California Is the Center of Car Culture

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old yeller

As it’s said in the video below, there’s no other place on earth that’s done more with the automobile than Southern California. Design centers are based there for a reason, and it’s safe to assume there’s something magical about So-Cal that breeds such creativity. Showcasing all of this is the lovely Peterson Auto Museum. This museum holds some of the finest and most creative works that have ever been on a track or boulevard.

One might argue that there are other areas of greater influence on the automobile, namely Detroit, but it can be argued that they they didn’t style the cars, they only built them. Even Harley Earl, who was directly responsible for penning the C1 Corvette, was born and raised in Hollywood, and had a direct influence from his father’s work as an automobile coach-builder for Hollywood’s elite.

So-Cal’s hot rod scene became so famous in the ’50s and the ’60s, that the location itself serves as a watermark for all things built with speed and flare. It may just be a tiny spot on the globe, but even the famous speed shops have built a name on it.

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Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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