Driving Force: Automobiles and the New American City 1900-1930 explores the explosive growth of L.A.’s passion for cars, ignited by an unlikely and visionary mix of entrepreneurs. Car dealers made the big difference, as they ventured into unknown territory. That “unknown territory” meant introducing the West Coast to the concept of dealerships with service bays for on-site car repairs; dealers conceived the notion of “used cars,” those vehicles buyers “traded in” so they could buy a new one; and dealters made commonplace the idea of financing cars, an idea that scared the car makers in Detroit until they saw the orders rolling in. Steps that dealers took to make buying cars affordable, possible and—most of all—desirable were ingenious ideas born in Los Angeles, ideas that turned the new American city into the brain center of automobile sales in America. Most importantly, car dealers were the early adopters who broadened the market and convinced the general public that cars were no longer simply a luxury, they were a modern necessity. And today, Los Angeles’s car culture has shaped the world’'s preferences in automobiles.
Driving Force is the first major history of dealers at work, artfully told by Darryl Holter with Stephen Gee. And car collector extraordinaire Jay Leno has penned the Foreword, concluding that “In Driving Force, Darryl Holter shows that auto retailers connected manufacturers to buyers, changing America and shaping the history, economy, and culture of Los Angeles.” More than 150 vintage images complete this remarkable work.