Petersen Museum Opens Lowrider Exhibit

The Petersen Automotive Museum has opened a new collection of unique custom cars and iconic lowriders, the museum announced.

The “Lowriders and Customs Vault Display” looks back at when Lowriders first burst onto the Southern California automotive scene in the post-World War II era as unique symbols of personal creativity and Latino cultural identity. While hot rodders focused on going fast, lowriders were about going low and slow. Expressions of civic and cultural pride, lowriders became rolling works of art and early influencers for import car, hot rod and lowered truck builders, the museum said.

Vehicles on display include the most influential lowrider ever, the 1964 Chevrolet Impala known as “Gypsy Rose.” Featured on the opening title sequence of the 1970s hit television sitcom “Chico and the Man,” the famous lowrider was beamed into millions of homes every Friday night. In 2017, Gypsy Rose went on display at the National Mall in Washington D.C. and was the first lowrider inducted into the National Historic Vehicle Registry. The pinnacle of modern lowriders, the 1963 Chevrolet Impala “El Rey,” which blends contemporary design elements with classic lowrider styling, will also be displayed.

Other notable customs inspired by lowriders include the 1948 Cadillac Sedanette “CadZZilla” built by Boyd Coddington for Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, the two-tone 1964 Chevrolet El Camino “Blind Faith” with its rear-mounted V8 owned by the originator of Hot Wheels design Harry Bradley, and the 1960 Buick LeSabre “Lectrified” built by JH Restorations and Customs.

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the digital content editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at

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