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From the Packard Darrin to the Mazda Miata, cars designed in Southern California have ranked among the most highly regarded throughout automotive history. California Car Design told the story of these and other locally influenced automobiles and explains how progressive local designers like Harley Earl and Dutch Darrin brought a fresh approach to a conservative profession.

Even after virtually all Los Angeles-based vehicle manufacturers and coachbuilders closed shop following World War II, Southern California continued to shape automotive design on a large scale because of local customizers like Coachcraft and the Barris brothers whose work could be seen in dozens of enthusiast publications, on television and in motion pictures. Today the Southland remains at the forefront of innovation thanks to the area’s large number of corporate design studios, influential educational institutions and ongoing willingness of southland motorists to embrace new ideas.