“Iron Resurrection” is an automotive reality series, that follows a master metal fabricator, Joe Martin, and his skilled team, as they take on various rusted and old projects, giving them another chance in life. These sorts of series that offer the possibility to witness small miracles and dashing transformations are very popular among male audiences, as they appear to be an inexhaustible source of exciting content. “Iron Resurrection” premiered in 2016 on Velocity, and has run for five seasons, amassing a loyal fan base. Besides Joe Martin, the series featured various other mechanics, welders, and fabricators, including Pompa, but who simply disappeared from the show without any explanations.
About the Show
“Iron Resurrection” is filmed at Joe Martin’s shop – Martin Bros Customs – near Austin, Texas, and features his wife Amanda, and Joe’s best friend, Jayson Shag Arrington. First, they scour the countryside for busted motorcycles and vehicles. Then, Joe and his team, which includes several other gifted automotive experts such as Javier’ Shorty’ Ponce, Jason Martin and Michael Zabonik, work their metal magic to transform these unpolished gems into functional, shiny, and coveted iron beasts. At the end of each episode, Joe negotiates with the buyer to score the highest price for his piece. James Conant, the creative director at Eykonic Imagery, created it, and he’s also worked on similar projects, such as “Outlaw Garage.”
The show initially ran on Velocity, but Discovery purchased the majority stakes of Motor Trend publisher in 2018, and the network was rebranded. Compared to many other automotive series, “Iron Resurrection” focuses on car transformation, and features little to no drama, altercations, and exaggerated scenarios for views’ sake. As with any car shop or workplace, there is mutual respect and trust between the cast members, and the series often features members pulling pranks on others, or making jokes. Given that the Martins do not believe in drama, their working dynamic is relaxed and devoid of stress and cast’s outbursts. Joe even explained his approach to the series, saying that none of them are actors, and the drama scenes should be left to the professionals.
Another essential feature of the show that sets this series apart from many others is that the transformations are not that dramatic, such as in the automotive shows like “Vegas Hot Rods.”
In “Iron Resurrection,” the crew picks up an old and nearly demolished car and then revives it by changing its parts and breathing life into it. Compared to other types of transformations seen in the automotive series, their vehicles are not that striking, but the crew takes great pride in their high durability and functionality.
How was the show created?
Long before “Iron Resurrection,” Joe Martin appeared in the popular Discovery series entitled “Bikers Build-off,” which featured custom motorcycle builders tasked with building a unique custom bike. In 2004 he scored a win against Shinya Kimura, which garnered him the attention of the producers of Velocity Channel, who approached him with an offer Joe couldn’t decline. Joe made a teaser reel for a potential series, and got the green light; Jason Martin serves as one of the show’s producers and deals with behind-the-camera actions. Joe’s wife Amanda, with a background in banking, is tasked with finances, and secures the cars for a next-to-nothing price. Both Amanda and Joe revealed in several interviews that being on the show changed their lives; they often get stopped by their fans, Joe saying: ‘My wife and I are normal people who just got lucky, and it feels strange when fans approach us and ask for autographs.’
Even though it might be overwhelming at times, Joe never regretted stepping into the entertainment industry, as he says: ‘We feel so grateful to have the show. It’s been priceless to us. Being featured on the TV automatically puts hundreds of thousands of eyes on our shop and our work. It’s allowed us to work with great customers on amazing cars, and set us up to be busy for years to come.’
What Happened to Pompa?
When Season 4 debuted, the fans were in for a shock – the cast was very different, and several recurring members were nowhere to be found, including Pompa! The metal worker and mechanic was one of the original cast members in season one, and quickly became a fan favorite for his timid personality. Fans rushed to social media to express their confusion, and demand answers – the producers revealed the reason for some other member’s exit, but not Pompa’s, which led to numerous speculations and rumors. Even though there was nothing to indicate that Pompa exited due to disagreements with the production, fans developed several theories to explain his departure.
Known as a taciturn personality, Pompa quickly became the laughing stock of other cast members. The fact that he was easily scared, especially with fireworks, only made him a target for others who would often pull pranks on him. Finally, following all the antics on the show and behind the scenes, it seemed that Pompa might have had enough, and chose to part ways.
However, despite the fan’s curiosity and determination to get to the bottom of his departure, this theory is not supported by any conclusive information.
On the other hand, many pointed out that Pompa always had a light-hearted reaction to the pranks, and that he rarely seemed to take offense to the ribbings. In addition, his Instagram bio reads: ‘Thanks for watching ‘Iron Resurrection’ on Motor Trend, A Great time at Martin Bros Custom.’
Will Pompa return to “Iron Resurrection”?
Since he exited the show, fans have never stopped asking whether there was a tiny possibility that he might return to the show. Unfortunately, Pompa is not very active on his social media, and he seldom posts, so it’s not easy to find much information about his life and current happenings. However, luckily for his fans, Joe is active on his accounts, and in March 2022, he posted a video of Pompa with one of his pit bulls with hashtag Season Six. Furthermore, in the video, it appears that Pompa is at Joe’s shop, which many took as a confirmation that Pompa is still employed at Martin Bros Customs, and might be in Season Six of the show.
Who else departed from the series?
Besides Pompa, other cast members were missing: painter Shorty, assistant mechanic Manny, and custom upholsterer Gato. Shocked by the cast alterations, fans pressured for answers, and the show’s producers revealed that the missing cast members chose to leave the show to focus on their private matters. What kind of personal matters, you ask? Stay tuned to learn more!
It was revealed that Shorty became a grandfather, and instead of splitting his time between the show and his custom paint shop, he realized it was better to focus on his business in Dallas, so that he could have more quality time with his family. The shop is located in Johnson City, Texas, a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Dallas, so the physical distance most likely played a role in his decision to leave the show. If we consider the distance, the demands, and the surge of business at his shop, it appears that Shorty chose to leave. After receiving numerous emails, questions, and messages on his social media, Shorty released a video addressing his fans, saying: ‘At the end of the third season, I weighed my options, and I made the decision that made the most sense for me, and that was to come back home to my family and my shop. I am adding to my shop, and hopefully it would be done soon, and when it does I’m gonna put the address on the website.’
He also invited all people and fans going through Dallas to visit his shop, and hinted that he might return to the show. He definitely parted on good terms with the crew; Shorty has since done events with Joe and Amanda to promote his business, which negates the rumors that Shorty was fired from the show.
Just want to thank my fans for all the love and support.
Posted by Javier "Shorty" Ponce on Saturday, February 8, 2020
Phill Cato is yet another notable member of the show whose departure was not easy on the fans. However, despite the producer’s statement, his reasons for leaving the show are unrelated to family matters. For all those who missed the chance to meet Cato, he’s a very skilled upholstery specialist who turned out some impressive work at Joe’s shop. According to reports, Cato opted to leave the show after his wife landed a great job opportunity in Atlanta, Georgia, to where Cato his family relocated. Furthermore, Cato also moved his business to Atlanta, rebranding it Cato’s Custom Upholstery. Producers and creators of the show stated that despite the several cast members’ departure, they had remained good friends.
Will there be a Sixth Season of “Iron Resurrection”?
After a nearly two-year hiatus, the long-awaited fifth season of the series premiered in June 2021. Since the season concluded, fans began asking about a sixth season and whether the show would be renewed – according to various media outlets, the show is yet to be renewed or canceled. However, judging from Joe Martin’s Instagram account, Martin Bros Customs, there are strong indications that Season Six is underway. In November 2021, Joe posted a photo of Amanda and their dog in the car being filmed by a camera crew, with the hashtag Season 6. Furthermore, he has published several images of various vehicles and their transformation, which is another good sign that the sixth season will be coming to Motor Trend!
— Brad Doty (@braddoty18) July 29, 2022
The Power Couple Behind the Show
Even though the shop is called Martin Bros Customs, the true power couple behind it are Joe and Amanda. Joe is a mechanic, artist and entrepreneur, whose passion for cars and motorcycles can be traced back to his youth. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, and when he was 10 relocated with his family to Texas. Growing up, Joe admired the works of Boyd Coddington, but which were always out of his price range. However, this inspired him to start making his own parts and vehicles, relying on the skill he picked up from his neighbors, or learned himself.
Besides the legendary hot rod master Coddington, Joe is a fan of Wayne Carini, the host of “Cashing Classic Cars”, and the world-class restorer with decades of experience under his belt. Long before Joe appeared on “Biker Build-off,” he worked as a builder and mechanic for various shops, and later opted to launch his shop. Even though they have their show and celebrity status, not much is known about their relationship/marriage, such as their wedding date. Joe and Amanda prefer to keep their matter away from the public gaze, and rarely share anything with their fans. On the other hand, this is not unusual given that they do not appreciate drama, and believe personal issues and happenings have nothing to do with an automotive series!
Who is Amanda?
Amanda was born and raised in Red Oak, Texas, where she attended Red Oak High School. After matriculating, she enrolled at a university to pursue a degree in finance, but which university remains a mystery. Following her graduation, Amanda worked for Wells Fargo for five years, then transferred to Pioneer Bank, where she rose through the ranks and became Assistant Vice President. She remained there for four years, and eventually left the company in 2017 to join her husband’s business as a full-time employee and partner. Given that Amanda has been a part of the show since the first season, it’s most likely that the fame and success the show brought to her influenced her decision to quit her job.
Furthermore, she plays a vital role in the shop and the business, managing their finances and picking the car parts. Amanda is very knowledgeable about cars and loves attending SEMA Shows. In one of the interviews, she revealed her favorite part of the show, saying: ‘I’m most excited to see the builders that I have never heard of. The up-and-comers, the young gals and guys that are out here and never had a car out here are really cool!’
Even though Pompa had his reasons to part from the show, the fact that he might come back to “Iron Resurrection” is pretty exciting! However, in case that he doesn’t, the fans can always enjoy the company of the fantastic team, Joe, Jason and Amanda, or potential new additions to the team!