The presentation will cover the origins of the shopping car in America and the circumstances under which Long Beach became the epicenter of the industry. Mr. Fisher will cover the various manufacturers and marques in Southern California including the Autoette, Mobilette, Marketour, Marketeer, Electric Shopper and others whose origins were in Long Beach and Southern California. The program will also explore some of the unique personalities involved in the industry; the Sherman Tank myth; the role of Long Beach in the decline of the shopping car; and some interesting sidebars that have a lasting impact to this day.
Larry Fisher is executive director of the NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, CA. Mr. Fisher is a longtime advocate for museums and education, particularly the ability for museums to provide unique experiences with primary source materials and environments to students.
Fisher’s career has spanned the arts, culture, and motorsports including a role on the Guldstrand Endurance Racing Team; Senior Fabrication Designer and Project Administrator for Walt Disney Imagineering; and nearly three decades in the museum/zoo/aquarium field advancing the discipline of experience design and interpretation.
A native of Southern California, Fisher encountered his first Autoette on the streets of Pasadena in the early 1960s and had nearly forgotten the machine until coming across one in New England while hunting for a vintage motorcycle. His journey of discovery after ‘rescuing’ his first Autoette has led him to becoming one of the foremost authorities on the subject of American shopping cars, particularly those manufactured in Southern California. Many years of dusty garages and dozens of shopping cars later, Fisher became a founding board member of the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation whose museum now houses the majority of his former shopping car collection.