Petersen Automotive Museum – Click above for high-res image gallery
Every year, more than 150,000 folks stroll through the halls of the Petersen Automotive Museum. The crowds have been coming to the Los Angles auto-institution since 1994, when the doors were first opened. And it looks like those doors will remain open for many years to come thanks to a very large donation by Margie Petersen and the Margie and Robert E. Petersen Foundation. When we say "large" we mean it, because Mrs. Petersen just handed over US $100,000,000 to the Petersen Museum Foundation.
Now, before you jump out of your seat because of all those zeros, we have to explain a bit more about that figure. This $100,000,000 donation is comprised of the 300,000 square foot building, cars that were part of Robert E. Petersen's personal collection, an undisclosed influx of cash (described as a "substantial unrestricted financial gift") and a "matching challenge."
We wanted to find out a little more with regards to just how this $100 million donation breaks down. A quick call to Buddy Pepp, Executive Director of the Petersen Automotive Musuem, helped shed some light on the matter. While Mr. Pepp could not disclose the exact amount of the cash gift they're receiving, he did say that value is "enormous." He went on to state that it's "breathtaking" and will "enable us to do all the things we've wanted or need to do. It will catapult us to a world-renowned status. This donation will allow us to fulfill Bob Petersen's vision." Not only that, the "matching challenge" will make sure that the directing board keeps pushing to help the museum continue to grow.
We were hoping to get to the juicy details, and hear an exact figure, but it's good to know that the Petersen Museum is going to allow people of all ages to get a glimpse of automobiles from all eras. In fact, the total number of vehicles being donated from Petersen's private stock is 135, and that includes a handful of motorcycles as well. It's an incredibly generous gift from a couple that already give to many other groups and charities.
[Source: Petersen Automotive Museum]