California is the State With the Greatest Car Culture

Whether cruising up CA 1 along the Pacific Coast, carving canyons on Mulholand Drive, blazing trails through the Mojave, or rolling in style down the Sunset Strip, if you are a car enthusiast, The Golden State is the the place to be.

When I was growing up in Eastern Pennsylvania in the 80s and 90s I was obsessed with cars.  I toy cars that ranged from matchboxes & Hotwheels to 1/43, 1/24, and 1/18 scale die-cast models.  I knew avery line of a Ferrari F40 a decade before I saw one in real life.  There was a guy who lived about ten minutes from my house who owned a Countach, and I would hound my parents to take me to the neighborhood on a regular basis just to check to see if the garage door was open so I could sneak a peek.  While hot rods and muscle cars were a frequently in an eyeshot, exotic cars were and still are a rare site in most American towns. Wealth, along with weather and roads contribute to the drought of supercars in most of the country.  Where there is not, nor will there ever seem to be a lack of amazing cars is in California, specifically Southern California.  I can’t help but believe that I was subconsciously drawn to Los Angeles in part due to the abundance of great cars that I could see and interact with on a regular basis.

Commercials for California Customs Hotwheels were being played during my favorite shows, and icons like James Dean from generations ago still appeared in pop culture.

 

California Customs Hotwheels from the early 1990s

California Customs Hotwheels from the early 1990s

Another California Customs Hotwheel- A 1990 Corvette ZR-1 convertible, which even at 8 years old I knew A) didn't exist and B) was an awesome toy

Another California Customs Hotwheel- A 1990 Corvette ZR-1 convertible, which even at 8 years old I knew A) didn't exist and B) was an awesome toy

Another California Customs Hotwheel- A 1990 Corvette ZR-1 convertible, which even at 8 years old I knew A) didn’t exist and B) was an awesome toy

James Dean & his now infamous Porsche Speedster gassing up in Cali

James Dean & his now infamous Porsche Speedster gassing up in Cali

California is THE car state.  Below are some of the reasons why, along with some of the many things for a car enthusiast to see and do inSouthern California.  Below are just a few:

Take a VW camper to the beach:

Camping out of a classic VW microbus on the beaches of Southern California is a wonderful experience to have

Camping out of a classic VW microbus on the beaches of Southern California is a wonderful time for the whole family.

 

Woody’s with surfboards on the roof: Nothing more iconically CA than the Woody wagon with some longboards on top and stickers on the window.

Very few automobiles can instantly reveal where they are from like the early Woody station wagons

Very few automobiles can instantly reveal where they are from like the early Woody station wagons

If you are more the type to venture off of the beaten path, Southern California as hundred of miles of trails through the Mojave Desert.

A pair of trucks going off-road in SoCal

A pair of trucks going off-road in SoCal

Packing up your truck or SUV for a weekend of trail driving and camping in the deserts of CA is a great way to unwind for a weekend

Packing up your truck or SUV for a weekend of trail driving and camping in the deserts of CA is a great way to unwind for a weekend

Car Shows & the Peterson Auto Museum:

The Peterson Museum on Wilshire and Fairfax in Los Angeles.

Peterson Auto Museum

Peterson Auto Museum

Every Friday night in LA there are several cruise nights where hot rods and classic cars meet to relax and talk shop.

Redondo Beach, Van Nuys, and Costa Mesa are just a few places that have regular cruise nights on Friday

Redondo Beach, Van Nuys, and Costa Mesa are just a few places that have regular cruise nights on Friday

Every Saturday morning there is the original Cars & Coffee in Irvine.

Every Sunday morning is Supercar Sunday in Woodland Hills.

Supercar Sunday is held every week from 7-10am

Supercar Sunday is held every week from 7-10am

Cruising the Pacific Coast Highway with the top down is one of the experiences that everyone should do at least once in their life:

CA 1 also known as the Pacific Coast Highway

CA 1 also known as the Pacific Coast Highway

the PCH is miles and miles of coastal driving just like this

the PCH is miles and miles of coastal driving just like this

Top down in a Ferrari along the PCH

Top down in a Ferrari along the PCH

How many states in the Union have cars named after them? 

  • Chevy Bel-Air & Malibu as well as the amazing Ferrari 250 GT California & it’s modern counterpart, the hard-top cabriolet called the California.
California spyder: The Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California’s name was given because the man ordering it was Ferrari’s influential dealer in Southern California, Johnny von Neumann.

California spyder: The Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California’s name was given because the man ordering it was Ferrari’s influential dealer in Southern California, Johnny von Neumann.

Mulholland Drive:

This iconic stretch of road that twists and turns across the top of the Hollywood hills has views of the city and Valley,  and is one of the most fun & (at times) challenging roads to drive on a Sunday afternoon.  This is a great place to also just sit watch some amazing cars.

1981 Dennis Hopper film about street racing on Mulholland Drive

1981 Dennis Hopper film about street racing on Mulholland Drive

This beautiful stretch of Mulholland makes for amazing afternoon drives

This beautiful stretch of Mulholland makes for amazing afternoon drives

Chris Banning's famous 911 street racer that influenced the film "King of the Mountain"

Chris Banning’s famous 911 street racer that influenced the film “King of the Mountain”

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