1969 & 2011 Chevrolet Camaros: Miami Heat

Two Miami-bred brothers capitalized on a major opportunity.

Story by: Evan “Evo” Yates
Photography by: Andrew Link

South Florida is filled to the brim with custom-car shops as the demand is off the charts in the region. With that in mind, starting a shop like this in Miami from the ground up with no financial backing is borderline insane—the deck is certainly stacked against any potential newcomers. However, if the intentions are legit and the shop’s foundation is based on the proper core values, you could possibly carve out your own niche and become invaluable, as did the Hernandez brothers of Miami.

Roughly four years ago, Orlando and Isaac Hernandez created Ride Kreations out of necessity; they simply couldn’t find a shop that could meet their stringent requirements for Orlando’s Buick Regal. “I took my Regal to a couple shops, and I was never happy,” explains Orlando. “I thought I could do better than the work I was receiving, and I had never even done it before.” The two brothers started building the frame-off Regal in the front yard, eventually upgrading to a 1,200-square-foot bay, then expanding to a 6,000-square-foot bay.

Orlando’s Regal is an important piece of the puzzle as it attracted customer Frank to their work. After seeing the beautiful Buick, Frank gave Ride Kreations a shot at building a 1969 Chevy Camaro. “He saw the Regal and was impressed,” explains Isaac. “After that he let us go in on the Camaro.”

Originally, Ride Kreations was slated to simply repaint the ’69 Camaro, but after they sandblasted the body, the problem areas were exposed and needed to be addressed. “It was a racecar before,” explains Orlando, “so we had to unweld the subframe and redo a lot of things.” Once the build started to snowball, the owner of the Camaro was so impressed with the work that he put the build entirely in Orlando’s and Isaac’s hands. “He let us take the lead on the build, like we were doing it for us but with his budget,” says Orlando.

Frank was so impressed with the outcome that he did something pretty wild: He purchased his ’69 a younger sibling. “We were just casually talking with him one day about having an older and a newer Camaro, and he just went out and bought a 2011 to match,” says Orlando. Once the fifth-generation ’Maro was dropped off at Ride Kreations, the Hernandez brothers tastefully upgraded the whip, including adding a set of 22-inch Forgiatos, halo lights and even a Whipple Industries supercharger. “He didn’t want to go too crazy,” explains Orlando. “Just nice and clean.”

Since the red tandem has been completed, the Hernandez brothers have been keeping a tight lid on the whips, but they recently showed them off at the Miami Auto Fest and came home with some serious awards. “The 2011 won best new-school Camaro,” says Orlando, “and the ’69 Camaro won best of show!”

As for the two-man crew at Ride Kreations, the next step is to simply expand their one-stop shop and attract future clients that will allow them to bless a car with their talents and minimal restrictions. “We want to take over but do it humble; we don’t advertise, we just put out work—and most of our customers are word of mouth,” says Orlando. “We don’t have baseball or basketball players coming in here. Every build we’ve had budgets, but when we do, it’s a wrap.”

Spec the Technique

Year/Make/Model: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro

Performance: 565 big block engine providing over 700hp; BRODIX heads; forged internals; Holley Performance 950 HP Series carburetor, Hooker headers; March Performance pulley system; custom fully built Dana 60 rear axle; 3-inch stainless MagnaFlow exhaust; fully built 700R4 transmission; B&M Ratchet Shifter; MSD Ignition

Suspension: QA1 coilovers; tubular control arms; Wilwood brake kit; Hydratech Brake Assist system

Exterior: Dupont Victory Red; Spies Hecker clear; custom carbon fiber rally stripes; Fesler Billet rear lights and fogs, Billet Hood hinges; ORACLE Halo lights; smoothed firewall; Ringbrothers door handles; blacked out moldings and front grille; custom mirrors
Interior: Pontiac GTO seats wrapped in a combination of leather, suede and carbon fiber with red stitching; custom Auto Meter gauges; interior designed and fabricated by Isaac at Ride Kreations; carbon fiber accents; Billet Specialties accessories; ididit chrome column; Vintage Air climate control; custom carbon fiber fuel cell

ICE: Kicker component speakers, mids and highs; 8-inch JL Audio W7 subs in custom ported enclosure; two amplifiers

Wheels/Tires: Custom carbon fiber Vossen 3-piece R51 wheel with pinstriping, 19×8-inch front, 20×15-inch rear; Goodyear Eagle GT tires 245/35/19 front; Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/R tires 20×15 rear

Spec the Technique

Year/Make/Model: 2011 Chevrolet Camaro

Performance: Whipple Industries supercharger helping provide 650hp; stainless XS Power Inc headers and exhaust; custom cam and lifters; Yank Pro Series torque converter; cold air intake; custom tune; custom carbon fiber engine covers; color-matched Brembo brakes

Exterior: Blacked-out moldings; smoothed and color-matched rear valance, antenna and fog light bezels; carbon fiber emblems, rally stripes; Phantom grille; Oracle HALO lights  

Suspension: Pfadt Race Engineering complete suspension lowering kit

Interior: Carbon fiber interior pieces; double diamond stitched seats; wrapped steering wheel; pistol grip shifter

ICE: Pioneer head unit; Infinity Kappa Series component speakers; two 10-inch JL Audio W6 subwoofers; custom ported enclosure and trunk lid; two amplifiers

Wheels/Tires: Staggered 22-inch Forgiato Aggio ECL custom-painted wheels; Pirelli P Zero Nero tires, 265/30/22 front, 315/25/22 rear