It's hard to survive in Los Angeles without a car, but for some, the auto is more than just a form of transportation; it's a wonder of design, a status symbol, a mechanical feat, a canvas for customization, a means of getting the adrenaline pumping or all of the above. LA's car culture is everywhere. Here's a list attractions and resources that are all about cars and driving.
If you love other kinds of transportation too, we also have Museum Ships, Air and Space Museums and Train Museums and Attractions.
For museums on everything else, check out my Los Angeles Museums Guide by Category, or LA Museums A to Z.
Photo courtesy of the Automobile Driving Museum
The Automobile Driving Museum
in El Segundo (near LAX) isn't just about the cars. It's also about the famous and not-so-famous drivers who drove the museum's vehicles. On Sundays, guests have the opportunity to go for a ride in one of the classic cars for a trip back in time.
The Automobile Driving Museum also hosts the Hot Rod/Car Craft Magazine Cruise Nights on select Friday and Saturday nights. Check their website
Photo courtesy of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum
The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum
is located at the edge of the Los Angeles County Fairplex in Pomona (home of the LA County Fair). The museum celebrates everything to do with motorsports from race cars, hot rods and custom cars to race artifacts, speed records and stories.
Photo courtesy of the Nethercutt Museum
The Nethercutt Museum and Collection
are two related attractions in Sylmar in the north San Fernando Valley. The Museum, which showcases 130 antique, vintage and classic cars, is open for self-guided exploration. The Collection, which includes 4 floors of antique cars, car memorabilia, antique furniture, clocks, watches and mechanical musical instruments, can only be visited on a guided tour, available by reservation only. Just outside the Nethercutt Museum is a 1937 Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson Locomotive and 1912 Pullman Private Car.
Photo by Turville/Doyle courtesy of Marconi Automotive Museum
The Marconi Automotive Museum
in Tustin exhibits historic, exotic, classic and race cars. Their collection includes a large number of Italian sports cars and American muscle cars. The Marconi Automotive Museum is only open on weekdays and is closed weekends and holidays.
This private car collection next to the Justice Brothers' company headquarters in Duarte is a tribute to racing brothers Ed, Gus and Zeke Justice and everything about American racing from cars to memorabilia.
A private museum of the Toyota company in Torrance, featuring historic Toyotas. Open by appointment only.
Photo courtesy of Irwindale Speedway
The Irwindale Speedway Event Center
in the San Gabriel Valley includes twin paved oval race tracks (1/2 & 1/3 mile) with 6000 capacity seating and a dragstrip. It is also the home of LA Racing Experience, a year-round training program for race drivers. The Speedway also hosts open air concerts.
Photo courtesy of the Downtown Burbank Car Classic
The Los Angeles area hosts major new car shows like the LA Auto Show at the LA Convention Center and weekly car club meets where 75 hot rods and classic cars show up to a local donut shop. In between are all kinds of car shows from single brand shows to themed shows for Woodies and beach cruisers, race cars or high end luxury autos. Here's a list of some of the most popular Car Shows in LA
Photo courtesy of Kijubi.com