The Petersen Automotive Museum is giving Corvette fans a reason to get revved up.

The Miracle Mile museum will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Chevrolet sports car March 1 and 2 with a car show, panel discussion of the vehicle’s history in motor sports and a seminar on the value of Corvettes in today’s market.

The Petersen will show off vintage Corvettes in an exhibit that will run Wednesday through March 31, including a 1953 EX-122, the first model, and the 1956 SR2, an experimental racing version.

“We’re able to promote an American icon,” said Terry Karges, Petersen’s executive director. “In the Southern California car culture, you are what you drive. It’s still a statement car.”

Karges said the car continues to be a distinctly American brand. Indeed, speakers will include Kirk Bennion, the exterior design manager for the new 2014 Corvette C7 Stingray.

Karges, who became the museum’s chief last August, wants to double the museum’s special events in 2013. Others will include showcases for fans of motorcycles and Volkswagens as well as symposiums on the future of the automotive industry.

The special events will add to the Petersen’s already expanded offerings. In December the museum opened its vault of rare and classic cars to the public for the first time in 20 years. It’s now one of the museum’s most popular features, Karges said.

“Our task is to reach beyond just the car enthusiasts,” he said.

– Ryan Faughnder

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