Not content with launching just a publishing empire, Robert E. Petersen put on a series of car shows in the early ’50s that he called Motorama.
The first one was held in 1950 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, but later shows were staged at the art deco palace that was the Pan Pacific Auditorium. Hot rods, Bonneville race cars, drag racers and custom cars straight from the pages of Petersen’s magazines made up a big portion of these Motorama shows, but they also included new cars, antiques, motorcycles and classics from the ’30s and ’40s. In 1954, the show’s name changed to the International Motor Review and Motorama so that the Petersen shows wouldn’t be confused with the Motorama traveling car shows GM was holding at the time. The final Petersen show of the ’50s was held in 1955.