Custom Cars Will Liven Up The National Mall In D.C. This April


The National Historic Vehicle Association is sending three iconic pieces of American car culture to Washington D.C. to have the unique rides publicly displayed on the National Mall.

The privately owned vehicles are being exhibited as part of the third annual ‘Cars at the Capital’ show and will be displayed in a single glass case. The vehicles are also being commemorated in the HVA National Historic Vehicle Register in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior and will be permanently archived in the U.S. Library of Congress.

The first vehicle to be displayed is a 1964 Chevrolet Impala lowrider dubbed ‘Gypsy Rose’, which can be seen on the National Mall from April 12th to the 19th. Gypsy Rose was built in East Los Angeles in the 1970s and was considered one of the most extravagantly painted lowriders of its time. It featured in the opening scene of the 1970s sitcom “Chico and the Man” and cemented itself in lowrider lore by making it on the cover of Lowrider Magazine in 1980.

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The second vehicle to be shown in the case is a 1932 Ford V8 Roadster hot rod. The heavily customized two-door was built by Bob McGee, who began to pursue his passion for cars shortly after returning home from WWII. The car could frequently be seen racing on California’s dry lake beds, but it became a bit more famous after making it on the cover of Hot Rod Magazine in 1948. It will be on display in D.C. from April 20th to the 26th.

The third and final vehicle to be shown is a 1951 Mercury Coupe formerly owned by one Bob Hirohata. The heavily customized Merc was built by famed California craftsmen Sam and George Barris and features pinstriping by Von Dutch founder Kenny Howard. Hirohata drove the car all over the country during his first several years of ownership, collecting over 150 trophies from various car shows along the way.

“The HVA’s objective is to share America’s automotive heritage with the American people,” said HVA president Mark Gessler. “The three cars being recognized on the National Mall represent a uniquely American story of the talented builders that modified production cars for speed and style. These three examples represent true national treasures of the early days of the hot rod, custom and lowrider movements. It is their first time in Washington, DC.”

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