james bond car petersen automotive museum los angeles

Petersen Automotive Museum: The Vault and BOND!

Nov 21,2021read

We visited the iconic Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles for the first time. This is our experience!

Family Days Out has always wanted to visit the classic Petersen Automotive Museum, but we were never able to make it - until now. And we LOVED it.

Automotive Museum with Kids

Spread across three floors, starting at the top and making your way down, you could be overwhelmed by the history that surrounds you.  Even if you're not a "petrol head", this is a museum worth visiting. 

Kids can learn the history of the automotive, as well as the impressive supercar. Make sure you take the time to read all the information that comes with each vehicle display, as it's really worth the time.

Go back in time to the history of the automotive, and see some of the earliest moving vehicles - and how much they have changed over the years! There are actual turn-of-the-century vehicles for kids to see up close.

From Ford to Ferrari, there is racing car history galore. Learn about those who take to the wheels in Formula 1, and why their cars are so unique to take them over the finish line. From racing cars to Supercars. Just what is a "supercar"? Find out at the Petersen!

Build an Electric Future

Want some adventure? See vehciles that are perfect to take on those overland exporations, and read about people who actually did. Green energy is celebrated when you see some of the electric cars, and even explore out of this world vehicles with rovers that actually travelled to Mars!

Bond in Motion

When we visited, the incredible Bond in Motion exhibition was on (the museum changes the main exhibits to ensure you can head back and see something new!).

The Bond in Motion exhibition spanned the entire ground floor, and it really was impressive. We didn't realise it was on at the time, so we were pleasantly surprised when we saw all these incredible vehicles so familiar to us.

Screen used speed boats, helicopters, Aston Martins.... all screen used and most in immaculate condition. There is one car which was purposefully scratched up (it had it's day in Bond chases, after all!) so that was fun to see how they scuffed up a car for the screen.

With each vehicle, there is a screen which plays clips from the scenes you would recognise them in, to give context which is great. There are also plenty of photos and images from the films so you can next watch the films and say "I've stood next to that car!" "I've seen that helicopter!"

You could even sit on a screen used snow mobile!  Make sure you take a camera, because that's a photo op that you won'twant to miss. In fact, Daniel Craig might have sat in that very snow mobile! How dose it feel? Do you think you could be Bond?

We were also lucky enough to visit The Vault. This visit is an additional cost to the general admission ticket (at the time of writing it was $25 extra), but it really was worth it. That ticket gives you a 90 minute tour to some of the most unique, historic, and exciting vehicles.  

Love Back to the Future? The ACTUAL DeLorean car used in all 3 films is there. Herbie the Love Bug is there (from the Lindsay Lohan film), and even a Pope Mobile (unused, due to lack of bullet proof glass!)

You can see the actual car that Bobby Kennedy rode in the fateful night he was assasinated, Presidential cars, hot rods, and if you like Gotham Garage, their car is in the Vault too!

From cars dating back over a century, to Fast and the Furious cars, to cars that helped shape history, a trip to the Vault is a much. It's such a rich, unique experience.

On your way out, make a stop at the very cool gift shop. Here you can pick up a whole host of model cars, fascinating books on the history (and The Vault room!), posters, apparel...the list goes on!

So next time you're in Los Angeles, make sure a trip to the Petersen Automotive Museum is on your things to do with kids list!

Vroom Vroom!

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

The best fun places to go with kids sent straight to your inbox!

Subscribe now