Petersen Automotive Museum Opening Vault to the Public for First Time Ever

Dec 14, 2012

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles has announced that, for the first time ever, it will be opening up its underground vault to the public.

From Dec. 15-Jan. 6, the museum will be hosting tours of the vault, which features over 150 vehicles that once belonged to world leaders, celebrities and the museum’s founder, Robert E. Petersen.

“Visiting the Petersen Automotive Museum’s underground vault has always been an opportunity reserved strictly for staff, docents, curators and industry insiders,” stated a press release from the museum. “Now, for the first time, the Vault will publicly open its doors for the 2012 holiday season and the general public can view over 150 vehicles and other automotive treasures not on display in the museum itself.”

Vault tours will cost an additional $25 and will be guided by a member of the museum’s staff. (Museum admission is $12 for adults, $8 for seniors 62 or over, $5 for students with ID, $3 for children 5&ndas;12 and free for children under 5.)

Each tour will have no more than 10 people at a time and will last one hour. All vault tour guests must be over the age of 12. Photography is not permitted.

“In a way the vault has become a legend,” said Executive Director Terry Karges in the museum press release. “At any given time we have as many as 150 vehicles on display in exhibits around the museum, but with over 400 vehicles in our collection many go unseen by the public. People are always asking for access to the vault and we’re excited to finally be able to offer the opportunity.”

Vehicles that are currently located in the vault include a one-of-a-kind 1925/34 “Round Door” Rolls-Royce Phantom I Aerodynamic Coupe, a Ferrari given to Henry Ford II by Enzo Ferrari, Steve McQueen’s rare Jaguar XKSS, a Popemobile, the Volkswagen Beetle driven by Lindsay Lohan in “Herbie Fully Loaded” and a 1939 Bugatti given to the Shah of Iran as a wedding present.

To schedule a vault tour, call (323) 964-6331 or visit