1955 Pedal Plane – Taking Flight

This airplane pedal car takes customization to new heights.

When you have a child your focus changes and you give up plenty. From sleep to money, time to patience, parenting is a fulltime job—but who says it can’t be fun? So when Armando first laid eyes on a lowrider pedal car he knew that he had to have one, but there was one thing missing.

While the thought of building a lowrider pedal car was deeply embedded in the back of his mind, Armando held off on the project up until he found the perfect counterpart—his firstborn. At first news he was going to be a father, it was time to start on the project, so he began searching for a pedal car. Search after search, he came back home empty-handed and frustrated. But with persistence comes luck and sometime later he found an airplane pedal car at the Pomona Swap Meet. Priced at $250, the pedal car was in perfect condition, so Armando and his son’s soon-to-be godfather went half on it and brought it home.

To help give the project wings, the first order of importance was to head over to George Torres who would so graciously lay down the candy tangerine paintjob. Sal Elias then stepped in and helped the project take flight by throwing down on some colored murals based on Finding Nemo. From there, Mike Lamberson added gold leafing and then accented it with blue and orange pinstriping. California Upholstery then did the seats and stitched up multiple shades of orange to complete the bike.

With just under a year of work invested into customizing different parts, Armando still had to slap it all together before the first major show of the year. “I had forgotten how everything went, so I called my club member Danny to help me put it back together. It took us about four hours to put it together but we got it done and debuted it the next day.”

With the pedal car receiving its fair share of national attention, it’s safe to say that it’s a quality build that deserves its respect, but even more powerful is the story behind this beautiful build. Thanks to Armando and family for sharing their story as well as a piece of their life.

1955 Pedal Plane

Vehicle Nickname

Finding Jae


Armando Martinez


Orange, CA




House of Kolor tangerine


Different shades of orange vinyl