Beyond those doors ...
Check out the full story at A tour of the Vault at the Petersen Automotive Museum
The Vault comprises two main garages. There's additional space for more storage beyond these, but while I was able to peek in, even I couldn't take pictures in that part.
The first year for Cadillac. They've changed a bit in 100 years, eh?
I would have liked to have been able to see, or more importantly hear, the 2.6 liter Colombo V12.
Looks pretty good for a 60-year-old car.
The keys are in the car.
Tom Selleck is 6'4''. In order for him to fit comfortably in the Ferrari, they had to modify it. Notice how the driver seat is lower than the passenger seat.
Thelma and Louise's 1966 Ford Thunderbird convertible.
It's cool, but a little weird, right?
I'm guessing that steering column doesn't collapse.
Another weird look, yet it works.
Turns out Elvis liked to shoot things. Like this car.
Who deserves a 1953 Cadillac with a body redone by Ghia? Rita Hayworth, apparently, as a gift from her third husband, Prince Aly Khan.
Not two cars you'd normally see next to each other. Apparently the Petersen takes donations, so when Fisker went tailpipe up, one owner donated his for the tax write-off. Smart. Too bad about the car, so beautiful.
This was Saddam Hussein's limo. Presumably before he was too worried about security, as it's not bulletproof.
Not sure the background on this one; most likely a 1970s CanAm racer.
From right to left: 1929 DuPont Speedster, a 1937 Jaguar SS-100, a 1928 Studebaker President, and a 1924 Franklin.
Probably the only car in the Vault I could afford, and I've always wanted one. Like a clown shoe, only uglier. But sooo light.
Both of these cars were styling experiments. Clearly the one on the right became the RX-7. The one of the left ... not sure. But what I am sure of, is it's a massive lump of clay with wheels. Yep, it's not even metal.
This is Billy Gibbons' car.
Surprisingly, not all that powerful. Still, it's a V-16.
From left to right: 1923 Ford "Candy Root Beer," 1925 Ford "Golden Star," 1926 Ford Model T by Lil John Buttera, 1932 Ford "Ray Brown Roadster," 1932 Chevrolet Roadster, 1932 Ford Phaeton (more on this one to come), 1929 Ford Niekamp Roadster, and the 1932 Ford "Orange Twist."
Yes, those are blue tennis balls.
Gotta love that exposed metal.
From right to left (basically, the reverse angle from a few slides ago): 1932 Ford "Orange Twist," 1929 Ford Niekamp Roadster, 1932 Ford Phaeton "Hot For Teacher," 1932 Chevrolet Roadster, 1932 Ford "Ray Brown Roadster," 1926 Ford Model T by Lil John Buttera.
Foreground: 1960 Cadillac Coupe deVille (full picture in the next slide) Background: 1929 Ford Niekamp Roadster and 1932 Ford Phaeton "Hot For Teacher"
I have to admit, that's a fantastic custom license plate.
Can you guess what this one is?
This behemoth's full name is the 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Aerodynamic Coupe. I think it's the largest car I've ever seen. It plays tricks on the eye its so big.
It takes 45 minutes to walk from one end to the other.
Check out how the windows retract.
And you thought backing up in a Countach was hard.
Underneath the beautiful Scaglietti bodywork is a Corvette. Before Carol Shelby became known as a Ford guy, he tried to get GM to build this. Not so much ...
The new GT is much bigger than the GT40.
This GT was developed for Ford's 100th anniversary. The designer left an Easter Egg, visible in this shot, to commemorate it.
I miss how French cars had yellow headlights. That was awesome.
Only 16 of these were made before the factory burned to the ground. Gorgeous. Probably my favorite of the whole collection.
Apparently McQueen was losing his sunglasses from the cubby on the left, so he had a door put on. Aftermarket glove box?
Check out the full story of the tour, A tour of the Vault at the Petersen Automotive Museum.
Periodically the Petersen swaps out cars from the Vault, adds new cars, and otherwise updates their collection. On a recent revisit to check out the Porsche Effect exhibit, we took a spin around the Vault to see what's new.
Some hot rods ready to go. For years the Petersen had an extensive hot rod exhibit. Now many of the cars are down here.
By any era's standard, this was a tiny car.
A Pollock-inspired paint job. It kinda works, right?
Just a random Bugatti, sitting off by itself. Totally normal down here.
Many more cars, waiting their turn for display. For the story behind this tour, check out A tour of the Vault at the Petersen Automotive Museum. For reason behind these updated photos, check out the story behind the new exhibit: Stuttgart stunners: The Porsche Effect at the Petersen Automotive Museum.