It’s no secret, Angelenos love their cars. Throughout the year, Los Angeles hosts stellar events and unique exhibits that will engage even the most dedicated gearhead. Every fall, the LA Auto Show is a must-see event for car fanatics. Year round, enthusiasts can visit exhibits at the Petersen Automotive Museum and even ride in a classic car at the Automobile Driving Museum. If you feel the need for speed, rent an exotic car at Beverly Hills Rent a Car, then hit the road with our guide to great LA drives.
Every fall, the annual Los Angeles Auto Show takes over the Los Angeles Convention Center in Downtown LA. In addition to the dozens of exciting World and North American Debuts, the Auto Show features Electric Cars, Hybrid & Alternative Fuel Cars, Concept Cars, Luxury & Sports Cars, Test Drives, Tuners & Aftermarket, and a Kids' Fun Zone.
The LA Auto Show always kicks off with two press days full of activity for journalists, designers and industry representatives alike. Press days also include a breakfast sponsored by the Motor Press Guild, the “Green Car of the Year” award presented by Green Car Journal, the Design LA Conference, which includes the announcement of the winning Design Challenge entry, and the Green Cars Ride & Drive. Automobile Designers finish out the Design LA Conference on Thursday night of press days at the Designers’ Night Reception.
For car enthusiasts, the Petersen Automotive Museum is a must-see any time of the year. One of the museum's current exhibits will appeal to both the automotive enthusiast as well as those who love avant-garde design. Aerodynamics: From Art to Science presents an entertaining and enlightening visual overview of the landmarks of aerodynamic design. The exhibit opened in June 2012 and will run through May 27, 2013 in the museum's Gordon R. Howard Gallery. Sculpture in Motion: Masterpieces of Italian Design explores the many ways in which Italian coachbuilders and manufacturers have contributed to the evolution of the automobile from a collection of disorganized parts to a single, visually appealing unit. The exhibit runs through February 3, 2013.
Kids will enjoy Discovery Hour, the Petersen’s weekly, interactive activity hour for families with children under 6. Every Tuesday from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m., the Petersen hosts staff-led games, storytelling, scavenger hunts and races. Discovery Hour times are subject to change, check signage at the Admissions desk and in the elevators.
The Automobile Driving Museum (ADM) is the only museum of its kind in the world that invites visitors to actually take a ride in a classic or collectible car. The ADM displays a rotating collection of 130 classic, antique and vintage automobiles. The museum occupies over an acre of land and has 40,000 square feet for automobile display, storage, repair, and restoration. The ADM also has large meeting rooms and party spaces available for rent. On Saturdays, the public is invited to touch and sit in cars, and on Sundays visitors can ride with docent drivers in a dream vehicle on public streets near LAX. Guests can expect to ride in anything from Joseph Stalin’s 1936 Packard to a 1982 DeLorean. Rides take place from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for museum visitors ages 10 and older.
Of course, riding in a car (even a classic one) isn’t as much fun as getting behind the wheel. For a world-class driving experience, head to Beverly Hills Rent-A-Car, which maintains an extensive fleet of the finest, most prestigious automobiles in the world. Among the high end options are Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley, Maybach, Rolls Royce, Mercedes Benz, BMW, LandRover, Cadillac and more.
Hit the Road
Now that you’ve got your ride, where are you going to put it through its paces? LA Tourism has gathered some of the city’s best driving routes in this guide to Scenic Drives in LA. Don't miss the video of LA's "hidden race track," which your tour guide compares to Germany's famed Nürburgring.