Museum is one of the highlights of Los Angeles, and like the city itself, the museum’s displays are always changing. The Splendor and Speed: Treasures of the Petersen Collection exhibit that opened this summer is just one example. Of course, change is always a good thing at the Petersen, because each time a one-of-a-kind automobile heads off to star in some other museum, another phenomenal vehicle takes its place.

When we first wrote about the exhibit shortly after it opened earlier this year, Splendor and Speed featured a one-off Rolls-Royce and a sleek coachbuilt Ghia-bodied Plymouth. Visit the exhibit this fall, and you’ll be familiar with a couple of the vehicles, but you’ll notice that the Rolls-Royce has been replaced by a different Rolls-Royce town car, formerly owned by Fred Astaire. In addition, the Plymouth Ghia now has a Cadillac companion that’s even more elegant and luxurious.

Here are our highlights from the ever-changing exhibit. If you are in the Los Angeles area, we highly recommend a visit. Tickets can be purchased in advance, and we always also recommend opting for the additional Vault entry if you’ve got enough time to spare.

The 1953 Cadillac Type 62 by Ghia has an amazing presence and looks like the perfect grand touring coupe for a luxurious drive along the coast. Leslie Kendall, the curator of the Petersen Museum, explains many of the car’s gorgeous details in the video above. Its neighbor, the Plymouth Explorer, was also built by Ghia, but using much more affordable underpinnings. It still looks exotic and sporty.

Brandan Gillogly

One of the most recognizable and influential hot rods ever built, the McGee Roadster was gifted to the Petersen Museum by collector Bruce Meyer earlier this year. The angled spread bar, hidden door hinges, and smooth hood are all commonplace on custom ’32s today, thanks in part to this very hi-boy.

Coddington Aluma Coupe Brandan Gillogly

Boyd Coddington built the Aluma Coupe in 1992 with lightweight aluminum construction and a sleek body. The radical design, penned by designer Larry Erickson, used a transverse-mounted, turbocharged Mitsubishi four-cylinder to create a rear-mid-engine powerhouse and helped redefine what a street rod could be.

1957 Bugatti Type 57C Cabriolet Brandan Gillogly

We had to mention this stunning 1957 Bugatti Type 57C that was owned by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Prince of Persia and future Shah of Iran. The phenomenal coachwork includes one detail that you’re not likely to see elsewhere: The windshield disappears into the cowl!

The gallery below includes more vehicles found in the exhibit, along with just a taste of some of the fantastic artwork from the 1930s to the 1970s that hinted at future vehicles. Of course, all of these cars and art are best seen in person.



Check out the Hagerty Media homepage so you don’t miss a single story, or better yet, bookmark it. To get our best stories delivered right to your inbox, subscribe to our newsletters.

Click below for more about
Read next Up next: $170,000 flying car finally takes off

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *