In 1972, in the oilfield town of Odessa, the high school football team had won its first national championship. Also, in that year, some homies from its southside streets established Taste of Latin Car Club. Now, fast forward to the present- the Permian Panthers have won numerous championship titles, in fact, the movie Friday Night Lights was based on the 1998 team. As for that barrio car club? Taste of Latin C.C., has withstood the test of time with membership as strong today, as it was in decades past, culminating in a club induction into the LRM Car Club Hall of Fame in 1995. During that time, there have been only two club presidents, co-founder Nick Hernandez presiding until 2008, at which time the reins of leadership were bestowed upon his son, Augustine Nick Hernandez. LRM found it only fitting to feature this father and son’s mutual sabor for the Lincoln’s bold body style.
We begin with the 2006 Lowrider HOF honoree, Nick Hernandez’ 1969 Lincoln Mark III, “The Godfather.” Although many low-lows have passed through this legend’s hands throughout the decades, including his 1964 Impala “Odessa Masterpiece,” there was still a part of him that needed closure. In 1980, Nick was cruising the oil booming streets of O-town in his ’68 Lincoln when he was invited to compete in San Antonio’s first LRM Car Show. He entered the show with no expectations; so imagine his surprise when his deep-brandy luxury ride received the Editor’s Award. “After the show, I was asked by Sonny Madrid to meet up with the LRM staff in El Paso for a photo shoot and possibly a front cover. I wanted to add a few more changes to the car before having it featured, thinking there would be other opportunities. Was I ever wrong?” Soon after, for those “few changes,” he took the ’68 to a local shop where the end result was a complete disaster. The car had been ruined, leaving Nick with little motivation to restore it back. “I never recovered from that shock, until I found this Mark III,” he says.
This time, under the care of Bajito Body Shop, there would be zero chance of having this Lincoln ruined, since the shop owner is Mr. Hernandez himself. After going over a few ideas with his shop manager/son, Augustine, the conclusion reached was to recreate the Lincoln that was long stored in Nick’s memory. First, BBS’s best metal techs, Eugene Mendez and Dolly Jimenez, stripped down the Lincoln and made certain every panel was straight before the black base could even be considered. Once Billy Yanez completed the prep work, Nick mixed a custom blend of a Brandywine Candy and Pearl, and handed the paint duties to Augustine. With no pressure, only that of having to recreate your dad’s retro car, the younger Hernandez did his jefe proud, as he laid the German black and special mix with ease. After confirming the same color tone of the 1980 ride by Nick, Augustine fine blocked the low, before spraying the coats of clear that made that deep color bounce off that dark base. Although the concept was nostalgic, Nick decided to add murals and a two-pump setup to the 2K resurrection. Nick is really proud of the end result and thanks his wife, Cindi, for her inspiration and support. “My goal was to depict the Odessa Lowrider of the past and leave my sons, Augustine, Anthony, Nick, and grandsons my legacy on wheels.”