One of the greatest automotive museums in the world is celebrating its 15th birthday this year. The Petersen Automotive Museum was founded in 1994 and instantly became pilgrimage for car lovers of all ages. Right in the heart of Los Angeles, it proudly took its spot among the dozens of museums, architectural masterpieces and cultural attractions along the city's Miracle Mile.

Besides its large permanent collection, the Petersen also hosts revolving exhibits and special events. Their annual Gala charity fundraiser has turned into a must-attend event for anyone who's anyone in the car biz. This year's theme is "California Dreaming" and the Gala will honor Grammy-award-winning musician Brian Wilson and Tom McKernan, Chief Executive Officer of the Automobile Club of Southern California. Past honorees at the Gala have included Carroll Shelby, Barry Meguiar, and Chip Foose, among others.

To show just why he's truly deserving of this honor, Brian Wilson and his band will perform some of his best known hits including "Little Deuce Coupe," "409," and "Fun Fun Fun." Meanwhile McKernan is being honored because of his many contributions to the automotive industry and Southern California motorists over his forty years of service. He also happens to be an avid car collector.

NHRA racing commentator, David McClelland, will reprise his role as master of ceremonies during the Gala, which will include a cocktail reception, an auction, and dinner. Individual tickets and tables are still available. This year's Gala will take place at the museum on Thursday, May 7. For additional info, check out the press release after the jump.

Press Release


Museum Celebrates 15th Anniversary and Honors Chief Auto Club Executive Tom McKernan
at "California Dreaming" Themed Event

Los Angeles, Calif. (April 3, 2009) – The Petersen Automotive Museum announced today that legendary Grammy award-winning musician, Brian Wilson and his band, will perform at the Museum's annual charity Gala on May 7. The Museum will celebrate its 15th Anniversary this year during the "California Dreaming" themed event that will honor Thomas V. McKernan, Chief Executive Officer of the Automobile Club of Southern California, with the 2009 Petersen Automotive Museum Icon Award..

Brian Wilson's performance will include a live show featuring some of his most well known hits including "Little Deuce Coupe," "409," and "Fun Fun Fun." As a founding member of the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson's music evokes memories for classic Americana and a simpler more fun-loving time. His numerous hits embody the California dreaming lifestyle of cruising and surfing, reflected in the theme of this year's Gala. Wilson's musical talent and passion for the popular Southern California culture make him the perfect addition to this year's celebrity-filled Gala.

The Museum will honor Mr. McKernan because of his many contributions and dedication to the automotive industry throughout his forty years of service. Tom has played a key role in guiding the organization's growth, and his commitment to promoting safer roads, vehicles and drivers appeal to the very spirit of the Petersen Museum. Today, the Auto Club insures over 2.5 million vehicles.

McKernan is also a devoted car hobbyist and avid car collector. He has a number of vehicles in his personal collection representative of the hot rod and muscle car eras.

"As we celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the Petersen Automotive Museum this year, it is with a sense of pride for the unique cultural traditions of California," says Dick Messer, Executive Director of the Petersen Automotive Museum. "Through his work with the Auto Club, Tom McKernan represents the same dedication to Southern California and American values that the Petersen Museum strives to uphold."

Legendary racing commentator, David McClelland, will serve of master of ceremonies and all proceeds raised from the evening will fund the Museum's world class exhibits, educational programs and efforts to preserve rare and historic automobiles.

The annual Gala is the Museum's biggest fundraiser of the year, promising an exciting night for all, including VIPs from the automotive world, entertainment industry, politics and business. Stars of movies, television and sports also attend each year. This year's signature event will include a cocktail reception, a silent and live auction, and an elegantly catered dinner. The Museum welcomes additional charity auction donations – from auto memorabilia and artwork to cars and collectibles. Individual tickets and reserved tables for the 2009 "California Dreaming" Gala are available in advance. For additional information on the Gala and charity auction, please call the Gala Hotline at (323) 964-6366.

The Petersen Automotive Museum, founded in 1994, in one of Southern California's most treasured cultural institutions. As part of this year's Gala, race cars and vintage auto club cars will be on display for attendees. Serving as an educational and historic home for the conservation of numerous extraordinary vehicles, the Petersen Museum is a forum for adults and children to learn about the rare and remarkable vehicles it houses. Presently, the museum is featuring a 1932 Ford "AAA" tow truck on display for all visitors.

About The Petersen Automotive Museum
The Petersen Automotive Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, a pioneer in automotive education, and one of the nation's largest and preeminent automotive museums. The Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard (at Fairfax) in Los Angeles. Admission prices are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students with ID, and $3 for children ages 5 to 12. Museum members and children under five are admitted free. Covered parking is available for $2 per thirty minutes with a $12 maximum per car, or $8 with museum admission. Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday and holiday Mondays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For general Museum information, call (323) 930-CARS or visit the Museum's website at
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