Petersen Museum and Ferrari Celebrate 70 Years of Seeing Red
Exquisite Ferrari exhibit now open in L.A.’s award-winning automotive museum.
Southern California is home to more Ferraris than Italy, and perhaps all of Europe. So it is only fitting that the carmaker’s 70th anniversary celebration would be held in Los Angeles. The Petersen Museum is less than a year out of its extensive renovation, and Seeing Red: 70 Years of Ferrari is also a bit of a coming out party for them, as well. If you like the prancing horse, and are anywhere near L.A. in the next 12 months, you really need to plan a visit.
In the spacious upstairs gallery you will find more than a dozen of the rarest Ferrari sports cars and racers, set among period images. The cars are presented not just as sculptural works of art, but as the high-performance racing machines they are. Yes, some of these cars have been restored to like-new condition, but the majority are preserved in as-raced condition, with just necessary service done. Particularly impressive is the 1965 250 LM, which won at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and is still wearing the paint chips (and maybe a few bugs) from its racing glory days.
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Also in the exhibit is the very first Ferrari, the 1947 125 S, which Enzo built, raced, and won with. He then sold it to build his next car. This would be Enzo’s entire business model for those early, lean, post-war years. In sharp contrast to that, not far away, is the 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari, still exotic looking even in the rarefied atmosphere created by all of its elders. Also on display are two noteworthy (and probably priceless) Formula One cars: Niki Lauda’s 312 T2 of 1976, and Michael Schumacher’s 248 F1 of 2006.
It is amazing to see the progression from hand-hammered sheet metal and welded tube-space frame, to carbon fiber monocoque. You can also compare just how far this little Italian maker has come in the understanding of aerodynamics, for road and race cars. You will likely never get close enough to touch these machines again, unless you are already fabulously wealthy. Even so, some of these examples are one of just a handful, or even one of a kind, so you may never even see one in person again.
The Petersen Museum is open seven days a week, and now also features fine contemporary Italian cuisine at Drago Ristorante in the lobby. Enjoy this massive gallery to hold you over until your visit.