Custom Car Chronicle
custom carsMemo Ortega Files

Memo Ortega Stories # 18


In the mid 1980’s Memo finds out about Teen Angle and ends up having some of his drawings and stories published in his magazine.

[box_light]Memo Ortega is a well known name in the SoCal Custom Car and LowRider Scene, but perhaps not as well known as it should be. Memo has been working on custom cars and Low Riders since the early 1950’s. He became good friends with Custom Car Icon Gil Ayala, and in the late 1950’s he even bought Gil’s famous 1942-46 Ford Coupe as a persona driver. Today, in 2014, 80 years young, Memo is still chopping tops, and any other custom car work you can think of from, his garage work-shop. Check out more of the¬†Memo Ortega Stories¬†in the¬†Memo Ortega Files¬†on the CCC[/box_light]

Teen Angel Flashback

[dropcap]One[/dropcap] day in the mid 1980’s I¬†went to this store and¬†I¬†stopped at the¬†magazine section where I saw¬†this Teen Angel Magazine.¬†I had never seen that before and started thumbing ¬†through it.¬†When I¬†saw some of his¬†drawings inside he really got my attention, Man this guy Teen Angel¬†can draw, I¬†kept telling myself. So I¬†bought¬†the magazine¬†that day. After that I¬†started buying the mag every time a new issue was out. Just to check out his drawings. Back when I was in the¬†6th or¬†7th grade I¬†was doing a lot of drawings¬†of¬†guess¬†what… UFO’s… yes ufo’s. I¬†drew em in all kinds of ways, with jet engines¬†set in defferent ways, I¬†drew em like they could take off like the British have their¬†Harrier jets. My teacher¬†allways liked my ideas that I¬†had back then. He would tell me maby some day¬†you can be¬†a plane¬†engineer. I was ok on my drawings, but not that good, but it was good for me.¬†Just something I¬†did in school.

Back to Teen Angel. I¬†decided to send them a picture and a¬†little story on my ’37 Chevy with the ’40¬†Ford headlites. They liked the story and published it. Later they asked me if I¬†could send them more stories, since they had gotten some good feed-back from their young readers. They wanted more little stories from me. Wow that was cool!¬†So I¬†did some more stories and did some drawings to go with them. This¬†went on for a while. Then latter Teen Angel and his wife asked me to come over and meet them. Man, Terry and me get a chance to meet Teen Angel in person…¬†YEEES.¬† So¬†we went all the way up to San Jose, Ca. to his house. They were very glad¬†to see¬†us. So¬†we finally¬†got to know Teen Angel and his wife. We talked about cars and his drawings,¬†the magazine and about me and my cars. It was a lot of fun being there, he showed me a few¬† tricks on drawing, which¬†I still use today. The day that¬†we met Teen Angel is another¬†day I¬†will never forget.¬†Long live Teen Angel.
CCC-memo-ortega-teen-angel-07I think this was the first photo that Teen Angles used in his magazine. Me in front of my 1937 Chevy in 1951.
CCC-memo-ortega-teen-angel-01Teen Angle magazine #12 with an 1937 Chevy inspired by my own 1937 Chevy on the cover.
CCC-memo-ortega-teen-angel-02Close up of the front with the 1940 Ford headlights mounted on the Chevy Fenders. Teen Angle did the cover Illustration.
CCC-memo-ortega-teen-angel-03Close up of the License plate Teen Angle added to the car.
CCC-memo-ortega-teen-angel-04The story Teen Angle magazine ran on my 1951 Chevy.
CCC-memo-ortega-drawing-02The original drawing of my 1951 Chevy I send to Teen Angle. He added some stuff to it to make it pop more for the magazine.
CCC-memo-ortega-teen-angel-06My story on the Gil Ayala coupe in Teen Angle magazine.
CCC-memo-ortega-drawing-01Original drawing I did on Gil’s coupe that I send to Teen Angle. On this one he also added some stuff to make it look better in the magazine.
CCC-memo-ortega-teen-angel-05A full page on my new ’37 Chevy four door with two photos and one of my drawings I did on the car.
CCC-memo-ortega-teen-angel-09Two more times my ’37 Chevy made it into his magazine.

Part Nineteen…¬†coming soon, stay tuned.
Go to Part 17.







Rik Hoving

Rik is the CCC editor in chief. As a custom car historian he is researching custom car history for many years. In 2004 he started the Custom Car Photo Archive that has become a place of joy for many custom car enthousiasts. Here at CCC Rik will bring you inspiring articles on the history of custom cars and builders. Like a true photo detective he will show us what's going on in all those amazing photos. He will write stories about everything you want to know in the realm of customizing. In daily life Rik is a Graphic Designer. He is married to the CCC webmaster and the father of a 10 year old son (they are both very happy with his excellent cooking skills)

2 thoughts on “Memo Ortega Stories # 18

  • rik,memo! another great story! love reading about how it was back in the the drawing in front of lopez market, i guess menudo was served on sabado/domingo ESO!!

  • teen angel our memories of ur out standing drawings will all ways be with me, an a lot of people out there, teen angel passed away a while back this year, may u rest in peace teen angel not to be forgotten, thank u david for inviting me to his services,

Leave a Reply