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James Hetfield’s Cars and Memorabilia Coming to the Petersen Automotive Museum

Published on Wed, Jan 15, 2020

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

On February 1, 2020, “Reclaimed Rust: The James Hetfield Collection” opens to the public, showcasing cars, guitars and memorabilia from the rocker’s collection.

James Hetfield is best known for being the front man of Metallica, and regularly transforms guitar strings into lengths of molten wire with his thrash-metal shredding skills. What might be lesser known though, is Hetfield’s impressive car collection; consisting of numerous built-from-scratch custom models. Hetfield’s collection illustrates the singer’s artistic flair and expertly conveys his creativity.

“’Reclaimed Rust’ brings together two industries that go hand in hand with artist expression,” said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “This is the first time the Hetfield collection will be showcased to the public and we can’t wait to share the inspiration behind these extraordinary vehicles with the world.”

Key vehicles that will be on display include:

  • 1948 Jaguar “Black Pearl” (featured article picture)
  • 1953 Buick Skylark “Skyscraper”
  • 1934 Packard “Aquarius”
  • 1937 Lincoln Zephyr “VooDoo Priest”
  • 1936 Auburn “Slow Burn”
  • 1936 Ford “Iron Fist”
  • 1937 Ford Coupe “Crimson Ghost”
  • 1932 Ford Roadster “Black Jack”
Petersen Automotive Museum PC: Austin Poon
Petersen Automotive Museum PC: Austin Poon

Partnered with each custom vehicle is a video of Hetfield talking about the cars, and a series of images displaying the build process. Memorabilia will also be on display, including an ESP Hollow Body guitar and a Mesa amplifier that are painted to match the Buick Skylark “Skyscraper”.

The Petersen Automotive Museum will host a ticketed opening reception on January 30, 2020. Highlighting the reception will be the ribbon cutting, an auction featuring two limited-edition ESP guitars, and a fireside chat with James Hetfield.

“Reclaimed Rust” will be displayed from February – October 2020. Tickets to the exhibit’s opening event are available at https://www.petersen.org/hetfield. To learn more about the Petersen Automotive Museum, please visit www.petersen.org.

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