The Petersen Museum exhibits iconic movie cars

The Petersen Automotive Museum is one of the largest automotive museums in the world and an automotive icon here in the United States Founded in 1994 by magazine publisher Robert Petersen, the museum features more than 100 vehicles on display with an extensive vault containing even more cars being restored, refreshed and prepared for display.

The Petersen Museum is known for the architecture of its building and the incredible rotating exhibits. A new show, set to open March 12, 2022, will feature some of the most famous and iconic vehicles from film and TV. Here is a quick overview of what will be on display.

Exhibition The cars of cinema and television

The interesting part of cars in movies and TV shows is that they often become as famous as the actors who drive them. Cars become stars in their own right. Here are some of the vehicles that the Petersen exhibits.

The exhibit will include Tim Burton's 1989 Batmobile, Ghostbusters' Ecto-1 Cadillac, the Black Panther Lexus, and several vehicles from Men in Black. Of course, no movie car display would be complete with the 1981 DeLorean Time Machine from Back to the Future. The DeLorean on display at the Petersen is the only example to appear in all three films of the Back to the Future franchise.

Other cars include the Starsky and Hutch Gran Torino and the Innovative Online Industries SUV from Ready Player One.

Oscar season is the perfect time for a movie car show

A profile view of the 1981 DeLorean Time Machine from the movie Back to the Future.  The car is displayed in a white studio background with the doors open.

Vanity Fair spoke with Petersen Assistant Manager Mark Bodell about the show. Bodell had this to say, “Being so close to Hollywood, movies and TV cars have always been one of our biggest draws, and it's Oscar season.

Most of the cars on display are from the studios that produced the films. A few come from private collections and from Petersen's permanent collection. As Bodell explains, none of the vehicles are unique, "Most movie cars are made in sets of 1 to 10.

“The Batmobile we have is one of three [built for the movie], and that was the promotional car. It actually works, believe it or not. But it heats up a bit because the studio didn't expect this car to drive very far.

Movie cars generally fall into a few categories. The first is the "A cars", which are the fully functional vehicles that you will see the actors driving on screen. Stunt vehicles are designed for jumps, chases and crashes. They often have fake interiors and are either piloted by stuntmen or remote controlled. Finally, there are the cars on sale. These are complete, running vehicles used for advertising.

The other exceptional exhibitions at the Petersen

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The Bond in Motion exhibit pairs well with the vehicle display from the film. The collection is not limited to cars, with some of the most iconic vehicles from the Jame Bond film franchise. Naturally, the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 is present, but also some of the planes and submarines used in the films.

Notable cars include the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish from Die Another Day and the 1977 Lotus Esprit S1 sub used in The Spy Who Loved Me.

The Petersen Museum also features a hypercar exhibit with some of the most extreme cars ever built. A Devel Sixteen, Pagani Huayra BC, Bugatti Veyron, McLaren Speedtail and Koenigsegg Agera RS are on display.

For Formula 1 fans, there is the Pole Position exhibition, which features the Juan Gonzalez car collection. One of the star cars is Lewis Hamilton's 2009 McLaren MP4-24.

The Petersen Museum is one of the great destinations for car enthusiasts. Their exhibits are always fascinating and, in the case of the vehicle exhibit from the film, very nostalgic. You don't have to be a car enthusiast to enjoy these vehicles. They are often as big a star of the film as the actors themselves. We think it might be time for a road trip.