Ask anyone who’s involved in the automotive hobby where they’d suggest heading for some really thick car culture, and Southern California would surely be mentioned.
I gave SoCal a try for an entire month, every weekend attending the most highly recommended ‘cars and coffee’ type events. What I found only confirmed what a lot of people say.
Do you want JDM? Southern California has some of the best. Lowriders? Yeah, they have those too.
Maybe Euro or exotics are what you’re after? There is definitely no shortage of these. And muscle cars and hot rods? They’re everywhere in SoCal.
Honestly, whether you’re a general enthusiast or have a niche taste, Southern California delivers on the car culture front. There are dozens of events almost every weekend, but here’s a gallery of shots from some of my favorites.
State of Speed LA fills nearly 400 parking spaces every month at the old Datsun campus in Long Beach, with some of the nicest JDM, ‘90s Euro, and restomod cars I’ve seen.
Then you’ve got South OC Cars and Coffee, which is utterly enormous and brings out some of the nicest cars in every category. Its weekly Saturday turnout is nothing short of impressive.
Cars and Coffee Classics hosts model-themed events in Anaheim, and the one I attended was dedicated to the Mazda rotary. Lucky me! Other makes show up to each theme every month, and they’re all impressive too.
Lastly, auction site Collecting Cars hosts a specialty meet in Santa Monica in seemingly random intervals. These events always attract an incredible array of cars. Scarcity drives demand, right?
I don’t think Southern Californians really realize how lucky they are. What they might perceive as a ‘normal’ car event is likely to be anything but to someone from outside of the area; that’s certainly true of my experience. In fact, the car culture here is making it nearly impossible to leave… Thanks, SoCal.