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Hollywood's Wheels of Future Past

Published on Sat, May 11, 2019

By: Stuart Rowlands


Photos: Petersen Museum and Glenn Oyoung

“Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy” is highlighted by automobiles, costumes, props and original blueprints from classic and modern-day film series and video games such as “Transformers,” “Iron Man,” “Mad Max,” “Blade Runner”, “Halo” and more…

On Saturday May 4, the Petersen Automotive Museum launched a new exhibit perfectly-titled “Hollywood Dream Machines”. Scheduled to run for the next ten months this is a rare combination of two major art forms that will appeal to virtually anyone who loves movies, cars, people and wild speculation about all of the above.

For both movie and TV fans especially, this magnificent show reintroduces us to many of our favorite action films by teasing our memories of wanting to ride in pursuit of Mad Max on a predator machine from hell, joining Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray in the Ghostbusters ambulance in their fight against supernatural evil or squeezing in the back seat of the Batmobile behind Batman and Robin racing through the streets of Gotham.

But there is so much to see here in the enormous Mullin Family Grand Salon that at every turn something strange and wonderful reveals itself. Here’s the 2049 Tuk-Tuk Taxi from Bladerunner and the 1942 Flat Head Ford from Iron Man. Over there in the corner is the SoroSuub X-34 Landspeederdriven in Star Wars.

But for me, and not to be missed by any movie buff or gearhead is the flying DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future. But “Dream Machines” is not just a celebration of exotic machines from the movies but also a salute to the amazingly creative minds who designed and built these awesome creations that have in so many ways fueled our imaginations

Along with a phalanx of iconic automobiles, the exhibit showcases a stunning selection of conceptual artwork, props and costumes to explore and analyze the ways in which the speculative fiction genre pushes the boundaries of our human imagination.

Key vehicles on display will include the Warthog from “Halo,” the 2035 Audi RSQ from “I Robot,” the time machine from “Back to the Future”, the Weyland Industries RT01 Group Transport from “Prometheus,” the 2008 Audi R8 from “Iron Man,” Bumblebee from the “Transformers” series, the GM Ultralight from “Demolition Man,” Batmobiles, and more.

“’Hollywood Dream Machines’ will be the biggest exhibit of our 25th anniversary,” said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “With more than 40 incredible vehicles spread across the museum, the exhibit is an ode to the incredible imagination industry that Los Angeles was built upon.”

The exhibit will also feature a Microsoft HoloLens experience called “Worlds Reimagined.” The mixed reality experience will provide guests the opportunity to try this immersive technology, and see the Warthog from “Halo” and the “Back to the Future” time machine in a whole new way. -SR

“Hollywood Dream Machines” is being produced in collaboration with Comic-Con Museum, with additional support provided by Audi and Microsoft will run through March 15, 2020

For more information about the Petersen Automotive Museum, please visit

About Petersen Automotive Museum: The Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity. The Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard (at Fairfax) in Los Angeles, California, 90036. Admission prices are $16 for general admission adults, $14 for seniors, $11 for children ages 4 to 17. Active military with ID, personal care attendants and children under four are admitted free. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For general information, call 323-930-CARS or visit

Guest editor Stuart Rowlands is a well-known, LA-based, PR professional in real life … but he secretly calls his jet-black BMW “The SR/PRmobile” and is sometimes seen late at night prowling the Hollywood hills in search of new PR opportunities for his various clients.

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