The Petersen Automotive Museum has launched a series of and digital tours for everyone to enjoy whilst dealing with the trials and tribulations of the self-isolation beginning with the Head of State/Hollywood Vault virtual tour.
COVID-19 has brought the classic car events season to its knees but the challenges facing organisers are bringing out the entrepreneurial skills needed to survive this unprecedented pandemic emergency.
A vast range of countries around the world have and are currently being affected by COVID-19 with tourism, bars, local businesses and transportation all feeling the tight economic squeeze.
Whilst there are operations that can be tackled and delivered efficiently online, not everyone can use the digital age to convey their product effectively. The closing of venues and events has meant some innovative thinking from those looking to tackle those issues head-on.
One such organisation is the Petersen Automotive Museum which on Sunday, March 15, 2020, released a statement saying the automotive museum would close its vault due to the spread of the virus. Following recommendations from the CDC and Los Angeles County, the Petersen Museum remains closed for the foreseeable future which includes programs and events through March.
Petersen Virtual Tour
In an effort to continue to share the amazing classic automotive collection with patrons, the museum has launched a series of digital tours for everyone to enjoy beginning with the Head of State/Hollywood Vault virtual tour.
The fabulous tour is narrated by the conservator of the collection, Dana Williamson, who begins by entering the vault then expertly steering the viewer around various beautiful and interesting automotive classics throughout the tour. Starting with a 1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom Limousine presented in two-tone green and owned by dancing extraordinaire Fred Astair.
Elvis Presley De Tomaso Pantera
The tour delivers a wealth of interesting facts, anecdotes and figures to the viewer including how Elvis Presley purchased the legendary yellow De Tomaso Pantera for his then-girlfriend Linda Thompson, then following an argument, subsequently runs out of Graceland to drive off but the car doesn’t start. He then kicks the car then pulls a 38 revolver out his sock and proceeds to shoot the Pantera three times which can be seen on the steering wheel in the video.
Other Hollywood star cars include Tom Selleck’s Ferrari 308 from the series Magnum PI, Katharine Hepburn’s Chrysler Imperial, Herbie, the ‘hero’ Thunderbird that featured in The Birds and that villainous Plymouth Fury which became famous for killing anyone who threatened ‘Christine‘.
Other inclusions are the rare and disturbing black Mercedes Landaulet owned by Saddam Hussein, which is now bruised and worse for wear. The car is in original condition with bodyguard steps and bears the battle scars from its time under the custodianship of the tyrant and fifth President of Iraq.
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