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Photo By David Zaitz.
Photo By David Zaitz.
Photo By David Zaitz.
Photo By David Zaitz.
Photo By David Zaitz. Photo By David Zaitz. Photo By David Zaitz.


Through a ground-breaking partnership with Disney/Pixar, visitors of all ages can now be a part of an amazing experience found only at the Petersen. The Cars Mechanical Institute, inspired by the animated film, is a gallery that immerses visitors in different interactive stations where they learn about the mechanical systems that make cars work. Visitors can also paint and personalize virtual cars as well as trace and color their own Cars character to take home. And our littlest car enthusiasts can zoom toy cars around a racetrack.

CARSpad “Build a Virtual Racecar” Game

In the Cars Mechanical Institute visitors can participate in the CARSpad Experience, an iPad game where visitors design their own virtual racecar, with the help of the Cars characters, as they move throughout the galleries on the second floor. Once they are finished, visitors can race their own car to try and best Lightning McQueen’s race time. This experience allows visitors to learn about the science and technology behind designing an aerodynamic racecar, with characters from the Cars movie as their guides.

All ages are welcome to play this game. However adults must check out CARSpads for children under 12 and must supervise them at all times. The experience takes an average of 20 to 40 minutes.

The game was developed and created in partnership with Disney/Pixar, with all the characters voiced by the original film actors.

During peak periods, such as weekends and holidays, the Cars Mechanical Institute will be accessible by hourly timed entry only. Families wishing to experience the gallery or the CARSpad must reserve a time slot at the front desk, upon admission. The Cars Mechanical Institute Family Experience timed tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis.

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