California Auto Industry

California Auto Industry

“In the long run, standardization and interchangeability of parts will have the effect of giving us a higher grade of motor car at a lower price.”- Scientific American, 1909

While California was not the center of the auto manufacturing industry, the Golden State was still home to some smaller car producers. Among them were Doble Steam Car Motors of Oakland and Sacramento custom car and bus body designer Sidney Albright between 1909 and 1934.

With the motoring public, electric and steam powered autos were quickly replaced by the cheaper internal combustion engine. By 1905, the automobile market had shifted to the middle-class consumer. With over 15 million Model Ts built between 1908 and 1927, “Ford” and the automobile became nearly synonymous. Detroit quickly came to dominate the automobile market in California, making it impossible for smaller, more specialized carmakers to survive.

California State Capitol Museum – The Road Ahead Exhibit

This is a website specifically for the “The Road Ahead: The Automobile’s Impact on California” Exhibit. Dates: May 23, 2018 – April 29, 2019 at the California State Capitol Museum.

For Museum-related information such as contacts, hours and location: Visit