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“Sidewalk Speedsters: The Grown-Up World of Children’s Cars” at The Petersen Automotive Museum

Yesterday, December 16th, we attended a special media event to celebrate the opening day of “Sidewalk Speedsters: The Grown-Up World of Children’s Cars” at the Petersen Automotive Museum – presented by Lucas Oil. We always enjoy visiting the Petersen. This day in particular was especially fun because as part of the media event, it featured Actev Arrow “Smart-Karts” for the kids to ride. 

The Exhibit

You’d think that with self-driving cars on the horizon, the interest in driving cars has dwindled. However, kid-sized cars is a $430 million per year industry (as of 2015), making kids’ vehicles as popular as ever. I don’t see it as much, living in a congested city, but go-karts and youth racing has become more than just a hobby for kids across the country.

“Sidewalk Speedsters: The Grown-Up World of Children’s Cars” is a special exhibit is dedicated to the history of children’s competition cars. It mainly features cars from the early to mid 1900s, including an iconic, original car from Disneyland’s Autotopia. In the center of the exhibit is the most modern car of the collection, a 2005 Motivational Tubing Top Fuel Pinnacle Junior Dragster.

Like most exhibits at the Petersen, it’s a “see but don’t touch” exhibit. I think kids ages 8 and up with an interest in cars would appreciate it the most. It’s located on the same floor as the interactive game room, and the Cars Mechanical Institute, so it will be an easy transition from this one to the touch-friendly exhibits.

Key vehicles featured

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  • 1927 Bugatti Type 52 “Baby,”
  • 1995 Meyness Bentley
  • 1977 Porsche 936 Le Mans Jr.
  • 1968 Disneyland Autopia buggy
  • 1931 Custer
  • 1945 Plexiglas Lucas
  • 1938 Maytag
  • 1955 “Homemade,”
  • 1939 Motokar
  • 1934 National Junior Racer
  • “The Lad’s Car”
  • “The Junior Automobile,”
  • Chevy Jr.
  • 1934 Cannonball Racer
  • 1954 Vanguard Sidewalk Racer
  • 1955 Viking Craft

“’Sidewalk Speedsters’ will mark a playful change of pace for the museum,”

– Petersen Chief Historian Leslie Kendall

Actev Arrow “Smart Kart”

My daughter drove an Actev Arrow “Smart Kart”, which was a special feature at the media event. She’s driven cars at Legoland, but nothing like this on a track as open as the 3rd floor of the parking garage at the Petersen, which they had roped off for the event. These battery-powered cars will reach speeds as high as 12MPH, but the control is at your fingertips, through an app that connects to your smartphone. In addition to parental controls, it also has safety controls which help you determine the drivable area, a collision avoidance sensor, and emergency braking. Multiple driver profiles can be saved, which makes it suitable for siblings.

To learn more, go to: actevmotors.com

Buy online on Amazon using my affiliate link: http://amzn.to/2BA4zMb


The Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity. The Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard (at Fairfax) in Los Angeles, California, 90036. Admission prices are $16 for general admission adults, $13 for seniors and students with ID, $8 for children ages 3 to 12. Active military with ID, personal care attendants and children under three are admitted free. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For general information, call 323-930-CARS or visit www.petersen.org.

Disclaimer: Westside Mommy attended this event as a member of the media in order to facilitate this post. No monetary compensation was exchanged for this post. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Images provided by Petersen Automotive Museum unless otherwise indicated. All opinions are my own.