Steve Martino Perfect Auto – A Crazy Collection of Cool Cars
When we were in Ohio earlier this year we stopped by Steve Martino Perfect Auto a couple hours south in Lexington Kentucky. The idea was to pull out Steve DiMartino’s wicked ProStreet Falcon, but when we showed up to the shop we got more than we bargained for.
Meeting up outside an Steve Martino Perfect Auto, an unassuming shop, we found that Steve had pulled his Falcon out for us already and we stepped inside for a peek around. We were hooked immediately by the rad art on the walls, a drum set, and eclectic mix of old car parts and projects.
Back in his younger years Steve actually toured the country in a band, one of few fortunate enough to get paid (at least something) for making music. The rock and roll fit in nicely with cars, too, as he would play at car events back in the day too.
Looking back into Steve’s history showed us old photos from the Salt Flats too, which is probably his favorite place to go when it comes to cars. With a couple projects in the shop destined to make it out there soon we hope we run into him again at Bonneville.
It was seriously hard to stay focused here, everywhere you look there’s something cool. Whether it’s a gift from Chico Kodama of Mooneyes, stacks of old hot rod magazines, or landspeed cars tucked into trailers we couldn’t stop taking photos during our stop here.
Steve’s relationship with Mooneyes Chico started when Chico needed parts for old Crosleys, which Steve had plenty of. When Steve told Chico, his immediate response was “what are you selling them for?” Chico had been looking a long time and was eager to buy up the old impossible-to-find parts but Steve responded that he wasn’t looking to sell them.
Disappointed, Chico asked Steve what he was going to do with them. Steve’s answer? “Give them to you, of course!” Ever since Chico has been sending Steve Mooneyes odds and ends which you’ll find on almost every car Steve builds.
Even on this old Sunbeam Alpine that’s been refreshed with a 22RE Toyota four-banger. Working for years as a mechanic at an import shop, Steve specialized in Subarus, Toyotas and other Japanese makes.
This is probably why you’ll find the first-ever Subaru model downstairs in Steve’s workshop. This tiny area was where Steve got started with his own shop, eventually taking over the whole building. And while he’s retired, he’ll still take on the odd project here and there for a friend.
And of course, for himself. Next to the Subaru you’ll find a number of Crosleys, one of which has a 289-based Ford motor up front. Looking at the tiny engine these cars shipped with, it’s got to be a big handful.
Next to a big supercharged straight eight that’s awaiting a home you’ll find a custom yellow Harley. After some heart trouble, Steve’s buddy made him the leather detail work you see on it now: Still Kickin’. It’s an awesome workspace with so many personal touches throughout.
Further in the depths you’ll find any manner of things here. From more cool Valvoline signs or vintage art to bumper cars and wild scooter conversions, Steve’s got it all. And that includes a spare NASCAR chassis from the Busch series.
It also includes a couple of his son’s cars. With Andrew having taken up drifting as a serious hobby his Mazda and Lexus are abused constantly so both cars are under the knife quite often. It’s great to see the passion getting passed on to the next generation here.
There really is too much to talk about at Steve Martino Perfect Auto, so enjoy the gallery below!