Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Vault at the Petersen... here's what has been down there waiting for you to see on tour

A car that looks like a Barris custom Mustang like the Sonny and Cher cars but in Zebra colors 

The round door Rolls Royce

the Prince of Persia Bugatti (Full gallery at because it was at the Graystone Concours this summer)

both Herbies from the Lindsay Lohan Herbie movie, the Nascar one and the original

the Mach 5 from Speedracer

Stagefright and Boothill and the Barber Shop

the 1954 Bosley (fiberglass homemade sports car)

the Mercury 528
full gallery at

the Chrysler Imperial Parade car
photo and info at
because Chrysler made 3 for parades when dignitaries would visit New York, LA, and Washington DC... and free marketing and publicity was harder to make happen before the internet... and the Chrysler people needed to combat the Lincolns that all the presidents seem to love.

the Foose designed and Trop Trepanier built Sniper
I took this photo at the local El Cajon car cruise on the wednesday nights during the summer months... ain't it amazing what cars will be at the crusie one year, and in the Petersen Museum the next? full gallery at

Elvira's Thunderbird that Barris made
photo and info at

an F40 and F50, a Dino, and a couple more Ferraris... like the one made for Edsel Ford II with whitewalls.

more Bugattis, Delahaye, Delage, Packards, etc etc than I can recall

The Honda S2000 from Fast and Furious

the "California Girl" from David Lee Roths video
image from

a replica of the 1886 Benz auto... the first automobile not made by adapting a horse drawn carriage

A beautiful Ruxton, light purple colors

The Calico Surfer
photo from which has many of the other cars in the vault that had been on exhibit... which is pretty cool! You can see a lot more that the current exhibits by looking at online coverage of past exhibits. Other cars on Jasons site that I saw in the vault are the Austin 7 from 1929, the Bell Special sprint or midget race car, Steve McQueens XK SS Jaguar, the 1903 Cadillac

the 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster convertible owned by Jack Nicholson and used in his movie The Two Jakes
Photo from

2 Muntz jets that are unrestored because they were of only 26 made in Glendale, and one restored.

2 cars with Lalique Mascot radiator ornaments, one is a L29 Cord, and another Cord with Woodlite headlights,
photo from

Steve McQueen's Hudson Wasp

Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top had the Slampala made... shame to see it in the Vault
photo from who has a great gallery of the Petersen at

Art Himsl won the AMBR with the Alien... hard to believe it's an Americas Most Beautiful Roadster... buty maybe there were no other roadsters competing. Art is incredibly talented, but I can't find that the below dune buggy looking car is a roadster in more than definition... but it's not the 1960's anymore, and most of the current competitors are very 1920's and 30's cars
photo from who has a terrific gallery of Art Himsl's cool paint jobs

read what the New York Times has to say in it's article, as it remembered or was told about the Tom Selleck Magnum PI Ferrari and a couple other cars. Not nearly as cool a list and view as you've just seen here, but hey, they pay a guy to write about the tour he was given, and me? I had to pay to take the tour. It'll be interesting to hear from you which coverage you prefer, if you care to use the comment function on this post, or email me direct at

Hot Rod Magazine has taken some photos in the vault, but wasn't kind enough to caption them. So if you can figure out what the brown car is, let me know! I didn't see it, or the yellow one, etc etc. I think their is likely to be more to see than what was on the tour I got.


  1. The three '52/56 Imperial parade phaetons went to New York, Detroit and Los Angeles. One did not go to Washington, DC.

  2. If in California I would strongly suggest going to see what is in the vault at Peterson. It brings back memories of two of the greatest collections to ever exist in the automotive world. I can remember numerous times in the 1970's having unrestricted access with my grandfather to the original Harrah's collecion. Amazing what autos were kept out of the publics eyes or rotated over time.

    Also in the early 1970's my grandfather had access once to the Schlump brothers mill where their cars were warehoused. I heard so much about it but was unable to visit at that time because it was invitation only. When the strike started word slowly leaked out and my grandfather brought me along with him to see if anything could be purchased. It was early on in the stike and he had paid a guard and manager a bunch of francs to see the collection. We were there for two full days and paid wages to the men that letus wander around the various rooms and garages.

    I'm still trying to look for the original negatives to send to my buddy Collier for his Revs collection but have literally thousands to go through.


  3. All of the Barris stuff should remain in the vault.

  4. Thanx for the post; glad to see the Bosley is still there. One of my favourite cars extant, I knew it was at the Peterson at one time but had 'disappeared'. Gonna disappear into my garage when I get rich and famous... :)

  5. Thanks for the added links that you take the time to post with your info and pictures. I was scratching my head about the Elvira T-bird in the Peterson vault until I had the time to explore the links. Funny how Barris made a second Elvira car. Danny the owner of Counts Kustoms in Vegas recently did a restoration for Elvira and her T-Bird.


  6. hey J, more of the Prince of Persia's Bugatti ? that

    1. I don't understand, are you asking for more of Persia Bugatti? Or commenting on it? Please clirify