In 1972, in the oilfield town of Odessa, the high school football team had won its first national championship. Also, in that year, some homies from its southside streets established Taste of Latin Car Club. Now, fast forward to the present- the Permian Panthers have won numerous championship titles, in fact, the movie Friday Night Lights was based on the 1998 team. As for that barrio car club? Taste of Latin C.C., has withstood the test of time with membership as strong today, as it was in decades past, culminating in a club induction into the LRM Car Club Hall of Fame in 1995. During that time, there have been only two club presidents, co-founder Nick Hernandez presiding until 2008, at which time the reins of leadership were bestowed upon his son, Augustine Nick Hernandez. LRM found it only fitting to feature this father and son’s mutual sabor for the Lincoln’s bold body style.
We begin with the 2006 Lowrider HOF honoree, Nick Hernandez’ 1969 Lincoln Mark III, “The Godfather.” Although many low-lows have passed through this legend’s hands throughout the decades, including his 1964 Impala “Odessa Masterpiece,” there was still a part of him that needed closure. In 1980, Nick was cruising the oil booming streets of O-town in his ’68 Lincoln when he was invited to compete in San Antonio’s first LRM Car Show. He entered the show with no expectations; so imagine his surprise when his deep-brandy luxury ride received the Editor’s Award. “After the show, I was asked by Sonny Madrid to meet up with the LRM staff in El Paso for a photo shoot and possibly a front cover. I wanted to add a few more changes to the car before having it featured, thinking there would be other opportunities. Was I ever wrong?” Soon after, for those “few changes,” he took the ’68 to a local shop where the end result was a complete disaster. The car had been ruined, leaving Nick with little motivation to restore it back. “I never recovered from that shock, until I found this Mark III,” he says.
This time, under the care of Bajito Body Shop, there would be zero chance of having this Lincoln ruined, since the shop owner is Mr. Hernandez himself. After going over a few ideas with his shop manager/son, Augustine, the conclusion reached was to recreate the Lincoln that was long stored in Nick’s memory. First, BBS’s best metal techs, Eugene Mendez and Dolly Jimenez, stripped down the Lincoln and made certain every panel was straight before the black base could even be considered. Once Billy Yanez completed the prep work, Nick mixed a custom blend of a Brandywine Candy and Pearl, and handed the paint duties to Augustine. With no pressure, only that of having to recreate your dad’s retro car, the younger Hernandez did his jefe proud, as he laid the German black and special mix with ease. After confirming the same color tone of the 1980 ride by Nick, Augustine fine blocked the low, before spraying the coats of clear that made that deep color bounce off that dark base. Although the concept was nostalgic, Nick decided to add murals and a two-pump setup to the 2K resurrection. Nick is really proud of the end result and thanks his wife, Cindi, for her inspiration and support. “My goal was to depict the Odessa Lowrider of the past and leave my sons, Augustine, Anthony, Nick, and grandsons my legacy on wheels.”
Along with instilling family values to his sons, Nick greatly influenced oldest son, Augustine Nick Hernandez, in continuing the Lowrider tradition in O-town and their shared sabor for the bold body lines of Lincolns with his 1981 Town Car. After purchasing the stock T/C in 2004, Augustine had Nick Sr. lay a House of Kolors candy & pearl combination and installed a double pump setup; at which time thinking the street cruiser was complete. As many of you reading this can attest to, are you really ever done? For Augustine, his reevaluation happened in early 2005. Nick Sr. was contacted by WWE Wrestling in needing a Lowrider for Eddie Guerrero’s ring entrance for a local event. Without a blink, Nick Sr. recommended the candy sedan. Since it was a televised event, all viewers witnessed the world champion (LRM Feb. 04) hitting the switches on the luxury low as it cruised to ringside. Soon after, while competing at car shows, WWE fans were recognizing the car from the televised show. At that time, Augustine decided to namesake his Lincoln as that of the champ “Latino Heat.”
All the attention meant revamping the ride, starting with the interior. Frank and Joe at Hope’s Sewing stitched a Tan Reef Tweed throughout, to include raised Lincoln emblems in the seats and dashboard. After getting the ride back from the upholstery shop, Augustine installed a Soundstream sound system with 4 monitors. Taking no chances, Luis Mendoza at BBS rebuilt the powerplant, to include a chrome Edelbrock intake and carburetor to the candied block. The final touch by Augustine was the installation of a bumper kit with the namesake airbrushed on the carrier cover. Regrettably, on November 13, 2005, Mr. Guerrero died due to heart failure. A once compliment to the Latino wrestler would now become a tribute to the 2006 WWE Hall of Famer.
Postmortem, Augustine immediately hired “Big Mario” Chavez at BBS to airbrush murals of the champ on the hood and trunk. Then, the undercarriage was completely redone to include a chrome plated suspension. A Krazy Kutting custom grille and trademark engravings put the finishing touches on this tribute car. Since its completion, “Latino Heat” has been successful throughout the Texas Lowrider show circuit, but Augustine is especially proud of its placing at the LRM Phoenix and Las Vegas Super Shows. The car continues to be well-received by Eddie’s fans. And as he resides over Taste of Latin C.C., Augustine would like to thank his brothers, the club, his kids and wife Rosie for their support, with a special thanks to Nick Sr. and Ray Galindo. Paz,Tejas
Owner: Nick Hernandez
Vehicle: 1969 Lincoln Mark III
Club: Taste of Latin
City/ State: Odessa, Texas
Body/ Paint: German black base w/ Brandywine and Pearl by BBS.
Pinstriping: Cotton Hayes Studio.
Engine: 1970 460hp.
Murals: By El Shadow.
Interior: Stock style.
Hydraulics: Eliminator setup w/ Adell dumps sponsored by HiLo El Paso.
Wheels: 13×7 custom wires airbrushed by Super Mario.
Tires: Hankook P155 80R13.
Owner: Augustine Hernandez
Vehicle: 1981 Lincoln Town Car
Club: Taste of Latin
City/ State: Odessa, Texas
Body/ Paint: House of Kolors Candy Green and Pearl by BBS.
Pinstriping: Danny Gonzalez.
Engine: Rebuilt 351 Windsor w/ Edelbrock chrome components.
Interior: Tan Reef Tweed by Hope’s Sewing.
Murals: Big Mario Chavez.
Hydraulics: Two-chrome HiLo pump setup.
Wheels: 13×7 OG Wires.
Tires: Hankook P15580R13.