Frank Martinez found his beautiful truck way back in 1980 while looking for a ’64 Impala. His grandfather had a ’51 truck and he had good memories with trucks of that era. Frank looked at this truck and it needed some loving care. It had three coats of paint, sported 16-inch tires, and had an ugly duck bumper. Despite its appearance, it had all the original parts. Frank offered the seller a mere $600 and the deal was made.
Frank drove the truck for about a year and then the engine heads cracked, so that is when he decided to renew the truck the first time. He stripped it down to the bare metal, blocked and sanded it out, and chromed the bumpers and grille. The 235ci engine was overhauled and most everything else was kept stock. The truck was a daily driver for Frank all the way until 1995 when he and his family moved out of Chula Vista, California, to Murrieta, California. From there, the truck was more of a weekend driver.
For all the dedicated years of dependable service the truck provided, Frank felt it was time to reward her. Frank recalled a time when his one and only daughter, Angelica Lisa Martinez was born, he almost lost her and his wife and had to have an emergency cesarean operation to save her. Angelica had stopped breathing while still in the womb. With the best doctors working on her, Frank says they saved her and he felt so blessed and very grateful to God and the Virgin Mary. Frank and his wife called their daughter their “Heaven’s Girl.” It was only fitting that with the truck’s grand makeover, it would be called by the same name. Frank actually had an airbrushed mural of the name under the hood of the truck depicting the truck itself and portrait of his daughter (who is now 21 years of age).
After working on the truck day and night for months, the truck was finally ready for its first appearance and it just happened to be Chicano Park Day in San Diego, California. Since that time, Frank had been traveling the last six years for the Department of Defense (he works on military aircraft as a quality aircraft inspector). Today, Frank says he no longer has to travel and he can enjoy his truck along with his family and car club. He says it’s simply a dream come true. He thanks his loving wife Lisa, his family, his friends, and Louie and the boys from Car Connection for their devoted love and support and inspiration in building his dear “Heaven’s Girl” truck.
Vehicle Year/Make/Model: 1952 Chevrolet 3100 pickup
Vehicle Nickname: Heaven’s Girl
Owner: Frank E. Martinez
City/State: Murrieta, CA
Club: City Car Club (San Diego)
Engine: 1957 Chevy 235ci six cylinder with three-speed standard transmission, built up by Car Connection in San Diego, CA
Body/Paint: Chevrolet Nassau blue by Candy’s Auto Body. Pinstriping and murals by Victor Cordero of Chula Vista, CA.
Suspension: Whammy pump and two square dumps behind the seat and gas tank was relocated under the truck’s bed by Car Connection
Wheels/Tires: 1956 Oldsmobile Fiesta hubcap spinners with Firestone 5.60 whitewalls
Interior: Car Connection
Sound System: Stock