Victor Matinez was born and raised in Chimayo, NM.
Victor was only 9 years old when he started hanging out at the auto shops in “Chima”. He would spend a lot of time learning from Carmelito Martinez (Carmelito’s Muffler Shop), Melicio Martinez and Eliseo Martinez.
Victor’s interest in cars became his life.
He started missing school, and would rather hang out at these shops to work on cars. He was learning body work, sanding, painting, modifications and many things. After hanging out for years, he learned lots of crazy ideas. By the time he was in his late teens, he was ready to start working out of his own body shop. At that time he would get spray cans from TG&Y...black, grey, blue, whatever color he could get his hands on. At 19 years Victor was getting customers. He was painting cars in his backyard outside in the open. At the age of 21, Victor was already lowering cars and started getting into heavy modifications. Some of his creations were suicide doors, tilt front ends, and steering on the passenger side. When Victor was asked how he would lower cars at that time, he replied, “He would lower cars by cutting springs… cutting a lot of stuff apart.”
Victor’s first lowrider was a 1959 Chevy El Camino at the age of 14.
The first car he had with hydraulics was a 1970 Chevy (the hydros were installed by Bandido).
It has been said that the most photographed car in the mid 1990’s was “Rolling Chimayo”. This was his most prized lowrider. He started working on this car in 1990. The magnificent murals were completed in three weeks by Randy Martinez. The upholstery was done by the Lowrider Man from Arizona that would set up shop next to Stop & Eat. Another popular car was BBBad, a 1950 Ford that has been featured in many publications.
Victor built a lowrider bicycle called “El Chima II”
It was painted to match the famous “Dave’s Dream” and both were displayed in the Smithsonian in 1992.