As more and more public places close their doors in a bid to control the coronavirus pandemic, one place in particular – a petrol head's mecca – is finding a way round the lockdown so that people can still enjoy what it has to offer.

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is one of the best car museums on the planet, and as well as its world-class exhibits, the museum also has a basement, or 'vault' packed with some of the rarest and culturally significant cars ever made.

The Vault is normally accessible to visitors, for a small charge on top of the museum admission fee, but now with the building shut for the foreseeable future, it's offering online Vault tours.

Collection manager Dana Williamson will lead the the hour-long digital tour, which will provide rare access to never-before-seen cars from the worlds of motorsport, TV and Film, politics, and many more. Not only will they keep the museum open in some form during the next few weeks, but they also offer a unique glimpse to those who may not have the chance to get to the museum in person.

Petersen Automotive Museum Vault

"Although we wish patrons could be visiting us at this time, we understand the risks and wanted to offer a new experience for fans of the museum to enjoy from the comfort of home,” said Petersen executive director Terry L. Karges. "The benefit of offering digital tours is that we are now able to extend the stories of our collection to a global audience and give our patrons more access to the cars than ever before."

The online tours will cost just $3, or around £2.50, and will run until March 31, 2020. 

In addition to the paid tours, the Petersen is also offering free online educational programmes during the same period. The online courses will cover everything from the history of the car, to force and motion, story time, and model making.

"The Petersen Automotive Museum offers students an opportunity to gain an education during school closure and in between their digital course loads," said Karges. "Our special programming will broaden kids’ knowledge and expose them to the world of the automobile."

Gallery: Petersen Automotive Museum Vault