Story and Photos by Victoria Pickering
If you are near the Mall anytime before May 4th, look in the middle of the Mall and you’ll see a giant glass case with a car inside it. For the third year, the Historic Vehicle Association is sponsoring an exhibit featuring classic cars. The first car featured this year is the Gypsy Rose 1964 Chevrolet Impala lowrider. It will soon be exchanged for the McGee Roadster 1932 Ford V8 hotrod, later followed by the Hirohata Merc 1951 Mercury Coupe.
The Gypsy Rose is a classic example of low-rider art from Los Angeles. It was built by Jesse Valadez in 1973, inspired by the burlesque of Gypsy Rose Lee, and the painting was done by Walter Prey and Don Heckman. It was often seen riding up and down Whittier Boulevard in East L.A. in the 1970’s, and was featured in the opening of the sitcom Chico and the Man. The thick reflective glass case obscures some of the details, but it is still amazing.