Crazy, Sexy, Cool–and WTF?!?–Vehicles from the Petersen Vault
Team Speed visits the Petersen Automotive Museum’s new ‘Vault’ tour and finds vehicles from the utterly awesome to the uhh, what?!?
If heaven is a place on earth, we’ve found it: the vault below The Petersen Automotive Museum. The Southern California museum opened its famed vault to the public on June 1 for a new museum experience entitled “The Vault presented by Hagerty.” The automotive showcase is the largest of its kind in America and provides guests a guided walking tour of the world’s most rare and breathtaking vehicles ever created. This unique and rare venture is part of a 10-year partnership with Hagerty, the world’s leading collectible car insurer and largest membership organization for driving enthusiasts.
“As the world’s preeminent automotive museum, we constantly strive to educate our guests about automotive history, technology, and design and how it has impacted both local and global culture,” says Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “The Vault presented by Hagerty offers the public an opportunity to now select their tour experience and see compelling new content that has never been displayed before at the Petersen.”
The Petersen vault is home to a dizzying array of exquisite sports cars, collector cars, Hollywood cinematic rides, race cars, and more. There are over 250 vehicles on display, spanning 120 years of automotive history. Some unique vehicles include a 1929 Bugatti Type 46, a two-time Le Mans 1966 Gulf GT40 winner, a McLaren P1, a 1936 Delahaye, Steve McQueen’s 1956 Jaguar XKSS, a 2015 Mclaren P1, a 1947 Cisitalia, and much more.
“Car fans are going to be blown away by the vault tour,” says McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty. “Most people haven’t had the opportunity to see a lot of these icons up close before, so we’re thrilled to give them that chance. Cars this special should be seen by everybody.”
We agree, and so we picked a few beauties that best represent the crazy, the sexy, the cool…and the…let’s just say…unique.
The Davis Divan is our favorite car named after a couch. Taking its cue from sportsters, sports cars, airplanes, and possibly a comfortable slipper, this three-wheeled ride was manufactured from 1947-1949. Only 13 Divans exist, making this one rare space-age, hovercraft-looking, jellybean mobile.
The Divan was a hardtop convertible meant to bridge the gap between economy and style. The lil’ bean that could was able to produce between 47 and 63 horsepower. It definitely has some style; round, streamlined, curved chrome bumper, and the pop-up headlights were a nice touch. All in all, it is one cool little settee, um, we mean Divan.
This 2002 Jaguar XKR below was featured in a memorable car chase sequence in the 2002 James Bond film Die Another Day. Of course, what touring Jag would be complete without a little extra oomph? Which in this case means major artillery.
In the film the sleek car is driven by a Bond villain, and naturally comes complete with a few tricks up it sleeve. These include a not-very-subtle gun, bombs, mortar rounds, rockets hidden in the front grille, missile launchers tucked away in the door, and front ramming spikes. Not recommended for anyone with road rage.
This is the Incredible Hulk of Jaguars. It’s a mean, green speed machine. And you better not make it angry!