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Classic wheels salute 'Cars 2' in Hollywood exhibit

As "Cars 2" opens, fans of Lightning McQueen can visit the Cars 2 World Grand Prix Attraction amusement park in Hollywood, and enjoy a special setup of real cars located just inside the fairgrounds.

The 1957 Teverbaugh & Kirkland Bonneville Special joins a collection of Petersen Automotive Museum cars at the Cars 2 World Grand Prix Attraction in Hollywood. John Scott Lewinski/CNET

HOLLYWOOD--To mark the opening of Pixar's animated "Cars 2," the Petersen Automotive Museum is showing off some rare and notable real-world vehicles in a special exhibit here.

"Cars 2" parks in theaters this weekend, pretty much guaranteeing that another fleet of Brinks trucks will pull up to Pixar when the movie likely makes another mint for the Oscar-machine animation studio.

Pixar and Disney are celebrating by buddying with Kodak, Goodyear, and other sponsors to build a temporary "Cars 2"-themed amusement park behind the historic El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, the movie's Los Angeles headquarters.

The El Capitan traditionally hosts Disney's biggest releases, and the theater often presents a live stage show before screening its animated features. Since you can't have cars thumping around the footlights, the "Cars 2" World Grand Prix Attraction will give families and car lovers a little extra mpg for their El Capitan ticket money.

The park sits on the grounds of Hollywood High School, immediately behind the movie palace. The attraction is open until the end of August.

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While the kids are building Lego race cars or tooling around the park's pedal-power go-kart track, car-loving adults can steal away to the large, air-conditioned tent housing the Petersen Museum contributions. From the sublime to the ridiculous, visitors can enjoy an up-close look at elite period performance cars like the 140 mph 1968 Lamborghini Espada and perennial flops like the 1976 AMC Pacer.

See images from the special collection in our gallery.