Joe works in the Underwriting & Dealer Service department at GECU. When he’s not helping El Pasoans get behind the wheel, he’s busy tricking out wheels of his own. We caught up with Joe to ask him about his extra-curricular automotive hobby.
Q: Joe, if you had to describe your job in one sentence, what would you say?
A: What I do is help our members with their financial needs. I help members obtain the financing to purchase the automobile of their dreams.
Q: So, how did you get started with custom trucks?
A: I’m from El Paso, but I went to high school in Roswell. It was the thing to do in Roswell at the time, to customize your truck and cruise around. At the time mini trucks were easy to obtain, easy to fix, and easy to customize. I had buddies that helped me out and gave me tips about how to customize.
Q: What was your first truck?
A: It was a 1983 Chevy Blazer I had bought from my uncle in California. I started working when I was 16 not just to have money, but to have money for customizing my truck. I didn’t have a credit history, so my Grandma helped me out and cosigned a loan for some rims and that is how it all started.
Q: Tell me about your current ride.
A: It’s a Chevy S-10. I got really serious about trucks again about 8 years ago and I wanted one with air suspension. That’s what makes it look like it’s sitting right on the ground. I work with a good friend, who fabricates all his stuff right in his shop, here in El Paso. This truck is actually made from two trucks; we swapped the cab from another truck and put a new motor in it. It took about 2 years to build, a little at a time.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about custom mini-trucks?
A: It’s a culture, a big community of individuals. Everyone goes the distance to go to shows, to meet each other, to admire each other’s rides and to get ideas. We’re a close knit community and we help each other out. If you’re just passing through town and need a place to stay or help fixing a truck, we help each other out.