Story Damien Scott /// Photography Bob Croslin
Plies doesn’t like to brag or boast, at least not about his whip game. Out of his seven-car convoy, the Fort Myers native chooses to showcase his ’68 Pontiac Grand Prix. Not his Porsche Cayenne or BMW 745—their flash is a little too bright. Besides, he knows the people he’s trying to reach—like his hometown hustlers and prisoners with light commissaries—don’t rain buckets of cash into Euro toys.
Modesty aside, Plies could afford six-figure whips way before he was a 106 & Park rap rookie. “I don’t want people to think that when I became big on TV that now [I] can do it. It’s been like this,” explains the 26-year-old Slip-N-Slide artist. “To me, it’s a testament to my hustle that I was able to be semi-successful before I got the major look on TV.” Hey, you can’t be humble all the time.
Fort Myers lives in the shadows of Miami’s car game. Are the old-schools heavy out there?
Man, being from Fort Myers, that’s what we do. I was raised on that shit. [For] most cats, the old-school car game is a major look. But one thing I didn’t want to do was something like a Porsche truck. I value those cars, but that ain’t a reflection of who I am as a person. That’s just when I want to blend in, I love them looks. But I don’t care if you got a quarter-million-dollar car, or if you got a ’68 Grand Prix, that Grand Prix is gonna shut the quarter-million-dollar car anytime you go to Daytona or Homecoming or the Classics. Those cars just got more value and more cred in the streets.
How did you stumble across the Grand Prix?
I was riding in Tampa, and I saw it. Dude wanted $15,000 for it. Everything was mint condition on it. So as soon as I saw it, he asked me if I wanted to test drive that car, I said, “Hell, nah! Find me a tow truck.” So he found a flatbed, and as soon as the flatbed got there, I ran and grabbed the cash. That same day, I sent it straight down to Fort Myers to get everything customized on it.
Damn, homie, talk about instant gratification. Who in Fort Myers did the work?
My uncle. For like, the past 10 to 15 years, he’s been that dude gutting everybody’s shit out, like in terms of interior and all that. So, I took the [Grand Prix] to him, let him chop out the inside first, make sure it went with the color scheme. I went with this magenta candy. Then I went and grabbed the 24s with the rubber band tires. I didn’t want to put 26s on there because I didn’t want to cut that shit up, ‘cause the car was so original.
Sounds clean, but the ’68 Grand Prix was a beast on the drag strip. What’d you do under the hood?
When I got my shit, it only had 27,000 original miles on it. So the only thing I actually did was bring it in for maintenance. I’m not one of the dudes that puts all that racing shit in their car. I don’t want to race no one. I knew, status-wise, I needed to put it in there, but I’m a cruise the city type. So for the Grand Prix, I just got little shit up in there tweaked. I didn’t really have to do anything ’cept get my A/C serviced.
True. Better safe than sorry.
But I’ll tell you one thing, man. These cars are old-school for a reason. I don’t give a fuck how much money you put into [them]—you gonna have problems. There ain’t no way around it. People want you to believe that their shit is running perfectly. I ain’t saying that their shit ain’t running, but you’re gonna experience your fair share of problems with the motherfuckers. If you let them sit too long, something’s going to happen. You drive them too much, something’s going to happen. At the end of the day, I got too many other issues. I like to just jump in my shit, put gas in it and get out of there. But these old-school cars, you can’t really do it like that.
So, since you have no need for speed, what part of your whips do you focus on the most?
My interior. That’s the most important thing to me. That’s what speaks for me as a person. I go hard every time. If you go to my crib right now, ask anyone when my shit is getting done. That’s what they’re talking about. They want to see what I’m going to do next. I’m going to be in my car more than I’m going to be out of it. So I like the feel and the distinction from the interior. I paid $9,200 for this [interior] right here.
Gotta pay the cost to be the boss. What other obsessions drain your pockets?
I’m a big jewelry dude, but really, I cut back on that shit. No matter how many cars you buy or how much jewelry you get, you’ll never have the latest shit. I try to allocate more of my cash to other things. Me and my brother Big Gates got this prison foundation, the Bid Long Foundation, which helps people who can’t help themselves financially. Instead of me dropping $66,000 on a car, I’d feel better about myself if I took $10,000 of those dollars, broke it up and helped 300 niggas who are locked up and ain’t got nobody to send them cash. That’s my primary focus at the end of the day. That shit makes me feel better than a car.