Joe Navarro

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Joe driving his truck. Photo courtesy of Henry Contreras.
Joe working on an old truck at his house. Photo courtesy of Henry Contreras.
Henry Contreras' 1955 Chevrolet was the first car Joe gave a Candy Paint Job. The car was painted at Branson's Custom Shop while Joe worked there.
Joe painted John Chavez' 1955 Oldsmobile while he worked at Branson's Custom Shop.
Joe painted Henry Contreras' 1933 Willys Coupe in 1968 or 1969.
Henry Contreras and his crew next to Henry's 1961 Chevrolet truck that Joe gave a flame and pinstripe paint job. Photo courtesy of Henry Contreras.
Jerry Eberhardt's Altered Ford Model T featured a Joe Navarro paint job. Jerry worked for the phone company so he was called Telephone Jerry. This photo was taken around 1979.
Dean Pinheiro's True Blue race car was painted by Joe. Photo courtesy of Henry Contreras.
Joe and his son Steve painted the Contreras Bros Vega. Steve put in a lot of hours laying it out and doing all the taping, before PJ did a fabulous job fogging and blending in the colors. Photo courtesy of Henry Contreras.
Another photo of the Contreras Bros Vega that Joe painted.
An El Camino PJ flamed for his son Steve. Photo courtesy of Henry Contreras.
Another photo of Steve's El Camino. Photo courtesy of Henry Contreras.
Henry Contrera's 1972 Ford Ranchero featured a 2 stage burgundy paint job by Joe. People would stop Henry and ask him who did the painting, wanting to get Joe's phone number. Photo courtesy of Henry Contreras.
A Funny Car Joe painted for Steve Plueger.

Joe Navarro of Norwalk, California was a legendary custom painter. According Henry Contreras, one of Joe's good friends, Joe was a natural talent when it came to painting. Back in the days, most of the paint was enamel, and as a lot of people couldn't master enamel, they shoot it a little dry so it wouldn't run. This was not the case with Joe. Known amongst friends as PJ, short for "Painter Joe", Joe started working as a painter at Branson's Custom Shop of Artesia, California about 1954. joe worked at Branson for 10 years. About 1964 he started his own paint shop, called Hawaiian Colors. According to Joe's wife Angie, Joe loved his work, even when he came home from work. Joe did not paint cars to make himself look good, he just loved what he did. Joe always had some work going on in the garage. Unfortunately he was very trustworthy, so he had to close down his shop Hawaiian Colors due to some people owing him lots of money. After he had to close down the shop, Joe did some painting for Larry Watson and other shops in the area addition to some custom painting at home.[1]

Cars Painted by Joe Navarro

Jerry Eberhardt's Altered Ford Model T
Henry Contreras' 1933 Willys
Keith Christensen's 1950 Oldsmobile Business Coupe
Henry Contreras' 1955 Chevrolet
John Chavez' 1955 Oldsmobile
Henry Contreras' 1961 Chevrolet Truck
The Godinho Bros Chevy II
Henry Contreras' 1972 Ford Ranchero


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