Johnny is a straight-forward kind of guy. The kind of guy who wears his emotions on his sleeves. He grew up lusting over hot rods and dreamed about building one of his own someday. However, once that day came he was met by a series of tragedies and setbacks, including a cancer diagnosis for his wife. Happily she was able to beat it and Johnny turned his attentions back to his hot rod. He poured his energy into the ’29 Ford for the next 3 years, closing in on his goal of finishing. One again, the universe had different plans. Johnny learned that this time, he had cancer. Obviously this was a huge blow to his family and put the project on hold yet again. Martinez, with a show of strength and perseverance, survived this latest health setback and refocused his energies on his true passion. Finally, he realized his dream of completing the Model A, a true labor of love.
After the 1929 Ford Model A truck was finished he entered it into the Grand National Roadster show in Pomona, California. Because his truck had a matte paint job it was displayed in the Suede Palace. Unfortunately his truck didn’t win any recognition with the judges. Despite not officially winning a prize, someone obviously noticed his truck, because two years later he was invited to display it again at the Grand Nationals. This time Martinez was in the a different class: Rods & Customs. “I would have never believed that they would have called my name on Sunday night,” recalls Martinze. “I won the Grand Nationals,” Martinez said, tearing up at the memory.
Johnny doesn’t have any current plans to build another hot rod. In fact he has moved onto another hobby. He picked up the pin striping brush a few months ago and can’t put it down. Everything in Martinez’s garage is pinstriped. Every surface of his work bench, his bikes, the walls, even the fridge has beautifully laid-out designs. “I’m up early and get out to the garage to paint” said Martinez. In between housework, driving the ’29 and taking a ride on his motorcycle, he is striping bowling pins, traffic signals and cars. If you want to see some of Martinez’s work got to his<a href=”https://www.facebook.com/johnny.martinez.7583/about” target=”_blank”> facebook page here</a>.