In 2005, the Petersen Automotive Museum presented Musclecars: Power to the People, anexhibition showcasing a variety of musclecars, both street and racing, built by all four major manufacturers: Ford, Chrysler, General Motors and American Motors. Together, they exemplify the carefree spirit of an optimistic age and today are among the best- remembered and most coveted cars on the road.
From stylish hot rods to Presidential limousines, from elegant classics to vintage exotics, and from the dramatic to the unusual, theMargie and Robert E. Petersen: Driven to Collectexhibit features the highlights of their amazing collection.
The exotic “Round Door” Rolls-Royce was delivered new in 1925 with a Hooper Cabriolet body to its first owner, a Mrs. Hugh Dillman of Detroit. It appears never to have left England and was re-sold when still virtually new to the Raja of Nanpara. In about 1934 a subsequent owner sent the car to Jonckheere of Belgium to be fitted with fashionably aerodynamic coachwork complete with twin sunroofs, round doors, a large fin, and a sloping radiator shell. Once thought to have been owned by the Duke of Windsor, the concours-winning car then passed through the hands of several other owners before being discovered in New Jersey in the early-1950s in near derelict condition. Max Obie later acquired the unusual Rolls-Royce, had it painted gold, and charged curious individuals one dollar to enter a special enclosure to look at the car. The Phantom I then spent time on the East Coast of the United States and in Japan before coming into the possession of the Petersen Automotive Museum in the spring of 2001.
The Petersen Automotive Museum is dedicated to the exploration and presentation of the automobile and its impact on American life and culture using Los Angeles as the prime example. Encompassing more than 300,000 square feet, its exhibits and lifelike dioramas feature more than 150 rare and classic cars, trucks and motorcycles.