Story: Evan “Evo” Yates
Photography: Andrew Link
It’s 2:44 A.M. and the 713 Motoring crew is yet again out at a club in the heart of Houston, Texas. Behind the velvet ropes of VIP, bottles are being popped and music is blaring, but most importantly, contacts are being made.
For 713 owner Ashworth, VP Brandon and GM Mike, it was a natural progression to launch a vehicle customization shop. They’ve been enthralled with custom cars as long as they can remember. In fact, 713 began so they could make a living doing what they love—simple as that. Observing the 713 crew out and about is more like seeing a hip-hop entourage than shop owners and operators. Extravagant “713” chains are regularly on display, with “713” shirts and fashion models on occasion. And this ain’t a gimmick. Regardless of their occupation, they would still be doing this same thing; it just happens that they own a custom car shop.
The difference between 713 and the competition is multilayered: They’re connected to their customers, they present over-the-top customer service skills, and they incorporate automotive styles from across the country into their builds. The connection with their customer base is unrivaled. The 713 team actually drives the same type of cars as their customers, listens to the same music and frequents the same hot spots. To some, this means nothing, but to 713’s customers, it means they feel quite comfortable. “We’re not like other shops where the owners drive Civics and listen to country,” laughs Ashworth. “We’re just like our customers.”
“If we have a good client in town, and he gets a flat at 3 A.M. on his Benz, we’ll take care of him,” explains Ashworth. “But by ‘take care of him,’ I’m saying we’ll just give him a Benz to drive while we get the car taken care of.” And although this occurrence might be rare, this type of customer service is what separates 713 from their ilk.
Another prime virtue of the shop is its awareness of and adaptation to current trends. Ashworth makes it a must to visit other cities and observe their local automotive culture. He then takes this acquired knowledge back to Houston to combine his findings into something that H-Town has never seen before. “For example, we were the first to do Halo lights on cars in Houston. In other cities, it might not be a big deal, but around here people go crazy for them.” He continues, “The first customer we did Halos for parked his car in VIP at a club and left them on all night. We probably got 10 more sales just off that one car.”
Shop Name: 713 Motoring
Address: 5922 Richmond Avenue, Houston, Texas, 77057
Owner: Ashworth Barnes
Years In Business: 9
Shop Specialties: Custom paint; metal fabrication; plus-size wheel fitments; custom interior and accessories
Celebrity Clientele: Lots of NFL, NBA and music industry customers, including Yo Gotti, Vince Young, J Prince, Adrian Peterson and Casey Hampton
Standout Vehicles: F-150 on 30-inch Asantis; Camaro SS on 26-inch IROCs; widebody Challenger SRT8 on 24- and 26-inch Asantis; widebody Camaro convertible with 24-inch Forgiatos and a 10-inch lip
Average Turnaround Time: One to four weeks