Wayback Machines: Photos From the Early Days of the LA Auto Show

Los Angeles has been the place to showcase the automotive world's latest since the time of the car's infancy.

The 115th edition of the West Coast showcase runs from Nov. 18 through Nov. 27, including Thanksgiving Day, offering a look at where the industry is going.

But first, take a look at where it's been with photos from past decades of the Los Angeles Auto Show.

26 photos
For as long as cars have been part of the American landscape, Los Angeles has been the place to tell their stories.
A promotional vehicle is pictured for the 1920 Los Angeles Auto Show,
LA Auto Show
An illustration featuring the Los Angeles Auto Show, a promotion for the West Coast's first showcase of the car.
The first LA Auto Shows made use of tents to house the increasing number of cars that were included each year. In 1929, an electrical short circuit in an airplane exhibit started a fire that spread rapidly. More than $1 million worth of vehicles were burned to shells. No serious injuries were reported.
Getty Images
A fire destroyed 300 new automobiles at the 1929 Los Angeles Motorshow.
LA Auto Show
A view inside a the auto show in the 1920s.
LA Auto Show
The earliest LA Auto Shows were at a skating rink, inside the basement of a department store, big-top-style tents and the Shrine Auditorium. In the 1930s, it moved into the new Pan Pacific Auditorium.
The Los Angeles Auto show is featured in this undated photo.
LA Auto Show
Crowds pack the Los Angeles Auto Show in this undated photo.
LA Auto Show
The 1955 LA Auto Show featured a cutaway of a Chevy Bel Air. The show returned tot he Pan Pacific Auditorium in 1952 and featured 152 vehicles, including more models from European manufacturers.
Corbis via Getty Images
General view of the 1950s Motorama car show in Los Angeles.
LA Auto Show
By the end of the 1950s, the LA Auto Show featured about 400 vehicles on display.
LA Auto Show
Porsche 356s are pictured at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The post-World War II shows featured an expanding number of European cars as service members returned home with an interest in foreign makes.
A promotional banner for the 36th Annual Los Angeles Auto Show.
LA Auto Show
Go-Go girls appears in front of a Fiat convertible at the 1968 Los Angeles Auto Show. By the 1960s, the show's expanded offerings featured Japanese cars alongside the familiar European and American models. This was the height of the muscle car era.
NBC Bay Area
BMWs on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
LA Auto Show
A promotion banner for the 1968 Los Angeles Auto Show.
LA Auto Show
The Ford display included the latest Mustang at the 1968 LA Auto Show.
LA Auto Show
LA Auto Show visitors check out the latest from Volvo.
LA Auto Show visitors line up outside the display tent.
Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag
Toyota unveiled its Prius hybrid powered car at the 1997 LA Auto Show. It had yet to be introduced in the U.S. but the car was already in production in Japan.
Jonathan Lloyd
This is one of the Prius models on display at the November 2019 LA Auto Show.
JOHN T. BARR/AFP via Getty Images
Shaquille O'Neal relaxes in the Lincoln Cartier L Town Car, which made its world debut at a news conference during the 2000 Greater Los Angeles Auto Show.
Actor, Hummer enthusiast and future California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has a look at the engine of a Hummer H2 at the 2002 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Victor Spinelli/WireImage
Aston Martin was in the spotlight for an exhibiting featuring the cars of Secret Agent 007, James Bond, at the 2003 LA Auto Show.
Montgomery County Police
A view of the LA Auto Show's current location, the Los Angeles Convention Center on Nov. 28, 2018.
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