Javier Martinez was born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico. Like many of those who have immigrated to the United States, Javier and his family settled down in Paramount, California, in 1988. Javier is a metal polisher by trade, but he’s a lowrider car builder by heart. His knowledge of cars continued to grow as he got older because he was always willing to give a helping hand to his friends when they were working on or building their cars. Javier started his own metal polishing business in Paramount where he has all different types of metals that are ready to get chromed out. Back then Javier owned a few lowriders, including an ’82 Monte Carlo that was lifted and rode on McLean wire wheels and 5.20s, then in the popular mini truck era he owned an ’85 Nissan truck that was fully customized with a candy paintjob, murals, and a dancing bed.
After a few years, Javier went back to his hometown to visit his family in Tijuana. This is where Javier found a diamond in the rough while visiting his uncle Florentino in Tijuana. His uncle used the bed of the ’65 truck as a trash bin. The truck was parked on the side of his house until the bed was filled up completely with trash. Then he drove to the local dumpster site were he’d empty it and drive it back to the house and then repeat this same cycle. The truck was used for many years to carry trash until Javier offered his uncle $900 for it. The truck stayed in Tijuana for a few months while Javier got the paperwork ready to transport it back to the States. Javier primered the truck and had it painted orange while it sat in a shop in Tijuana until the early part of 2005. Javier then transported the truck to his shop where he started to work on it. The truck’s first transformation was built to be more like a hot-rod. The suspension had a low front end and a higher rear end.
After getting many tickets for speeding, Javier decided he needed to get back to his roots of cruising low and slow. He started out again by painting the truck, only this time he used candy and flake. The truck was fitted with a new set of 13-inch wires and 5.20s. Then he took off the stock inline-six engine and replaced it with an ’85 Chevy 350. The engine was taken apart and the block was painted. It was accessorized with plenty of chrome parts, including the air filter, fan, water and steering wheel pumps, alternator, valve covers, and a polished-out intake manifold.
After attending a Lowrider show in San Bernardino, he found his calling and decided to go all out on the truck because he’d started to mess around with it even more. He bagged the truck to be able to give it a smooth ride but then he used a hydraulic system to tilt the front end of the truck forward and retrofitted the bed to tilt it back. The body was also fitted to come off the frame with the hydraulic system at the push of a button. After doing all that could possibly be done to the truck, he cut out the roof and repainted it once more with candy patterns and flake. Before Javier cleared it, he had Curly pinstripe and gold leaf the entire truck to accent the body lines.
Javier’s truck was taken from a trash bin to an award-winning lowrider truck. “El Jefe” has taken numerous awards and has traveled all over the nation competing with the best of the best trucks. Now that Javier’s dream of building an award-winning lowrider has been achieved, he’s begun working on a ’65 Impala. He would like to thank his wife, kids, Curly, his brother Gustavo, Kali, Delfino, and the rest of the Our Style crew for helping out with a truck that has become El Jefe.
El Jefe ’65
Owner: Javier Martinez
Vehicle: ’65 Chevy truck
Club: Our Style Car Club
City/State: Paramount, California
Engine/Drivetrain: The stock engine was replaced by Javier with an ’85 Chevy 350 that was accessorized with chrome and polished parts to give it its award-winning look. The drivetrain was left stock and the engine was hooked up with a MagnaFlow exhaust system.
Body/Paint: Javier took the body off the frame, chopped it up, and painted it at his shop. The truck went trough three intensive paintjobs that ended with a mixture of Candy Tangerine and a few pounds of flake accented with candy graphics. The body lines were separated by Curly, who added custom gold leafing and pinstriping.
Interior: Manuel at TJ Customs in Tijuana, Mexico, reupholstered the interior of the truck with a custom orange carpet, two-tone yellow vinyl and orange suede swivel seats. Javier painted the rest of the interior to match the exterior with Candy Tangerine and Candy Yellow and flake.
Sound System: Javier wanted something simple, so he added a Kenwood head unit with a set of Pioneer midranges.
Setup: Javier hooked up the truck with a hydraulic system and an airbag system. The airbag system is used to give the truck a smooth ride, and the hydraulic system controls the front end tilt, bed tilt, and is also used to make the cabin come off the frame at the push of a button. The hydraulic setup includes one pump, three batteries, two dumps, and two solenoids for all movements to be controlled by a 12-switch box in the cabin. Javier also painted and flaked out the frame to match the exterior. The polished and chromed-out suspension system also has that award-winning shine.
Tires: Lowrider edition 5.20s
Wheels: Custom anodized 13-inch Daytons