Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 to recognize Hispanic culture, history and what Hispanics contribute to the community. The Hispanic-owned custom car restoration shop, Ruben’s House of Classics, is owned by Ruben Rodriguez Sr. and known locally for sponsoring events in Wichita Falls. The restoration shop pushes to inspire young Hispanics.
“The way I see to help the Hispanic generation is to think positive. Always stay focused and believe in yourself. It’s very, very hard, especially for Latinos,” Rodriguez Sr. said.
Ruben’s House of Classics is a restoration hub for classic cars; it includes Empire Wraps and Red River Steel. The Rodriguez family moved from Dallas to be closer to family in Wichita Falls and created the business. The car restoration warehouse is nationally known and has classic cars restored that have appeared in magazines. The famous 1935 “Ground Zero” has won awards and contests.
“The 1935 Chevrolet 2-door has been included in photo shoots in Hot-Rod and Bomb magazine. It’ll be at the show, but I think we are gonna have it on the lift,” Ruben Jr. said.
RHOC specializes in the “bombita,” a Spanish term meaning small bomb. The “bombita” is a Chevrolet car from the early 1930s to the 1950s seen in mobster movies. Customers from all over the country come for custom restoration at the family-run business.
“The ones we sponsor and use at events lined out, those are bombitas. That’s why people bring us those cars because we specialize in bombitas,” Rodriguez Jr. said.
RHOC celebrated 10 years in Wichita Falls with The RHOC Fest Car Show on Saturday, Sept. 25 in Downtown Wichita Falls, on 417 Indiana Ave. The 10th-anniversary celebration had classic cars, food trucks, vendors and live music with a DJ from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“It’s going to be a good event. We are going to have all kinds of classic cars and a DJ. The entire shop is going to be open and people will be able to walk through and look at the warehouse and shops,” Rodriguez Sr. said.
For the special anniversary, RHOC opened the warehouse and let the community have a peek at specially invited cars in the showroom. This will allow the public to see lots of classic cars and how the shop restoration process is done.
“There will be classic cars on lifts on one side of the shop and a pathway going through Empire Wraps, the graphic shop on the right side of the warehouse,” Rodriguez Jr. said.
RHOC has sponsored downtown events, especially Hispanic events, such as Loco for Cinco that is put on by Potencia Projects, another Hispanic organization that provides a platform to highlight Latin art and culture. Ruben’s House of Classics will have classic cars at the upcoming Día de Muertos parade that will be on Oct. 30.
“We get involved with Loco for Cinco, the Hispanic event during the Mexican holiday for Cinco de Mayo and provide signs, banners, and of course some of our classic cars. We enjoy being a part of the Hispanic community and Potencia Projects continue to make it better and better. They do positive stuff for Hispanics in Wichita Falls,” Rodriguez Sr. said.
The passion started early for RHOC with a smaller restoration shop in Dallas and has grown to make an impact in Wichita Falls. Red River Steel is the metal shop in the warehouse that uses a CNC plasma cutter table to make custom parts and many types of metal signs.
“We got the CNC plasma cutter with the intention of making our own custom parts so that we can customize any car or truck,” Rodriguez Jr said. “Now, with the metal cutter, we can cut out of metal almost anything you want.”