Very few people dedicate their lives to helping others, but 33-year-old Rudy Martinez, of Pueblo, Colorado is one of those people. The story of “Legacy” begins in 1952 when Rudy’s grandfather, Ramos, purchased a ’52 Chevy truck. The reason for the purchase was work-related. In 1970, Rudy’s father inherited the truck. When Rudy turned 15 his father gave him the choice to either buy a used car or have the Chevy passed down to him. To honor his grandfather and father, Rudy chose the ’52.
Rudy has worked on his Chevy since high school. Having the only classic vehicle at his high school gave him plenty of motivation to challenge his creativity. Playing with colors, he chose a bright purple paintjob to stand out. By his senior year Rudy had focused on turning his classic into a show winner. Gaining inspiration from a Swedish sports car with intense gold stock paint, he stripped the custom purple off and sprayed layer upon layer of gold onto his Chevy.
After high school Rudy attended the University of Southern Colorado where he received a bachelor’s degree in social work, and then he went on to attend Adams State College where he achieved a master of art’s degree in counseling. He began his career at the Pueblo County Department of Social Services at the age of 23. For the last 10 years he has helped family after family of troubled kids and teens. Driving his classic from case to case makes kids realize that if they stay on the right path, they can achieve what may seem impossible. “My Chevy took me 15 years to perfect,” Rudy says, “And I appreciate everything my family has done to help me.”
Legacy is defined as something valuable that’s handed down from generation to generation. In true fashion, Rudy expects that he will pass his classic down to the next generation in order to carry on the family tradition. As a role model, he embodies everything a true lowrider enthusiast stands for, especially by joining Rollerz Only Car Club and helping them achieve their fourth title of Car Club of the Year.
Owner: Rudy Martinez
Vehicle: ’52 Chevrolet Truck
City/State: Pueblo, Colorado
Club: Rollerz Only Car Club
Engine/Drivetrain: With the help of his father, Rudy removed and rebuilt a 235 straight-six from a Chevy Bel Air. It was laid in to replace the stock 216 six-cylinder. Fenton headers were added and a dual exhaust was run to the rear. The original transmission was rebuilt and the radiator was polished in gold to match the exterior. The plating was handled by Colorado Bumper, in Pueblo, Colorado, the stock generator was replaced with a more practical alternator, and the wiring was upgraded from 6 volt to 12 volt.
Body/Paint: The ’52 was sanded down and taken to Dan Vigil at Dan’s Paint and Body in Pueblo. Inspired by the Volvo, PPG Saffran Mica was sprayed over the Chevy body and engine bay. Pinstriping expert Ray Santisteven added perfectly placed pinstriping throughout the body. Rudy was lucky to find a Thermador, a universal air conditioning unit that’s attached to the window and uses water to cool the Chevy. A Fulton sunvisor was mounted and airbrushed with Aztec images by John Arnold. The stock bumper was removed and replaced with a roll pan, and the rear lighting was also upgraded. The bed was replaced using solid wood with burnt patterns and the Chevy Bow Tie logo.
Interior: Rudy removed the stock Chevy seats and replaced them with Chevy S-10 bench seats. Frank’s Upholstery in Pueblo wrapped the seats in leather with tweed inserts. The door panels followed the same pattern. The headliner was wrapped in leather, the dashboard was painted and pinstriped to match the exterior, the original speaker grille was chromed, and then a custom Chevy steering wheel was added to finish the cabin.
Sound System: The stock radio was kept in the dash to keep the “original” look, an Innovatek CD/DVD unit was wrapped in tweed and then mounted in the glove compartment, two 8-inch Innovatek monitors were cut into the sunvisors for visual entertainment, and two JVC 6x9s were added behind the bench seat for the sounds. All the work was completed by Rudy.
Setup: A one-pump, two-dump Pro Hopper pump was custom mounted in the engine bay. An Autolite battery was mounted on the firewall and an isolator was used to continually charge the battery. Lifting the Chevy are 8-inch Pro Hopper cylinders in the front and back.
Tires: P195/60R15 Vogue Tires
Wheels: 100-spoke, all-chrome Crown Wires with gold spinners