The Petersen Automotive Museum in California, USA is a wonderful combination of art and motoring history. Its sculptural exterior design hosts incredible machines racing from historically significant models, right through to some future classics. A new exhibition entitled ‘Winning Numbers: The First, The Fastest, The Famous’ encompasses some of the most successful racing cars in the world and will celebrate the museum’s 25th anniversary.
10 motorsport giants which form part of of Petersen's founding chariman Bruce Meyer’s own collection will be on display, with visitors to the upcoming exhibit able to get up close and personal with the most successful Ferrari road racer of all time.
A 1957 Ferrari 625/250 Testa Rossa which claimed the top step in over half of the 50 races it contended will headline the exhibition, with the car which made Carroll Shelby’s name world-famous, the very first 1962 Shelby Cobra, sitting alongside it.
Also in attendance is the mighty 1979 Kremer Porsche 935 K3 that took victory at Le Mans 24 Hours, and the 1929 Ford “747” Bonneville Racer that took Bruce Meyer himself into the 200 mph club.
Two of the more unusual stars of this display are a 1952 So-Cal Speed Shop Belly Tank Racer and a 1962 Greer Black Prudhomme. The ‘Tank Racer’ is a hot rod built out of an external fuel tank from a World War II era P-38 Lightning fighter plane. Driven by hot rod legend Alex Xydias, this car was the fastest unblown flathead-powered car at Bonneville in 1951. The Greer Black Prudhomme drag car meanwhile won 237 of the 241 races in which Don Prudhomme piloted it.
The ‘Winning Numbers’ exhibition was opened by Bruce Meyer, who also conducted a chat session for those wanting to know more about these fascinating cars. Meyer was one of the Petersen Museum’s founders, being a close friend of Robert E. Petersen — it was this pair that dreamt up the idea back in 1992. This display is the first of three called ‘California Collecting’ that focuses on famed collectors of the area.
The Petersen Museum is one of the biggest automotive museums in the world, and recently underwent a $125 million renovation. Architect Kohn Pedersen Fox created the building’s mesmerizing exterior facade, which looks even more dynamic when illuminated at night.
The ‘Winning Numbers’ exhibition runs until January 19 2020, so you’ve got nearly a whole year to visit.
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