The Petersen Automotive Museum is constantly updating its offerings, adding wonderfully curated exhibits every few months that cater to a wide range of enthusiasts. While it recently added an off-road-themed display that highlights desert racing and exploration, the museum also built a self-guided, socially-distant tour through the history of some well-known road-going beasts. Supercars: A Century of Spectacle and Speed tells the story of street-legal performance cars. We got to preview the exhibit just before it opened, so you may notice that some displays plaques aren’t yet installed in these photos. Rest assured that they’re in place now.
While each of the 20+ cars in the exhibit was selected by the Petersen for its performance, its style, and its impact on the automotive industry, we couldn’t help but pick 13 of our favorites to highlight. Here they are, in chronological order:
I think you need to define what a supercar is. Some of these cars are absolutely wonderful, but there's only a few that I would call a supercar. My definition being a ridiculously over-powered, impractical and usually rather unattractive car that looks more at home on the race track than on the street. A definition which now that I think about it, could be simply shortened to " Mc Laren."
Give me the SJ. It's the first car I recall lusting for as a child. The Caddy dealer across from my school had an apple green Murphy SJ roadster in the their showroom, and no-one seemed to mind the times I would stop in to drool over it after school. It was so much taller than me, and just big in an imposing way. Those giant wheels, Chrome exhaust pipes, and mysterious things glinting through the mesh grills on the side of the hood. Nothing I had seen before that looked so fascinating. Suffice to say it made a lasting impression. Shortly after it was sold, I saw the Muira on the cover of Car and Driver, when the Muira first came out. That was my second car lust, but the first is always the best.
the Duesy exudes class, opulence, and pure "gonads". the Delahaye curvy, almost sexy. but..... it has to be the Duesenberg. the first car i can say i lusted after, followed by a hearse. as for the "modern" stuff, meh, any dot com clown could buy one and not appreciate them for what they are. my choice, is of course, dictated by a love of simpler times and technology. you cannot have what we have today without the iterative process of design and materials evolution. oh well, champagne love on a Plymouth budget.
Normally the GT40 would get my vote, but chrome just doesn't belong on a supercar. When i was a teenager the countach was the standard for the modern supercar and it still holds up