Story: Jonathan Millstein
Photography: Andrew Link
Loyalty and individuality epitomize custom-car culture—from the model of your car to the color of your paint. While many in recent years have moved on to ’Maros and Challengers, Rich “BigSpicy” Lahm continues to roll in the 2005 Chrysler 300 he’s had for four years now.
“When it first came out back in 2005, I fell in love with it,” says Rich. “The car was really classy.” Although initially just looking for a roomy car to accommodate his stature, Rich admits things quickly escalated. “[I] never really meant to turn it into what it is now, but it just happened—one mod led to another,” he says. Some four years later, the car has seen many changes, as has Rich, who left behind his job as a financial advisor in New Jersey for Illinois, yet remains loyal to his body shop in Jersey.
“Ernie [at 402 Motoring] has been working on my car for probably three years now,” says Rich. “Nobody can really do that quality of work that I can trust, so I brought it out to him. I make that 11-hour drive whenever there is work to be done.” And when Rich says he makes the drive, he literally makes the drive in his show-winning 300.
While any one aspect of Rich’s Chrysler would have it standing out at shows, it’s the 12-inch widebody that steals ’em. “A couple years ago, somebody did a kinda widebody 300, but they only went 12-inch-wide rims on the back,” says Rich. “We wanted to blow this thing out of the water and set the bar at another level.” With 24×15 Forgis wrapped in 405/25/24 Pirellis, it’s safe to say that Rich has moved the bar vertically by stretching his 300 horizontally. He then set off the widebody with Dodge Viper Snakeskin Pearl Green mixed with Sublime Green and black, getting a two-tone look but avoiding the traditional top and bottom split seen on many 300s.
The extravagance doesn’t stop on the outside. The interior of the eight-year-old car sheds its past look in favor of a futuristic one with glowing green LEDs and eight 9.5-inch Rockford Fosgate monitors on nearly every surface Rich could fit one. In the trunk, two Punch 12-inch subs supply the bass, accented by custom “Spicy Edition” etchings and a chili pepper logo repping BigSpicy’s love of all things hot.
As it appears now, Rich is one for one in best of shows, but you don’t have to catch him there. If you find yourself in Illinois, New Jersey or anywhere in between, keep your eyes peeled for BigSpicy cruisin’ along.
Spec The Technique:
Year/Make/Model: 2005 Chrysler 300
Performance: Eibach Pro-Damper kit; R1 Concepts ceramic brake pads, slotted rotors; Inertia 3.5 HO camshaft; ported throttle body; aFe cold-air intake; Drake strut bar; Diablosport Predator tuner; Borla powder-coated dual exhaust; Universal Air suspension; AccuAir digital self-leveling module
Exterior: Quarter panels cut and extended 6 inches wider; painted Dodge Viper Snakeskin Pearl Green mixed with Sublime Green, gloss black; tribal graphics, airbrushed snakeskin pattern; vented fully functional fenders, green LEDs; 402 Motoring molded rear trunk spoiler and taillight lips, deep dish grille recessed five inches, rear fascia; GRIP Tuning front fascia; JT Autostyle side skirts, front and rear Lambo door kits; custom glass roof; “Spicy Edition” caliper covers; AAC color-matched projector headlights with green LED halo rings; 3B Specialties green fog light HIDs; Billet Technology chili pepper grille logo
Interior: Hand-stitched diamond pattern seats; kick panels with green LEDs; fiberglassed rear door panels; green pearl Black Cat Custom gauges; Billet Technology polished pedals; StreetGlow LED tubes on floors; color-matched dash kit throughout the interior; AAC green LED bulbs (dome, puddle, glovebox, rear and courtesy); “Spicy Edition” floormats
Ice: Kenwood head unit; eight 9.5-inch TKO monitors; 6×9-inch Rockford Fosgate speakers in front doors, 3.5-inch in dash, 6×9-inch in rear deck, 6.5-inch in kick panels, two 6.5-inch in trunk, two Punch 12-inch subwoofers, 4×250-watt amp, 1×1000-watt amp
Wheels/Tires: Forgiato Azioni wheels, 24×9.5 front, 24×15 rear; Pirelli PZERO Nero M/S tires, 275/25/24 front, 405/25/24 rear