Some youngsters are exposed to play dates at the park, being a part of various sports teams, youth group events, or a number of other recreational outlets. However, if you’re the grandson of the late Ron Johnson then you were fortunate enough to be exposed to paint fumes and street rods. Marty Johnson’s past has molded his future and that is why he is firmly grounded in the hot rod industry.
It all started in 1991, Marty was fourteen, and his grandpa Ron was ready to give him a shot at the paint and body trade. From the beginning Marty didn’t want to be treated like a family member, he wanted the accountability and high expectations that came with being an employee of Ron Johnson. Marty learned the basics of the trade but most importantly he learned about integrity and the value of letting your word be your bond. In 1996 he left the business to go to work for a thriving painter named Paul Schrameck. During this season of life he refined his skills and had numerous opportunities to paint some of the finest cars in the Central Valley. After spending some quality time in Paul’s shop he decided that he had the business sense to take a leap of faith and open up his own establishment.
It’s been about ten years now that “Marty’s Hot Rod & Rust” has been creating rolling art pieces. Over the last decade he has evolved out of the low-rider scene to a more lucrative hot rod focus. One of the reasons that his business is continuing to grow in this economy is because of his honest reputation and affordable prices. Marty specializes in chops, paint, frame off restorations, chassis’s, and 1960’s inspired customs. You may have seen some of his work gracing the pages of Old Skool Rods, Rebel Rodz, Hot Rod Magazine, and Street Rodder.
Currently Marty and his four other employees’ are working out of a 6,500 sq. ft. shop at 3122 N. Sunnyside. This space has given them the opportunity to work on numerous projects at the same time and most of all, given them the opportunity for the much needed expansion. Marty and his bride Shannon have big dreams for the shop but his primary focus is on raising his three children Elias, Talia, and Jewel. It is neat to talk to Marty about his wife because you can tell that she supports him so much and that he could never have created this empire without her. Hot Rod Coalition wishes Marty and his family all the best in their future endeavors.
Photos By: Marc Servadio & Anthony Granata