Miracle Mile was the first commercial development in LA designed expressly for the benefit of drivers, and so a former department store makes an apt home for this museum of car culture. A 2015 redesign has since turned the automotive history museum into more of a high-tech gallery, with about 150 cars on display. There's a glimpse into the rise of car culture in Southern California, but that mostly takes a backseat to a focus on the progress, dominance and dazzling good looks of the automobile.
The museum's narrative begins in the third floor gallery with a bit of automotive history; you'll find sections dedicated to Southern California road culture and Hollywood cars, from the Tim Burton era Batmobile to Walter White's Pontiac Aztek. Head down a level and you'll learn about the industrial design process from start to finish; an on-hand Art Center design studio makes the motif feel especially alive. The ground floor shows off the artistry of cars, with a showroom dedicated to sumptuously swooping vintage vehicles. Make no mistake, though: all of the floors are essentially about the art fo the automobile, just viewed through various lenses.
Technology, both automotive and interactive, runs through the museum's redesigned gallery spaces; most significantly, they've ditched wordy didactics in favor of tablets in many spots. You'll find Forza 6 driving simulation stations and a Cars-inspired discovery center on the second floor, complete with an augmented reality experience that takes visitors on a car-building scavenger hunt around the space. Though the museum has 96 tablets available for the Cars experience, we suggest reserving a time slot in advance.