In a day and age where absent fathers are increasingly more common, 32-year-old Shaun Martinez has been fortunate to be on the opposite end of that spectrum, having spent his whole life looking up to his father, Tom. Tom has been an influence and a mentor to his son every step of the way, even within his goal of building a Lowrider bike. When Shaun first decided he wanted to build a custom bicycle, it was his father, who began to draw out designs. In March 2009, Shaun and Tom purchased the '08 stretch Beach Cruiser. They stripped down the stock paint and coated it with flat black, added some airbrushing and entered into the Lowrider show competition in Denver. After taking home a second place trophy and seeing the competition, the father-son team decided to elevate the cruiser to a different level.
"I wanted to come up with a personality for the bike," Shaun shares with us. He started drawing up more ideas along with his father. They added a CO2 system that lifts the seat and front end of the 26-inch cruiser. 144-spoke fan wheels were added and Shaun's father decided it would be appealing to add blades in between each set of the spokes. Leroy's Customz did the welding job. It was "back to the drawing board" literally, as the two Martinez' drew up the design of the front forks and handlebars. They went to Focused-Light Laser Cutting with their drawings, and everything was cut and then welded to the bicycle. The Denver Bumper shop handled the chrome plating.
Tom molded all the 3D pieces and sanded them individually. The next step was coating the Beach Cruiser with paint. They enlisted Randy Gustafason from Denver, Colorado to add all the murals as well as to soak the 26-inch bike in a House of Kolor Kandy Brandywine with a silver basecoat accented with intense patterns and tribal graphics. Striper Stan laid down the silver leafing and pinstripe around the fender braces under the cruiser and front tank. They took the custom seat pan, which was previously lifted off of a 1940 Schwinn, to Quick Quality Interiors in Lakewood, Colorado, where the crew there built the seat they had designed out of suede and Cobra snake skin materials. The seat was designed with a foldout IPod holder, and skeleton heads were built which housed speakers on the front forks.
When Tom was growing up, he didn't have a father in the household, and still remembers the emptiness he felt quite vividly as the rest of his friends were spending afternoons out playing catch or driving around with their fathers. He vowed that when he had a boy, no matter what he needed or what he was involved in, he would play an integral role in his son's life. Shaun has had the support and guidance from his father throughout the whole build, as well as his life, and the two have become one of the most respected father-son teams in the state. "I want to thank my Dad and Mom, my brother, Leroy's Customz, Focus-Light Laser Cutting, my car club, and my friend Matt," Shaun explains. "Everyone's help is what made this dream come true." A proud member of Rollerz Only C.C., his dedication and flair for creativeness has certainly paid its dividends already, earning him his first ever Best Bike trophy at the latest Denver Lowrider show.