WHY WE LOVE THE AUTOMOBILE
IN THE PERSPECTIVES GALLERY
People around the world have come to love cars for many reasons. They exude style, embody innovation and offer their owners a remarkable combination of freedom, utility and distinction. Few other products of our material culture have more purpose or meaning and even fewer elicit a more emotional response.
This is especially true in Southern California, a region whose passion for—and ultimate reliance upon—the automobile have become legendary. Despite the availability of an expansive public transportation network in the early twentieth century, area residents came to prefer the independence offered by automobiles and urban planners responded by shaping the growing infrastructure to accommodate them. Understanding Southern California’s unique history is fundamental to understanding the region’s love for the automobile.