Prototype Giants Exhibit Center Stage at the Petersen Museum

Photo: Petersen Automotive Museum

“Prototype Giants” is a limited-time Petersen Automotive Museum special exhibition in the Vault, curated by Luftgekühlt, supported by Hagerty, and one of those special exhibits that no endurance racing enthusiast should miss.

Included is a representative Porsche 956, one of the first race-ready prototypes built to comply with the 1982 FIA World Sportscar Championship’s new Group C regulations. The 956 was the first racing car to feature an aluminum monocoque chassis along with ground effect aerodynamic elements. A factory 956 won the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year, leading every lap as the cars finished 1-2-3.

In 1983, a 956 driven by Stephen Bellof set the overall lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife — a record which stood for 35 years until a modified Porsche 919 Hybrid eclipsed it in 2018.

The subsequent Porsche 962 (photo above) was created to meet updated IMSA GTP specifications, with the Group C variants getting a 962C nameplate. The 962 became one of the most dominant race cars ever, taking WSC titles in 1985 and 1986; the IMSA GT championship from 1985-88; the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1986 and ’87; the 1994 24 Hours of Le Mans 1994 (a modified customer car); and pacing the field in other racing series for 10 years straight.

After an extensive renovation, the Vault at the Petersen Museum has re-opened, more than double in size and now featuring over 250 vehicles from around the world, including some of the most iconic and rare cars, motorcycles, and trucks spanning over 120 years of automotive history in the United States.

Ninety-minute-long guided tours include showcase vehicles from six different regions, exploring the history of the automobile, from early legends to stunning modern supercars.

For more information and to order tickets, click HERE.