The preservation of our past plays a pivotal role in ensuring that our history is never forgotten. From an automotive and cultural standpoint, the photos and stories, which chronicle a lifestyle, serve as the textbooks by which we learn from. From understanding the movement to studying the style, it is from history that we develop our own inspiration. In short, archived documents of words and photos serve as a time capsule, allowing us to relive historic moments while giving us a blueprint to build from.
To be part of the movement is inspiring, but to be officially recognized as a part of its history is both humbling and empowering. Just ask Cragar Wheel, a brand that knows all too well the importance of historic preservation and the wheel that has graced the most legendary custom vehicles, including this one here, a 1964 Impala dubbed “Gypsy Rose.”
For over 50 years, the Cragar brand has brought new meaning to performance racing and their wheels have graced some of the most legendary builds the world has seen. Through groundbreaking innovation and progressive ideas, they produced high-quality wheels that offered one thing their competition could never do-and that’s a timeless appeal that has always commanded and never demanded attention. Of equal comparison is the legendary Gypsy Rose, a lowrider that has become a staple in the world of lowriding and a vehicle that was recently inducted into the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA).
With the world turning as fast it does, the processing of information is at an all-time high and as the efforts of documenting history grows increasingly important, this is where organizations such as the HVA come into play. The HVA understands this importance and gives new light to the significance of automotive history. The organization’s mission includes documenting historic vehicles and entering them into the National Historic Vehicle Register, sharing best practice guidelines of authentic examples of our automotive past, promoting historical significance of the automobile, and protecting our automotive past though education and legislative support.
In an effort to increase awareness, the HVA just recently completed their third annual Cars at the Capital at The National Mall in Washington, D.C. The event went down on April 12, 2017, and at the automotive heritage they showcased three influential vehicles that served as representatives of their time. The three vehicles on display were as follow: a 1964 Chevrolet Impala, 1932 Ford V-8, and a 1951 Mercury Coupe.
The three vehicles on display were all prime examples of vehicles that have stood the test of time, and we were honored to be in their presence. Of the three, we were very proud to have had a personal hand in bringing down the beloved Gypsy Rose. Equipped with fresh Cragar S/S wheels, the 1964 Chevrolet Impala “Lowrider” gave attendees the chance to gaze at an impeccable piece of lowriding history. From the paintjob to the velour-style pink interior, Gypsy Rose serves as a memento of heritage, culture, and a lifestyle that was born out of Los Angeles.
Looking back, the Gypsy Rose was a monumental part of our history. As it cruised the streets of East L.A. in the ’70s, this local lowrider turned out to be a global sensation that also had its own appearance in the ’70s sitcom Chico and the Man. In addition, it was a cover car for Lowrider magazine in the ’80s and one of the key styling elements was the set of Cragar S/S wheels it rolled on. The timeless appeal of the Cragar wheels still holds true to its form; much like the apple pie, it’s a part of Americana and an unforgettable piece of history that brings back many fond memories.
Fast-forward to present day and the Gypsy Rose still maintains relevance. To see it recorded into the National Historic Vehicle Register in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Historic American Engineering Record was both a privilege and an honor. The recording of this historic day will be permanently archived in the U.S. Library of Congress and it is a day that will allow not only a legendary car to live on, but also the brands, builders, and families that have been a part of creating this historic piece of automotive and lowriding history.
Be on the lookout for a full feature on Gypsy Rose in an upcoming issue of Lowrider.
For more information on this historical event please cruise on over here.
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