ICONS OF AMERICAN CULTURE: HOT RODS & CUSTOMS!

The Historic Vehicle Association will be showcasing a ’32 Ford hot rod, ’51 Mercury custom and a ’64 Chevy lowrider on April 12 to May 4 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The vehicles will be exhibited in the HVA “glass case” on the walkway between the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum and National Gallery of Art. The vehicles are privately owned and are being commemorated and recorded as part of the HVA National Historic Vehicle Register in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) to be permanently archived in the U.S. Library of Congress.

Dubbed Gypsy Rose, it’s a beautifully painted ‘64 Chevrolet Impala lowrider designed to go “low and slow” when it cruised East LA in the 1970s. It was known as one of the most extravagantly painted lowriders of the period and was featured in the opening of the 1970s sitcom, Chico and the Man. Gypsy Rose was featured on the cover of LOWRIDER Magazine in 1980. It will be on display from April 12-19.

The ’32 Ford V8 McGee Roadster was built by Bob McGee, a returning veteran who attended and played football for the University of Southern California. McGee raced the car on the California dry lakes and used it to promote hot rod safety. The iconic Deuce roadster was featured on the cover of Hot Rod Magazine in 1948. It will be on display from April 20-26.

Best known as the Hirohata Merc, it’s a ‘51 Mercury coupe that was originally purchased by Bob Hirohata and extensively customized by master craftsmen, Sam and George Barris at their shop in Lynwood, California in 1952. It was striped by Von Dutch and featured modified design elements from Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, and Lincoln. Under Hirohata’s ownership it was driven cross-country from LA to Indianapolis and Detroit and back. The Merc collected over 150 trophies during the first several years it was shown. It will be on display from April 27-May 4.

“The HVA’s objective is to share America’s automotive heritage with the American people,” said Mark Gessler, President of the Historic Vehicle Association. “The three cars being recognized on the National Mall represent a uniquely American story of the talented builders who 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.”

The HVA expect hot rods, custom cars and lowriders to descend on the nation’s capital during the exhibition. This three-week 2017 exhibition expands upon the two-week 2016 HVA Cars at the Capital exhibition that featured President Taft’s 1909 White Steam Car and President Reagan’s ‘62 Willys Jeep CJ-6.

The 2017 Cars at the Capital free exhibition is underwritten in part through the generous support from Shell (including their Pennzoil and Quaker State brands), Hagerty, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), and TEN: The Enthusiast Network (including its AUTOMOBILE, HOT ROD and LOWRIDER brands).

The HVA is dedicated to preserving and sharing America’s automotive heritage. In 2014, the HVA established the National Historic Vehicle Register in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Heritage Documentation Programs and Library of Congress to document historically significant automobiles in America’s past. For more information about the HVA and its events, please visit https://www.historicvehicle.org/

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Toyota’s UK vote of confidence

Toyota has announced that it will invest a further £240 million in its plant at Burnaston in Derbyshire.

Starting this year, the facility will be upgraded with new equipment, technologies and systems so that it can produce future vehicles using the new Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform.

By 2020, the majority of Toyota’s models will be built using TNGA platforms which already underpin the new Prius and the all-new C-HR crossover, which is built in Turkey.

“Our investment demonstrates that, as a company, we are doing all we can to raise the competitiveness of our Burnaston plant in Derbyshire,” said Dr Johan van Zyl, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe.

“Continued tariff-and-barrier free market access between the UK and Europe that is predictable and uncomplicated will be vital for future success.”

Toyota has been making cars in the UK since 1992 and the Burnaston factory employs about 2,500 people.

The Avensis, Auris and Auris Hybrid are currently produced at the site. In 2015, 239,728 British-built Toyota cars were manufactured at the giant plant.

The post Toyota’s UK vote of confidence appeared first on Automotive Blog.

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2018 BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Heads to Mongolia

The 2018 BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy will take place in Mongolia in a little over two years time. But the regional qualifies are open this year for men and women to compete to represent their country.

The GS Trophy is open to any non-professional BMW rider. Teams of three compete, judged on their riding, adventure and teamwork skills. And even if you don’t win the overall trophy, you’ll get to spend time riding in Mongolia with bikes and equipment provided. To be in with a chance, you’ll need to try out in a regional qualifier, which generally replicates the main event over a couple of days.

2018 BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy
The 2018 BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy heads to Mongolia

In addition to the top three overall riders from each country being selected, there’s also an International GS Trophy Female Team. The best two women from each regional event who haven’t made the top three anyway will be sent to an International GS Trophy Female Qualifier, with the top three from that going on to Mongolia.

2018 BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Confirmed Teams:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Latin America
  • Mexico
  • Russia
  • Southeast Asia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • UK
  • USA

Want to give it a try and be in with a chance of competing in the 2018 BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy? You’ll need to head to the GS Trophy website for the entry details. Or check out our previous coverage of the BMW all-female team, and how BMW shipped 114 BMW R1200 GS bikes to Thailand for the 2016 event.

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