The following year Javier was up at 6am and ready to head to the park again for the Annual Azalea Show. Javier and his dad went to the park, and when they got there, the feelings he experienced a year ago re-appeared. He was in Lowrider heaven; he went through the whole show and pointed out his favorite rides to his dad. At one point during the show he accidentally touched one of the show cars. The owner of the car came up to Javier and told him not to touch his car and to get away from it. The negative encounter with the car owner would stick in Javier's memory for many years and motivate him to build his own show car. Due to his family's financial situation and Javier's realization that he could do more for his family if he worked full time, he dropped out of high school in the ninth grade. In 1989, Javier's father rented a garage to do work on his own. A shop named Henry's Customs was also renting space in the same complex. Henry was doing custom paint out of his shop and it was very appealing to Javier. At the end of the day, Javier would sneak in and look at what Henry had worked on after Henry went home. Javier would then go home and get 1/8 inch tape and copy the designs and patterns all over the family's home. No surface was safe from Javier and his tape, the kitchen table and the refrigerator were regular surfaces he used to practice. Eventually, Javier approached Henry and offered to help him mask and sand the cars he was working on. Henry preferred to work alone but did allow Javier to observe his techniques and workflow. After seeing the enthusiasm Javier had for custom paint, his father gave him a 1985 Nissan truck that was in need of repairs. The front end was damaged, and it took about five months for Javier to gather all the parts he needed to put it back together. He molded the frame, door handles, frenched the antennas, and created a multicolor and patterned paint scheme. After work, he would do something new to the truck. When it came time to show the truck for the first time, Javier still needed to buy wheels and tires. As hard as he tried, he could not come up with the money, so the truck did not make the show. Eventually, Javier was able to buy wheels and tires for the Nissan. It hit the local car shows in 1989, a time when the mini truck craze was dominating the Lowrider culture. One time when he was out cruising in his truck, members from Dreams Unlimited Truck Club approached him, praising his work. They asked him if he wanted to join their club, which he did. It was only a matter of time before Javier and the club were cruising the hot spots in Hollywood. Not only did he gain new friends by joining the club he also gained new customers since he was now painting most of the club members' trucks. « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | View Full Article By Jae Bueno Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!