Los Angeles Is The Best Car City In AmericaJason Torchinsky7/21/14 3:43pmFiled to: los angeles21238EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalinkLet me be up front with you: this is a love letter. It's a mash note to a city that's become my home more than any other city ever has, for many reasons. We talk about cars here, and that's just fine, because there is no American city with a carscape as lush, rich, and varied as Los Angeles.I'm writing this now because I find myself, after over 17 years, having to leave LA. For a variety of complicated familial and private reasons, all of which reek painfully of adulthood and responsibility, I'm going to be moving to Chapel Hill, NC next month. This wasn't an easy decision to make, because I really love Los Angeles and my ratty little house here in the Los Feliz area. Los Angeles has been good to me, and I want to repay her a bit by giving her some praise for one of her best features: her cars.Los Angeles loves cars. And, sure, that love came at a high cost of the death of the Red Line and LA's old trolley network, and brought with it smog and traffic and all those related issues, but the end result still is a city that celebrates and embraces cars like no other place I've known.Los Angeles has so many features going for it to make it this ideal environment for cars to thrive: a climate that allows for nearly any style of car to be used year-round, and that climate is one that is arid enough to keep rust at bay. There's a lot of money in parts of LA, so exotics can flourish, and even in the areas that the money seems to avoid, there's plenty of rich and active automotive subcultures. Oh, and the roads! There's so many incredible roads out here for driving, from the Angeles Crest highway to Mulholland drive, to scary little canyon serpents, to the PCH, and, hell, even the scary-at-night industrial areas around downtown LA. There's so much variation in scenery and experience, you'll never be bored.You see everything in LA. Cars that have no logical reason to be anywhere near palm trees and In-n-Out burgers, like the Volga I saw the other day or that Trabant a friend of a friend has. It was in LA that I saw my first Rolls-Royces and other exotics in rough condition, a class of cars that I bet barely exists outside of Los Angeles. I'm pretty sure the list of places where daily-driver Silver Shadows and Countaches that have Bondo patches and need mufflers is very short.On any given day, a drive around Los Angeles can reveal beautifully-maintained Corvairs, JDM cars that you have no idea how they're legally registered, vintage Lancias being driven to the grocery store, lowriders with paint so deep you get the bends if you stare into it for too long, and entire subcultures of Beetles and MGs and BMW 2002s.Up until a point in the late '60s, you could import almost anything into the US, and it seems like a good portion of Los Angeles did. LA has always been a little more willing to try new things than the rest of the country, and as a result of this automotive open-mindedness, LA gained a large pool of genuinely interesting cars, many of which still survive today.