The Petersen Automotive Museum opened its latest exhibit, “Legends of Los Angeles: Southern California Race Cars and Their Builders,” in the Charles Nearburg Family Gallery presented by Lucas Oil. The display features 12 Los Angeles-built race cars powered by engineering masterminds such as Ed “The Old Master” Pink and Fred Offenhauser and piloted by legends such as Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, Parnelli Jones, Bill Stroppe and Dan Gurney.
“Legends of LA” is highlighted by a stunning180-degree panoramic video, which surrounds the collection of race cars and provides an immersive way to experience the fastest race cars ever built in Los Angeles as they are raced on the region’s famed tracks. Featuring vehicles from every major racing type including midgets, sprint cars, dragsters, off-road cars, IndyCars, land-speed cars and road-racing cars, the panoramic video works alongside the display to take viewers on a visual journey down historic tracks such as El Mirage, Willow Springs International Raceway and Perris Auto Speedway.
Key vehicles on display include a 1963 Ol’Yaller Mark IX, which was one of the last race cars designed and built by Southern California hot rod legend Max Balchowsky; a 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 FIA, one of five FIA-spec factory team cars that competed in the 1964 World Championship and was raced by Dan Gurney in the Targa Florio; a 1967 Long “Shelby Super Snake” with an Ed Pink racing engine, which made history when driver Don Prudhomme accomplished four quarter-mile runs in the six-second range at the 1967 NHRA SpringNationals; and Big Oly, a 1970 Ford Bronco which was raced to a back-to-back victories at the Baja 1000 in 1971 and 1972 by the legendary off-roading team of Parnelli Jones and Bill Stroppe.
“From the early years of auto racing to today, Los Angeles has played a key role in the development and growth of motorsports in North America,” said Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “Our new exhibit honors the region’s rich history through some of the finest examples of race car engineering and design, telling a comprehensive story about the legends that helped establish Los Angeles as the diverse racing destination that it is today.”
Preceding the public opening, the Petersen hosted a formal cocktail reception and media preview on Thursday, November 8, 2018. The evening paid homage to LA-based racing icon and race car constructor Parnelli Jones, a motorsports legend known for his victories in nearly every major auto racing event in the United States. Jones, whose voice is featured in the gallery video, was praised on stage while guests bid on his signed racing memorabilia during a silent auction.
“Legends of Los Angeles” will run through December 1, 2019. To learn more about the new exhibit or the Petersen Automotive Museum, please visit www.Petersen.org.