Before Alfred Morris became a professional NFL running back, he was just like most college students are – broke and in need of a cheap car. So when he bought a 1991 Mazda 626 from his pastor for $2.00, he truly appreciated the value of four wheels that get ya from point A to point B. He came from humble beginnings in Pensacola, FL, making his stomping grounds in one of the most old-school car cultured states in America.
He likes old cars, and lived through many memorable moments with his 626, although the car’s interior was damaged, panels were cracked, engine was weak and rusted. He decided that he didn’t need to spend crazy amounts of money on exotic or luxury whips. He knew he’d continue driving his little Mazda even when he’s earning millions of dollars as a key player for the Washington Redskins.
Mazda recognized his love and appreciation for the solid 626, and offered to bring it back up to speed, and they weren’t kidding around. Everything was replaced to what it would’ve been like straight out of the factory back in 1991, plus a few 2013 mods. Every individual part was replaced with a new one, every piece of the engine was completely overhauled, new exhaust, all-new diamond-stitched interior, new paint job using original color and optional 15-inch wheels that were available in 1991. New 2013 mods include keyless entry, back-up camera, integrated navigation system and upgraded climate control.
So we spoke to A. Morris to get an understanding of what life was like when he first got his whip. Interestingly enough, the conversation took a turn and Morris started talking about Donks, Boxes and Bubbles. But can we be surprised? He’s a Florida native, after all. Read the short interview below:
RIDES Magazine: When did you first purchase this Mazda626?
Alfred Morris: I’ve had this car for like 2 or 3 years now. I got it during my registered junior year in college. I bought it from my pastor for two dollars.
At that time, did you have any certainty that you’d join the NFL?
No. I had hopes, aspirations, dreams of joining. I knew I had an opportunity. Where I would go or if I were to get drafted was unsure. I always had hopes. But I had like a whole year before that would even come up.
Was it a trustworthy steed?
Oh definitely! Before I had this car I walked everywhere. And I’m not talkin’ like around the block, or down the street walking. No, I walked miles. For one of my classes I had to get certified in CPR and it was at a Red Cross which was well over five miles away. I was able to find a ride and get dropped off. And I thought I was gonna be able to get a ride back, but no one answered their phone when I called ‘em. So I had to walk all the way back to campus. A lot of people don’t know that I worked my last two years of college. I worked at Sears. I had to walk to work and stuff so when I got this car, it just meant so much to me.
Are you into the custom car scene?
Yea I don’t know much about it, but I’m very much into it. Eventually I want to get a custom car made. I really want to get a ’64 Chevrolet Impala, which is my dream car. I thought about getting it customized and stuff then I was just like, “With something like that, I just want to keep it classic.”
You know, I was playing [Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition] for the original Xbox and I ended up winning one from a race or something and I fixed it up. Made it green and black, a decked-out engine, I put some 24s on it and I was like “Damn, this car is nice man!” Ever since then, I was like “I want this car.” So I might do that, like put some rims on it, something modest. I’m really into old cars like ’73 Mustangs, old Camaros, and one of my teammates just got a Chevelle. That’s a nice car!
Sounds like you really appreciate the beauty of old school Impalas and Caprices..
Yea, I’m from Florida! Of course! I know about Donks and Box Chevys, yea! I done seen some pretty over-the-top ones though. I’ve seen some lifted like 40 inches or something like that. Like literally, you have to climb into the car. It gets very insane. I was like “This is just ridiculous.” It’s kinda comical to see, but people are into them. And of course, being a young Florida kid, I wanted one at one point. Now I kinda laugh cause I can’t believe I wanted one of those, man.
But don’t get me wrong, some of them are very nice. People put a lot of work into details, especially the interiors and sound systems, it’s ridiculous. I’m very much so familiar with the Donk scene. My brother was about to buy a Donk. Do you know Bubble Caprices? I used to want a Bubble Caprice so bad. But, I really like the ’64 Impala. And it all came from the game cause I never really came across one until I was playing the game. I was like, “What is this? Let me see if I can do something with this car.” And when I fixed it up, it was a nice car. I look at them from time-to-time. Problem is, people now want to charge an arm and a leg for ‘em cause they know people like that car. I’ve seen some prices in the $90k range and I was like noway! If I’m gonna pay $90k for a car, Im not gonna buy no old school for that much. They get kinda ridiculous.
I really want to make it a project car though. I have to find a mechanic that I can work with, and just kinda do stuff with him. Like you can buy the frame of one, for like a couple hundred bucks. Then I’ll just start putting work into it. I’d make sure I get original parts and stuff, put it all back together.
I would do it like this [points to his fully refurbished Mazda 626] like it just came off the show room floor. I’d make it look nice, and put some rims on it. Not Donk rims though! I’d put some nice, simple rims on it – something nice.
[Shout-out to Mazda USA!]