Why, this car is auto-matic. It’s system-matic. It’s hyyyyydro-matic. Why, it’s greased lightning!

Danny Zuko, “Grease”

Whether it’s the 1913 Mercer Raceabout, long considered the first race car, the Cadillac Papal Parade Phaeton known in pop-culture as the “Pope-mobile” or the car Danny Zuko races in “Grease,” cars play a memorable role in history. And now these cars are all on display at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum as part of the new “Amazing Automobiles: The Ultimate Car Exhibit.” The exhibit is in partnership with the Petersen Automotive Museum to showcase some of The Petersen’s most stunning and memorable cars at the Reagan Library while The Petersen is closed to the public for renovation. Most of these cars come from The Petersen’s vault and are not seen by regular museum-goers.

“This partnership with The Petersen Museum is a wonderful way to showcase their extraordinary collection in Ventura County while their museum is closed for renovation,” said John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. “Whether you’re an enthusiast of the movies, history or just beautiful cars, this exhibit is a must-see.”

“This is a fairly rare collaboration between two world-class museums,” said Terry Karges, executive director of the Petersen Automotive Museum. "The ‘Amazing Automobiles’ exhibit allows Reagan Library visitors to see several significant cars from the Petersen collection.”

The cars will be separated into themed galleries for Hollywood, History and Heads of State.

Among many others, the Hollywood cars on display will include:

  • The Batmobile driven by Michael Keaton in “Batman” (1989) and “Batman Returns” (1991)
  • The 1946 custom Ford used by John Travolta and Olivia Newton John in "Grease" (1978)
  • The 1966 Ford Thunderbird driven by Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon in "Thelma and Louise" (1981)
  • The 2001 custom Honda Roadster driven by Devon Aoki in "2 Fast, 2 Furious" (2003)
  • The 1956 XKSS owned by Steve McQueen (one of only sixteen built)
  • The 1971 DeTomaso Panterea owned by Elvis Presley (which still has the three bullet holes from when he shot the car)

Some of the Heads of State cars on display will include:

  • Pope John Paul II's 1988 Cadillac Papal Parade Phaeton
  • the 1942 Lincoln Limousine (ordered the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor and used by Presidents Roosevelt and Truman)
  • The 1938 Packard Super 8 Parade Phaeton used by Juan and Evita Peron, President and First Lady of Argentina
  • The 1978 Mercedes Benz 600 Landaulet used by Saddam Hussein