By Reggie Ellis

No detail is too small for Eliseo Martinez, Jr.

Martinez has worked as a community service officer for the Lindsay Police Department the last six years while he is studying to be a crime scene investigator. His keen eye has helped to pick out code violations throughout the city and cars that look out of place in neighborhoods while on patrol.

He has turned his attention to detail into a home business, Loud & Clear Audio, installing high-end audio and video systems into cars. Along with Sgt. Jerry Martinez, Martinez wired and installed the patrol lights on each of the department's 15 hybrid patrol vehicles. But wiring and sound is just a means to support his true passion of restoring classic cars down to the smallest details.

&#8220Most officers are pretty detail oriented,” Martinez. &#8220Most of us like to keep our cars clean and that's how it begins. You clean your car a lot, then you want new wheels, then a new paint job and pretty soon you're hooked.”

Martinez has been working on classic cars since he was 5 years old. Growing up in Chicago, his father, Eliseo, Sr., taught him and his brothers how to change oil, work on the engine and paint the cars. Fourteen years ago, Martinez moved to California where their family is originally from, and met his wife. The couple eventually settled down in Porterville where he continues to restore classic cars.

&#8220I really enjoy the nostalgia of classic cars. The body lines are so different from cars today,” he said. &#8220The thrill of bringing something back from the grave that had so much style is what keeps me coming back.”

Martinez has restored a 1964 Chevy Impala Supersport and a 1963, '64 and '69 Buick Riviera. For the last two years he has been working on a 1965 Chevy Impala Supersport and a 1978 Chevy El Camino.

&#8220It's a never ending cycle,” he said. &#8220As soon as I get one done, someone asks me the magic question, ‘How much money will it take to take that off your hands.' I never get to enjoy a finished project very long.”

His discriminating knowledge of cars is what makes him a perfect judge for the Lindsay Police Officers Association's 2nd annual Classic Car Show on Saturday, Oct. 7 at Sweet Brier Plaza.

&#8220I'm looking for how meticulous they were when they painted the car,” said Martinez who does not enter his own cars into the show. &#8220It's easy to take an old car and slap on some paint and new upholstery, but there are things people miss when they don't do it correctly.”

Car show awards will be given out for Best of Show and for first, second and third place in the following categories: pre-1930, 1931-41, 1941-50, 1951-60, 1961-73, imports, motorcycles, off-road, custom trucks, corvettes and police vehicles. There will also be a dj and live music during the event. After the event, there will be a free dance to the music of The Fabulous Stingrays at 6 p.m.

&#8220Last year we had some of the nicest hot rods and classics in the area,” Martinez said of the 33 cars entered in last year's show. &#8220For it being the first year, we hope to see even more cars this year.”

Martinez said the show is a fun family event. He plans on bringing his son, Eliseo III, who just turned 6 and is already changing the oil on the family car under the supervision of his father.

&#8220I think working on cars has helped me all around in life,” Martinez said. &#8220It teaches you not to overlook opportunities, not to cut corners and to do things right the first time.”

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