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The Wheel Thing, KPCC's new segment on everything auto

Green Hornet "Black Beauty" (1966 Imperial) at Peterson Automotive Museum

Markusnl/Flickr Creative Commons

The Green Hornet's "Black Beauty" (1966 Imperial) at the Peterson Automotive Museum. It's one of many cars available to admire.

Recently the Petersen Automotive Museum released plans for a dramatic new reboot. Renovations are set to begin this October, but few people are privy to what the big plans are.

One of them is auto critic Susan Carpenter. She writes about cars, motorcycles and just about anything else with wheels for the L.A. Register and she talked to us about it for a new segment we're calling The Wheel Thing.  Below, read some highlights from the segment.

Why you should go check out the museum now if you haven’t yet:

It's ultimately good news for everybody, but if you really have a hankering to see any of the cars they currently have, I would say go now, before November 1. They're going to be closing down the whole thing, with the exception of the vault in the basement. that's going to stay open and is going to expand to 150 different cars. But [the main museum] is going to close down for a year, maybe a year and a half, while they completely overhaul the place, inside and out. 

What kind of changes to expect:

They're going to theme the three floors. They're going flow the traffic so it starts out on the top. It's going to be history of the automobile, with a heavy emphasis on Los Angeles and its role in the development of the car, and how the car became so pivotal here because the city spread out. Then you flow down to the second floor, and it's going to be technology and the future of cars. it's even going to have a live studio populated with real Art Center College of Design students designing cars.

How much it will cost:

A year ago when i first spoke to the chairman of the board, he estmaited the cost would be $40 million. It is now with a pricetag of $125 million. They have scraped together $70 so far, and the board members themselves have contributed $20 million.

When will it reopen?

At the very earliest, December 2015, but more likely early 2016.


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