Story: Evan “Evo” Yates
Photography: Andrew Link
Let’s face it, most ballers with respectable fleets hardly ever possess a true understanding of what’s in their million-dollar garages. Maybe it’s not their fault. It’s assumed they’re too busy—doing whatever they do to be able to afford their collections—to bother with petty details such as what type of pulley is on their supercharger. Or that they have a supercharger at all. This particularly applies to athletes and celebs, as most amass their fortunes relatively quickly and blow their bread on whatever’s hot. But in rare instances, we run into an unusual class of aficionado who not only has money and is into cars but knows exactly what he wants, and that is definitely the deal with NFL star Jerome Simpson. You should remember Jerome’s name, as he scored arguably the most amazing touchdown of the season (Google it!) last year when he performed a complete front flip over an awaiting defender, landing in the end zone on his cleats. Jerome is clearly proficient at flips, and it carries over to his whip game, as he’s shown his capability to flip a bone-stock car into a one-of-a-kind monster.
During his first season with the Cincinnati Bengals, Jerome had the opportunity to attend a car show hosted by Cincinnati’s finest custom shop, Spade Kreations, and after witnessing the quality of their work firsthand, he knew he’d found a suitable establishment for his ride. Jerome eased into customizing his first-edition ’08 Challenger SRT8 that he purchased in 2009. “At first I just put the wheels on,” says Jerome. “Then I moved on to the engine, because if you have the big rims, you gotta have the engine to push ’em.” Outside of the obvious aesthetic attraction, the most impressive aspect of the crimson Chally is that the performance actually matches (or exceeds) the beastly presence that it carries. To properly propel his ride, Jerome had the factory 6.1-liter Hemi removed to make room for a worked 426 Hemi with a Techco supercharger attached, and all the necessary drivetrain components to ensure everything stays intact. “I just wanted to get the most power out of my car that I could,” says Jerome.
For the first time in RIDES’ history, Jerome’s path to his next major modification—the widebody conversion—was that of function in addition to style. “Before I had the widebody, I had a problem with it spinning out all the time,” explains Jerome. “So we added the widebody and the wider wheels with the 405 tires for better traction, because I like to drive my cars!” The Spade crew not only added 4.5 inches out back but also 2.5 inches up front, as well as leaving ample room for custom offset wheels. “I just love the hips and the stance that it has,” proclaims Jerome. “It looks like the Batmobile used to look, with that fat stance.” For the shoes themselves, Jerome selected a wheel and more importantly a size that fit the car’s dynamic properly. “I ain’t wanna go too big. Sometimes when you do it too big, it don’t seem right,” says Jerome. “The 24s fit it too perfect; it ain’t too high and ain’t too low, and it’s gonna get respect wherever it goes.” He ended up with a set of staggered 24-inch Forgiato Maglia wheels, 24×10 in the front and 24×14 out back, wrapped in Pirelli tires. With a matte-red paint job, custom guts and a wild JL Audio trunk setup, Jerome’s SR*T is arguably at the top of the game, having properly paid attention to every aspect. “I haven’t seen any Challengers touchin’ mine,” proclaims Jerome. “Not even close.”
Spec The Technique:
Year/Make/Model: 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8
Performance: 1,000hp low-compression 426 Stroker Hemi engine with Oliver connecting rods; Diamond Racing pistons; ported cylinder heads; custom camshaft; Techco Supercharger with custom pulley; Paramount Performance Products NAG1 transmission with torque converter; Kooks Long tube headers; Corsa Performance exhaust; BC Racing suspension coilover kit; 3.55 gears by Easy Street Speed & Kustoms in Milford, OH
Exterior: Spade Made steel widebody kit, widened 2.5 inches front, 4.5 inches rear; matte Cristal Red paint with matte-black stripes and roof; DJ Grilles Phantom Mesh grille
Interior: Alea crimson and ebony leather interior with diamond-stitched inserts; matching leather headliner, pillars, door panel inserts and console lid
Ice: Alpine INE-Z928HD 8-inch head unit in modified dash; bezel painted to match exterior; JL Audio CS-650 front and rear speakers, HD 600/4 amplifier, two HD 750/1 amplifiers, two 12W6v2-D4 subwoofers; red LED lighting; Dynamat; two Reikken RJB 2009 power cells
Wheels/Tires: Forgiato Maglia wheels, 24×10 front with 6-inch lips, 24×14 rear with 11-inch lips; Pirelli tires, 255/30/24 front, 405/25/24 rear