West Jordan teen builds ‘jaguar car’

WEST JORDAN, Utah — A West Jordan teenager teamed up with his dad and grandpa to turn an engine-less 1968 Volkswagen Beetle into a show-stopping car.

Jaymes Martinez Jr. is a student at West Jordan High School, and when he was 12 he sold his motorcycle to buy a car. His father, Jaymes Martinez Sr., said the car was in rough shape when they got it.

“It had no engine in it,” the elder Martinez said. “It needed some work to get it on the road.”

The elder Martinez said rebuilding the car started out as a family project, which he hoped would help keep his son out of trouble.

“Lots of kids nowadays can get access to drugs and alcohol and cigarettes and stuff, and I just kind of wanted to keep him focused on something besides that,” he said.

As the project progressed, the younger Martinez, who plays on the football team at West Jordan High School, decided to make the vehicle a symbol of his school spirit.

“He played football for the West Jordan Jaguars, so he decided he wanted to make it into the jaguar car,” the elder Martinez said.

“I really love West Jordan,” the younger Martinez said. “It’s where I grew up. I played for them in little league.”

They customized the car doors with the West Jordan Jaguars logo and had the word jaguar put across the top of the windshield. The younger Martinez said the car attracts attention around town.

“[We get] smiles and, like, waves from little kids,” he said. “Who, like, when I would pass the little football practicing they would always celebrate and wave.”

The Martinez family said they take the car to shows and events to help raise money for Primary Children’s Hospital.

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