Petersen Automotive Museum opens vault to public

Petersen Automotive Museum opens vault to public image

Text: / Photos: Brent Co | posted December 17, 2012 16:09

Vault tours offered for first time in Petersen history

The Petersen Automotive Museum will be opening its 'vault' to the public for the holidays, starting from December 15, 2012 up to January 6, 2013, the museum, for the first time ever, will be offering a rare glimpse of their underground vault.

The 'vault' which is reserved strictly for staff, docents, curators, and industry insiders houses over 150 vehicles that are being worked on, maintained, and stored whenever they are not on display in the museum itself.

Examples of vehicles currently located in the vault include the spectacular one-of-one 1925/34 'Round Door' Rolls-Royce Phantom I Aerodynamic Coupe, a Ferrari given to Henry Ford II by Enzo Ferrari, a rare Jaguar XKSS formerly owned by actor Steve McQueen, the Volkswagen Beetle driven by Lindsay Lohan in 'Herbie Fully Loaded' and a 1939 Bugatti given to the Shah of Iran as a wedding present. A wide variety of hot rods, muscle cars, Hollywood vehicles, exotics, vehicles used by heads of state, motorcycles, and even a Popemobile are housed in the vault.

"In a way the vault has become a legend," says Terry Karges, the museum's Executive Director. "At any given time we have as many as 150 vehicles on display in exhibits around the museum, but with over 400 vehicles in our collection many go unseen by the public. People are always asking for access to the vault and we're excited to finally be able to offer the opportunity."

The vault tour will cost you an additional $25 on top of the regular admission rate and will only allow a maximum of 10 adults(ages 13 and up) per tour and will approximately last for an hour. Sadly, aside from food and drinks, cameras aren't allowed inside the vault too.