Petersen Automotive Museum revs up ‘supercars’ for its reopening – Redlands Daily Facts

Ever dream about flooring it down the 405 at 200 miles per hour? Well, the Petersen Automotive Museum has cars that could pull that off, if it wasn’t totally illegal.

After being closed for the last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Los Angeles museum is flooring it right out of reopening with a trio of reopening exhibitions anchored by extreme high performance rides that car fans dream about.

But there will also be something for the gear heads and the tough-as-nails off-roaders, too, when the museum reopens on March 25 with three new exhibitions: “Supercars: A Century of Spectacle and Speed,” “Extreme Conditions,” and “Redefining Performance.”

“All of the cars are extreme, that’s for sure. None of these are mundane. They’re all exciting to see,” said Bryan Stevens, exhibition director for the museum, which reopens Thursday, March 25.

When the museum opens, it will have to follow several restrictions, including operating at 25% capacity. Visitors will need to make reservations for timed entry, wear face masks and follow set navigation paths for the exhibits.

But once inside they’ll get to see some really cool vehicles.

The main exhibit is “Supercars: A Century of Spectacle and Speed,” and it’s made up of 30 cars that could have driven off posters hung in a car lover’s room.

“These are the kind of cars that children dream about, that adults still dream about,” Stevens said. “We look at a supercar as the most extreme, most superlative, most audacious, fastest, most expensive cars of their given era,” he said.

Cars in the exhibit include the 1998 McLaren F1, which at 680-horsepower is considered the “ultimate supercar” for melding the highest performance possible with usability and comfort, Stevens said.

“Many people believe that it’s the greatest automobile ever engineered,” he said.

Another vehicle in the exhibit is the 1991 Ferrari F40, which was Ferrari’s first production vehicle to go faster than 200 miles per hour.

People didn’t usually take it to those speeds, but for car fans just knowing you could go that fast was enough, Stevens said.

“That’s part of the appeal. It’s just bragging rights,”  Stevens said.

One floor below the supercar exhibition gallery is the “Extreme Conditions” exhibit, which will appeal to those who prefer off-road adventures over speed.

“We’re looking at the modification of road cars for off-road use. Whether it’s for racing off road or adventuring outdoors or working outdoors,” Stevens said.

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