June 22, 2024

Linkage Mag

Geared for the Automotive Life

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In Memoriam: Peter Mullin

Peter Mullin, one of the most signifiant car collectors in the world, died on September 20 in Big Sur, California.

Mullin was born in 1940.

Mullin was a very successful Southern California businessman and philanthropist, and he devoted much of his life to pre-war French cars.

Mullin was one of the founding board members of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, and he played a leading role in the 2013 renovation of the museum.

Mullin founded the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, Calif., where his world-class collections of French cars and Art Deco furniture and artifacts are on display. 

Mullin, and his wife, Merle, were regulars at concours d’elegance and car events all over the world. Their cars were usually in contention for top honors.

Mullin’s 1934 Voisin C-25 Aerodyne won Best in Show at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.  

Mullin was a generous donor to many colleges, universities and charities.

“Peter Mullin was an amazing man — certainly for his exquisite taste in cars, furniture and art, but also learning and conversation. I can recall many interesting chats with him, perhaps none more so than one we had at the Rétromobile show in Paris,” said Donald Osborne, Audrain CEO.

“Peter, a long-time connoisseur of fine French cars had just ‘discovered’ a personal connection to Citroën. He was well and truly smitten, and we had a long talk about it. What was remarkable — but not at all surprising for those who knew him — was that he freely admitted to deriving great pleasure from learning about a new subject. He was never one of those people who either pretended knowledge he didn’t have or shrank from finding the right authorities from whom to learn.

It showed itself in the collections he and Merle built and in the infectious enthusiasm he always shared. His smile and warm nature will remain a vibrant presence for me.”

Mullin is survived by his wife, Merle, and his children and grandchildren.

Image: Mullin Automotive Museum