Locals 2012: Hiram Martin | SteamboatToday.com

Locals 2012: Hiram Martin

Hiram Martin

Fast cars are just in his blood.

Hiram Martin spent most of his life in Wisconsin, where his father's body shop and a drag-racing uncle had him turning wrenches before he could legally drive. Now the manager of Four Star Repair, Hiram is as dedicated as ever to keeping cars — commuters and hot rods alike — on the road and out of the shop.

In 1999, Hiram came to Steamboat Springs, where he first worked for a local taxi service. It originally was just a visit, but he's been here ever since.

"I love how nice the people are here and how they take care of themselves and their things," Hiram says.

If those things involve motors, Hiram helps out however he can.

On a sunny afternoon at the shop, a deep orange 1968 Ford Mustang sits up on a lift. Hiram says it belongs to a local man who looks to him to keep his 'Stang running year in and year out — plus a few extras.

When Hiram reaches inside the black leather interior and turns the key, the 351 roars to life.

"He just wants to be able to put the key in and start it," Hiram says about the owner. "You want that for anyone's car."

But beyond just keeping it running, Hiram takes pride in adding a supercharger to the engine and lowering the gear ratios to offer the driver extra "oomph" off the line.

Four Star Repair owner Tom Corl says it takes a special kind of personality and work ethic to do the kind of work Hiram does. "He just works real hard at it," he says. "He's very knowledgeable in all aspects. He's been through a lot of courses, but it's a lot of common sense, not just school."

Hiram married Candice May in 2004, and the couple has a 4-year-old daughter named Greta. Yet he still finds time to get involved in community events like the Rocky Mountain Mustang Roundup, which he judges, as well as service the Horizons Specialized Services van fleet that transports residents with developmental disabilities. And Hiram goes above and beyond for that, as well, coming in on weekends to record the work done on each one.

It's that and more, he says, that truly makes a Steamboat local. "It's somebody that cares about the community and tries hard in their field," he says. "If you're a mechanic, be the best mechanic you can."