Town Cars

How to arrive in style

Eric Kaminsky - February 24, 2014 10:00 AM


1916 Scripps-Booth


1927 Rolls Royce once owned by actor and dancer Fred Astaire

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Elegant. Distinguished. Formal. Luxurious.

All of these adjectives could be used to describe the cars found in the new display at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles. “Town Cars: Arriving in Style” opened on February 15, and will run until February 8, 2015.

Most cars feature an open chauffeur’s compartment in front, and an enclosed passenger area in back, outfitted with such accessories as crystal bud vases, cigar humidors, jewelry storage compartments, and more. Many were custom built to meet the individual owner’s demanding specifications.

After World War II, the demand for town cars dropped, with chauffeurs now sitting in the front seat of limousines, covered by the same roof as their passengers. Still, there were some custom-built examples of the town car body style still being made.

The exhibit also highlights the role of the chauffeur in maintaining and repairing the cars, especially in the early 1900s.

For more information, go to