A Museum's Amazing Collection Of Classic Cars Is Open To The Public For The First Time

Petersen Automotive Museum vault car collection

Photo: Petersen Automotive Museum

The Petersen Automotive Museum on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles has been open since 1994, but it was not until this month that the public had access to its most interesting part: “the vault.”Below the galleries, the vault is a parking lot the size of a football field, where the museum stores its amazing collection of 150 cars with no fanfare.

For the first time, the Petersen is offering tours of the collection to the public, the LA Times reported — but only until January 6.

For those who won’t make it to Los Angeles before tours end, here’s a small sampling of some of the best vehicles, from Steve McQueen’s motorcycle to the Shah of Iran’s Bugatti.

There are no velvet ropes or signs describing the cars; the Vault is really for storage.

It is normally closed to the public and only accessible to museum staff and VIP visitors.

This Bugatti once belonged to the Shah of Iran.

It's located near an especially colourful Beetle.

This Superleggera car body was built by Carrozzeria Touring, which operated from 1926 until 1966. It was then revived in 2006.

Of course, there's a Rolls-Royce.

The Ferrari F40 and Ford GT40 are among the flashiest cars in the Vault.

The Love Bug Lindsay drove in 'Herbie Fully Loaded' is parked next to actor John Frankenheimer's Mercedes.

Vintage Cadillacs feature this winged woman hood ornament.

Among the old motorcycles is one once used by Steve McQueen.

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