When Jourdanton native Ray Rodriguez heard about the opportunity to work on the TV show “Iron Resurrection,” he knew he couldn’t pass it up.
“I’ve been watching the show since it first aired. I follow them on Instagram,” Rodriguez said.
Airing on the Velocity Channel, “Iron Resurrection” is an automativebased program and is currently their #1 show. The new season began airing Tuesday, Sept. 4.
One weekend Rodriguez noticed on social media that the show was looking for a body work technician. He decided to apply and see if they would call him back.
He emailed them and was chosen to help, out of hundreds of emails.
“About a week later they called me to come in and talk.”
The owner of RE Kustoms Paint & Body in Jourdanton, Rodriguez was both excited and nervous when they called him back.
“I talked to my wife, of course, because we have kids and I would have to be in Austin. She said it was cool with her if I was to go and work out there,” Rodriguez said.
For the past five months, he has been working on the show, which is just about done filming the third season. His duties included the prepping for the paint, from the filler, all the way to the primer to the final wet sanding and prepping.
When he sent in his resume, he explained he does mechanic work, metal fabrication- a little bit of everything. He also fixed up a truck in 2005 that was featured in a national magazine, “Sport Truck Magazine.”
“I was brought in to help with the body work part.”
The show is being filmed at Martin Brothers Customs, which is owned by Joe and Jason Martin near Austin. Joe Martin is a world renowned custom bike builder and was the 2004 Champion on the Discovery Channel’s Biker Build Off. He now builds custom cars, trucks and bikes for clients and sometimes flips them for a profit. The main stars of the show and their duties are: Joe Martin- the designer and metal fabricator, Jason Martin- the show’s producer, Mike Zabonik- Joe’s right hand man with the metal work and welding, Shag (Jayson Arrington)- the negotiator for the shop when it comes to selling the cars and buying the hard to find parts for the builds, Amanda Martin- Joe’s wife who helps run the business and also goes on hunts with Shag when looking for parts or cars to buy, Shorty (Javier Ponce)- the master painter and lead body man, and Cato (Phillip Cato)- who does the custom upholstery.
The team also consists of Joel Balboa, Bryan Harcrow, Faron Gryder, Kaleb Clark, Bruce Hammond, Aaron Davis, Jet Hernandez, Joey Aguilar, Nick Valdivieso, and Pompa.
A 2002 Jourdanton High Schol graduate, Rodriguez has been in business for himself since 2003. He is a third generation mechanic and first generation body man.
“My family owns E&L Garage which has been in business in Jourdanton for over 50 years. My grandpa Eliseo Rodriguez started the business in 1963 and is now run by my dad Ellis Rodriguez.”
“I was born and raised into it. That’s all I know.”
He came into the show mid-season, around the end of March. This was his first time working somewhere else. He said it was difficult shutting down for a little while, so he could work on the show.
There are about 10 episodes of “Iron Resurrection” and the first two aired back to back. Those who download the Motor Trend OnDemand App can watch the whole season. Rodriguez should be on around the fourth episode or so.
“It’s been a great experience being at Martin Brothers working on Hot Rods and being able to see Joe and the guys in action first hand. I really had to come out of my comfort zone being on camera and having to do work while having a camera guy on you. I’m not sure how much I’ll be seen on the show, but it was something I was happy to be a part of.”
Not one who enjoys having his photo taken, Rodriguez said after the first week, you get used to the camera always being around.
“Sometimes we would have to stop and do an interview with them. They would ask what you are doing, what car you are working on and to explain the process.”
This is his last week being over there to film to work on the last car, so he was hoping for a viewing party with the guys at the shop. Rodriguez is especially grateful for his wife Gabby’s support, and that of his family and friends.