Photos by Ted Soqui
Mourners over the weekend paid their last respects to the man who created arguably the most-celebrated lowrider in history, “Gypsy Rose.” Jesse Valadez died last month of colon cancer at age 64. The hot-pink 1964 Chevrolet Impala with intricate roses painted along its flanks and a chandelier inside became the prototype for the lowrider revolution — magazines, music videos, Japanese collectors — of the last two decades.
The Rose was part of the funeral procession Saturday as it headed to Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier. But it wasn't the first Rose.
A 1963 Impala that was featured on TV's Chico and the Man served that role. After it was stoned by rivals Valadez started over with the '64. It was the year he co-founded the legendary Imperials car club.
“I don't know how lowriding would be today without him, his car and that club,” Joe Ray, editor of Lowrider magazine, told the New York Times.
The car has toured the nation as a work of art and has been shown at the Peterson Automotive Museum.
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