Petersen Automotive Museum celebrates 75 years of Porsche
The Petersen Automotive Museum’s latest exhibit We Are Porsche looks back at 75 years of the Stuttgart automaker and highlights the brand’s biggest market: America. Forty vehicles show the breadth of the brand, from early 356 models and svelte ’50s racers to modern supercars and track machines.
The exhibit, assembled in collaboration with Porsche Cars North America (PCNA), takes up a good portion of the California museum’s second floor and sprawls into the lobby. You’ll find some modern racers, a wild safari 911, and a whimsical art piece from Mr. Brainwash that places a real, full-scale 1973 Carrera RS 2.7 into Matchbox toy packaging.
The exhibit illustrates the wide reach of Porsche and how its cars have influenced racing, pop culture, and art, with vignettes centered around influential Porsche drivers, owners, and collectors including Hurley Haywood, Slash, Renée Brinkerhoff, and Steve McQueen.
“As a Porsche lover, I’m particularly excited that the Petersen gets to play such a significant role in celebrating the 75th anniversary of these incredible machines,” said Terry L. Karges, executive director of the Petersen Automotive Museum. “Porsche’s history on and off the track speaks for itself, and we are honored to help them commemorate this milestone.”
“Porsche is an iconic brand that took off in America, thriving in California’s car culture,” said Kjell Gruner, president and CEO of PCNA. “From there, the love for the brand spread around the world. We are delighted to celebrate our 75th anniversary at the Petersen Automotive Museum—the center of car culture in Los Angeles—with such a unique exhibition.”
With more than 40 Porsche vehicles located throughout the museum, mostly on the second floor, there is plenty to take in, including rare one-offs and some customs that weren’t seen at the last major Porsche exhibit at the museum in 2018.
Three that stand out are the four-door 911 built by Tom Barnes and Dick Troutman, Chris Banning’s chopped Mulholland racer that inspired the film King of the Mountain, and the EV-swapped 935 K3V by Bisimoto Engineering.
Of course, you can’t have a Porsche exhibit without race cars, and plenty are on hand to represent the breadth of the company’s competition history.
As usual, the Petersen Automotive Museum has done an excellent job curating a fascinating cross-section of vehicles to tell an important story. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, we highly recommend a visit. Tickets are available here, and the exhibit is expected to run through April 2024.