Journal: Three Wheels and a Pledge: Petersen Museum Needs Your Help To Restore Its Davis Divan

Three Wheels and a Pledge: Petersen Museum Needs Your Help To Restore Its Davis Divan

By Petrolicious Productions
April 9, 2015

Running a automotive museum is an exhaustive endeavor that often involves the dedication of thousands, including employees, volunteers, mechanics, and benefactors. Vehicles require constant attention, exhibits need to be updated, and regular visitors always want to see new things every few months.

That’s before acquiring (and maintaining) unicorn-grade rarities like the Davis Divan, as The Petersen Museum did—a vehicle so obscure and pending restoration so complex that they’re asking for donations via crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.

Look for a more in-depth feature on the Davis Divan in the coming days, but for now you should know there were only 17 prototypes built. The Petersen’s is #4, and wears a particularly strange history. The Divan was an aircraft-inspired car, built from aluminum at the Van Nuys Airport and, in 1947, was without question the most bizarre vehicle to be seen on California’s streets.

After spending most of its life in Colorado—mounted on a pole outside a body shop—the car was acquired by the museum and brought to running condition. It’s never received a full restoration to allow the car to be preserved for decades to come, however, and the museum wants to be able to show visitors a near-new Divan as it would have been delivered in 1947.

The museum says that the car’s engine and suspension need to be totally rebuilt, the interior needs to be replaced, the exterior needs to be repainted—and it’s not as if the team will be able to order some new parts from Pep Boys. Fabrication will be required.

According The Petersen, $30,000 is required for the car’s restoration, with the goal to have it restored by December this year to coincide with its grand re-opening. For each donation level, backers get an increasing number of perks—the top tier promises rides in the completed car.

Why is this campaign important? The Petersen thinks that this may be a great way for other museums the world over to help preserve cultural artifacts, and Petrolicious agrees. Even if you’re not planning on a trip to L.A. (or to any of the world’s other car museums), it gives enthusiasts the opportunity to more actively support the preservation of automotive history.

Follow the links here to read more and leave a pledge; in the coming weeks, Petrolicious will keep you up-to-date on the campaign. 

Images Courtesy of Petersen Museum

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Scott Allen
Scott Allen
9 years ago

I like the purity in this car.
it reminds me of the flying 356.

A Dias
A Dias
9 years ago

Why restore it? It looks fine… I would detail it, replace broken pieces and keep it as original as possible. We have too many over-restored vehicles already.

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