It’s not every day that TV caters to the taste of real motorheads and car-flipping enthusiasts, yet “Iron Resurrection” somehow managed to do it. Formed by an entire cast of expert builders and dealers, the series shows us what the in-depths of the car business are, from finding the best deals in the local Texas auto market to seeing the magic in action at Martin Bros Customs.
While “Iron Resurrection” has given us some great TV moments so far, it’s not a secret that a massive part of the audience wonders what happened to Javier “Shorty” Ponce, the former member of Martin’s crew who has been unfortunately absent from the show for far too long.
So what has been going on with Shorty? What were his reasons for leaving “Iron Resurrection” and what future projects does he have up his sleeve? Stay here to know it all!
Why Did Shorty Leave The Show?
Those who have been following “Iron Resurrection” from the beginning were flabbergasted to tune in to the show’s fourth season, to find out that the expert painter and customizer Javier “Shorty” Ponce was nowhere to be found.
While many rumors regarding Shorty’s whereabouts were soon to surface at the time, the show was quick to address the issue through a Facebook comment in January 2020: ‘Shorty is focusing on his shop and customers in Dallas so he can be close to his family and enjoy every second of being a new Grandpa’, they wrote, assuring that Shorty’s priorities in life have changed from TV to taking care of his personal life.
Only a couple of days later, Shorty confirmed the show’s statements through a Facebook video: ‘At the end of the third season I weighed my options, and I made the decision that made the most sense to me, and that was to come back home to my family and my shop in Dallas’, he affirmed, thanking his followers for their huge support and left an open invitation for them to visit him at his shop.
Though Shorty left “Iron Resurrection” for good, it seems that he parted ways with the show and the rest of the cast on good terms.
Does Shorty Have Another Show?
Despite his surprising exit from “Iron Resurrection”, it didn’t take Shorty too long to return to TV screens, though this time he’s doing it on his terms. That’s how he came to star in his show “Shorty’s Dream Shop”, premiered in November 2022 on MotorTrend.
The series focuses entirely on Javier Ponce’s Dallas-based restoration shop Shorty’s Custom Paint, which has been restoring classic cars for around a decade now. While Shorty’s expertise is on the painting and mechanical sides, his team has proved to be more than qualified to bring back to life the classics by transforming them from inside to the outside.
One of the most charming aspects of “Shorty’s Dream Shop” is that it not only caters to the taste of classic fans and general gearheads but also takes into account the emotional side that every project they work on inherently brings up. Whether that is a family story or simply someone’s dream coming true, Shorty’s new show is a good one for those who know what it’s like to love a car and let it become part of their lives.
Every car has a story! 🚗 Watch the Series Premiere of Shorty's Dream Shop TONIGHT at 10|9c on MotorTrend TV, or stream now on MotorTrend+ ➡️ https://motortrend.app.link/7BvFN4zTYub
On the other hand, Shorty’s show is also committed to bringing a part of his culture to the small screen, and inspiring others: ‘It’s important for me, for the Latino kids to see that someone who had a passion for restoring classic cars could get somewhere’, he told Dallas Morning News.
Who Is In His Show?
Shorty and his cars are the main stars of the show, but there’s also a great team of experts alongside him who make “Shorty’s Dream Shop” so interesting.
For starters, Shorty’s staff members cover everything from the mechanics to the most complicated restoration aspects of the job. For the latter job, Pedro Gomez III also known as “PG” is the man in charge of making everything look great and original on the cars’ insides, meanwhile, David Wilkins takes care of the wires and Raul “Easy” does the heavy job of dismantling every auto.
That being said, looking for parts which allow the team to get the best out of every project is a task left to Pete Pina-Oliva, a long-time member of Shorty’s team who despite being raised in a financially-underprivileged family, made his dreams come true by dedicating his life to cars.
One of Shorty’s right hands in the shop is Joel Balboa, rightfully called “Joel of All Trades” for his ability to do a wide variety of tasks. Inspired by his father’s skill to fix everything, Joel passed from being Shorty’s Custom Paint shop boy to becoming its everything-automotive mechanic. On top of that, Joel is also deeply committed to knowing the stories behind every car, empathizing with customers to make the final result everything they expected, leaving no doubts about how great Shorty’s team is.
His Business Now
Ever since leaving “Iron Resurrection” in 2020, fans of Shorty have long wondered what his business is really about and how important it was for him to leave the show for it.
As it happens, Shorty’s Custom Paint has been around since 1997, but later the business switched its focus from repairs and custom paint jobs to include restorations as well. While the latter isn’t what Shorty became known for on TV, in truth he had been passionate about the world of classic cars for years before focusing on it in the 2010s.
As Shorty admitted during a 2022 interview with Dallas Morning News, dedicating his life to painting and bringing the classics back to life is a fulfilling job, both on the financial and professional side. Shorty’s Custom Paint is also a tribute to the things which make Shorty who he is, including his Mexican heritage: ‘Our culture is beautiful, if we decide to express it by driving a lowrider, with hydraulics, to me, that’s art’, he said.
As reported, Shorty’s shop makes over $30,000 on hourly rates per project, having worked on hundreds of cars in a decade by following the ‘Texas style’, which means they treat every project as an ‘artwork’ instead of just products, leaving no questions unasked about why he’s so passionate and committed to his business.
Besides doing excellent car restorations and stunning paint jobs in his shop, Shorty’s other professional projects are just as interesting.
As seen on Shorty’s social media, he has grown quite popular even after his leave from “Iron Resurrection”, earning over 50,000 followers only on Facebook. Making good use of his popularity online, Shorty launched his online shop selling everything from beanies, shirts, and car stickers with original, Shorty-styled designs.
Some of Shorty’s most memorable professional projects in recent years have been taking his shop’s creations to the yearly Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) events, having his peak moment at the show when in 2019 he exhibited a 1959 Chevrolet Impala in the center hall.
Regarding his future as an independent content creator, in 2020 Shorty affirmed on a Facebook post that he was working on starting a YouTube channel with original content right out of his Shorty’s Custom Paint garage. Nonetheless, while Shorty indeed started a channel on the video-sharing platform, he has only shared one video to date.
Y’all know Shorty 💚 Impalas! Wait until you see what he has in store for you tonight! Watch the Season Finale of Shorty's Dream Shop TONIGHT at 10|9c on @MotorTrendTV, or stream now on @MotorTrendPlus ➡️ https://t.co/tafZC65Ss4 pic.twitter.com/2g3Zw3LsQc
— Shorty’s Custom Paint (@shortyscustompt) January 25, 2023
Hopefully, more exciting projects will keep coming Shorty’s way, but for now, his new TV show seems to be a great level up in his career.
As often happens in the automotive industry, those involved with car restoration and customization are car lovers through and through. It’s no different for Javier Ponce, who has felt a strong passion for everything automotive ever since he can remember: ‘Even at 10 years old, I knew what I wanted to do with my life, I just knew that I wanted to work on cars’, he told Dallas Morning News in 2022.
Later Javier moved from Mexico to the US, where he not only was baptized as ‘Shorty’ by his school classmates but also got his start in the trades. It was his brother-in-law who taught him how to pick up parts from junkyards and convert them into useful items and it wasn’t long until he started his path in the automotive world, working for a car dealership while also starting a collision repair shop in Oak Cliff, Dallas. He worked for around two decades in both businesses until the urge to try something different became too strong to ignore.
Expanding Shorty’s Custom Paint to the restoration field wasn’t difficult due to the high amount of experience he already had at the time, but it was his love for the trade and cars which encouraged Javier to keep moving forward and achieve his American dream.
How Did The Show Come Around?
Although the announcement of Shorty’s comeback to TV with a new show was somewhat surprising for some people, the truth is that the project was in the works for a long while.
According to an interview Shorty gave to Hot Rod Radio Show in 2019, the possibility of getting back on TV was a strong one. However, if he were to star in a show again, it needed to be in a location closer to home than it used to be in “Iron Resurrection”: ‘if for some reason anything should happen, it’ll be at my business and my shop. That would be way better for me’, Shorty said.
While he didn’t affirm having any potential offers to come back to TV, Shorty openly admitted to missing his co-stars on the show and the people he met through it. On top of that, his appearances in the show gained his business quite a good reputation and increased its popularity, something he affirmed to be very grateful for.
Overall, “Shorty’s Dream Shop” didn’t come out of nowhere, and is instead a project which had been waiting a long time to come true.
Is “Iron Resurrection” Still On Air?
Though “Iron Resurrection” has changed quite a bit from the times in which Shorty and other fan-favorite stars were in it, other original cast members such as Jayson “Shag” Arrington, Pompa, the shop’s co-owner and manager Amanda and her husband and main star of the show Joe Martin.
That being said, the nowadays successful “Iron Resurrection” is fortunate enough to release season after season since its premiere in 2016. To date, the show has released six seasons so far, the latest one premiering in September 2022.
The show has opened many doors both for its current cast and for those who are no longer in it such as Shorty, who not only has his own show now but has grown his business in amazing ways.
All in all, Shorty’s story proves that a hard-working ethic and a charismatic personality are mostly needed to pave the road to success.