Robert Martinez' 1950 Oldsmobile
1950 Oldsmobile 98 restyled by Robert Martinez of San Diego, California. Robert's Olds was nosed and decked, and the hood was peaked. The doors and deck lid were operated by electrical push buttons since all the handles were removed. Three 1954 Mercury trim teeth were adapted on both sides on the lowere portion of the rear fenders. The rear fenders were reshaped in order to accept the 1955 Packard taillights which were frenched. Small diameter welding rod was used to obtain the miniature rolled edge surrounding the bullet shaped lenses. The exhaust was routed through the corners of the three-piece 1955 Pontiac bumper. The stock headlights were combined with a pair of 1955 Cadillac rims which gave it a shaded effect. The Cadillac headlight and Packard taillights really gave the Olds a "streched out" appearance. The custom made grille opening featured three 1955 Chevrolet pickup grille bars. The clean front bumpers originated from a 1955 Chevrolet pickup as well. The body was lowered 4 inches both fore and aft. The lower position of the fender skirts were filled to give it a even lower appearance. Once the bodywork was complete, the body was covered in gold metallic. Riffle's Upholstery Shop upholstered the interior in a combo of gold and black, which meshed well together with the exterior. Three extra flippers were added to the Oldsmobile Fiesta hubcaps each.
Robert worked at Styler's Custom Shop in San Diego when he built the Oldsmobile. Roger Honey used to ride his bicycle down to Styler's shop in the 1950s, and in 2015 he still remembered when Robert built the Oldsmobile; "Robert always had a custom project in the works, I don't think he ever drove a stock car. In the early days Robert had a full custom Ford shoebox that was painted Tahitian Red and White with a multi toothed 1953 Chevrolet grille. It was killer. He also had a bad ass 50 Olds' 98 with a 1955 Chevrolet pick up grille and 1954 Packard taillights. It was painted a brilliant Gold base color. This was just before all of the Candy colors came out, and it was slammed big time. I watched the car being built at Styler's from it's conception, and can still remember the first time I saw him cruising down 18th street in National City, after it was painted. I rode my bike as fast as it would go trying to keep up for a better look as it just blew me away finally seeing it done. I still have a tattered picture of it hanging in my garage back wall."
In 1956 Robert's Oldsmobile was featured in the November issue of Car Craft. By then, Robert had moved on, and was now operator of Broadway Auto Body Shop. According to the story, he did not only build custom cars for his customers, but he also made one for himself each year. Robert sold the Oldsmobile to a guy in San Diego. The new owner ended up painting it brown. According to Roger Honey, this really killed it's look; "When he also had to raise it, in order to not being ticketed for running too low, the custom look was really killed." The last time Roger saw Robert's old Oldsmobile, it was the fourth car stacked up on a row of wrecked cars in Street & Son Wrecking Yard; "I stood there and shook my head in disgust. What killed customs back in the day, besides muscle cars was the Lowering Law, a custom has to be in the weeds to look right and the cops were handy out lots of tickets back then for too low. Hell I was getting tickets in my 50 Chevy before they had the lowering law on the books."
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