The Petersen Automotive Museum announced today that its Executive Director, Richard G. (Dick) Messer has decided to retire to focus on other business interests and to enjoy more time with his family, friends, and hobbies. Commenting on his decision, Messer said, “As I approach 70, and having given a total of 12 years of full-time attention to the Museum, it’s time for me to relax a bit and focus on other matters.”
Petersen Board Chairman, Steven E. Young, stated: “Dick has given us years of totally committed service, which the Board and the entire Museum membership deeply appreciate.”
Upon learning of Messer’s desire to retire, the Board held a special meeting to discuss this key position. Buddy Pepp’s name immediately came to mind. Buddy is a founding member of the Museum’s Checkered Flag 200 Executive Committee, had just sold his business and was looking for a new challenge. “I’m most grateful for the opportunity to work with the incredible staff at the Museum. The team of professionals at the Petersen put smiles on thousands of faces year after year. I wish Dick all the very best in his well deserved retirement,” Pepp stated. “Buddy’s unfaltering support of The Petersen Automotive Museum, as well as his keen entrepreneurial experience, owning and running businesses for over 40 years, made Buddy our unanimous choice,” Young added. He will take over Messer’s position effective June 15.
The Petersen Automotive Museum is dedicated to the exploration and presentation of the automobile and its impact on American life and culture, using Los Angeles as the prime example. Encompassing more than 300,000 square feet, its exhibits and lifelike dioramas feature more than 150 rare and classic cars, trucks and motorcycles on three floors of exhibit space. Visitors are invited to experience the fist floor “Streetscape” which takes them on a journey through time as they trace the history of the automobile through a lifelike, walk through diorama. The second floor presents five rotating galleries with state-of-the-art displays of racecars, classic cars, vintage motorcycles, concept cars, celebrity and movie cars, and auto design and technology. The third floor May Family Discovery Center for children is designed to spark an interest in science by way of the automobile. The 6,500 square-foot, interactive &ldq uo;hands-on” learning center teachers children basic scientific principles by explaining the fundamental functions of a car.
The Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable/educational institution. The Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard (at Fairfax) in Los Angeles. Admission prices are $10 for general admission adults, $5 for seniors and students with ID, and $3 for children ages 5 to 12. Museum members and children under five are admitted free. Covered parking is available for $2 per half hour with an $8 maximum for Museum visitors. Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For general Museum information, call 323/930-CARS or visit the Museum’s Website at:

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