Words: Jonathan Millstein
Photography: Andrew Link
When you’re the No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft and go on to become an eight-time all-star, three-time defensive player of the year, slam-dunk champion and Olympic gold medalist all before your 30th birthday, it’s easy to see how one could earn the nickname “Superman.” With a game and nickname that are both otherworldly, it’s no surprise Dwight Howard would command a fleet that is from another world as well.
“We tweaked a Superman F-250 that [Dwight] had that was done by somebody else,” says Ashworth “Ash” Barnes, owner of 713 Motoring. “He was talking about a car he had coming, which was a Hellcat, and he told me he wanted to incorporate the theme of the Flash character from DC Comics.” Packing a stock supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI SRT Hellcat V8 engine cranking out 707hp, the Dodge Hellcat was a no-brainer to be the canvas from which Dwight’s Flash-themed ride would be created. “It’s already a Hellcat, so it’s pretty much perfect, to be honest with you,” says Ash.
With the Challenger in hand, Dwight and the team at 713 decided they wanted to be one of the first to go with a widebody on the Hellcat. “We wanted to beef up the car and make it a little more muscular by adding some stronger fenders and some vents,” says Ash, “give it that more aggressive look.” Having gradually added 12 inches total to the rear of the car, beginning from midway on each door back, a new paint job was in order. “We painted the car a different red and gave it a more glossy candy experience, although I didn’t want it that candy red Houston is known for,” Ash says. To incorporate the Flash into the exterior of the Hellcat, Dwight had the idea to cut a lightning bolt into the hood of the car, adding LED lighting and sealing it with Plexiglas. Additionally, the wheels were illuminated not only to show them off, but also to add a motion streak of red reminiscent of the Flash when the car is moving.
The Flash theme is omnipresent throughout the interior, where nearly every element was changed to fit the vision for the car. “We took every piece of interior out the car, sanded it down and sprayed it that same red from the outside, so it has that glassy appearance on the inside to match the outside,” says Ash. “I think that really made a big difference.” The dash and trim of the Hellcat were hydro-dipped yellow, with lightning streaks throughout to complement the red. In the trunk, the theme continues but also takes a slight detour to pay homage to Dwight’s basketball career with a floor that is a hardwood basketball court.
Having already made some waves on the Internet, Ash acknowledges that this Hellcat may not be for everyone. “A lot of regular people will look at the pictures and say, ‘Why’s that dude’s car this color and that color?’ But they don’t understand the car was designed with a theme,” Ash says. With a clear theme in mind, Dwight Howard’s Flash Hellcat was executed with the same precision as his Superman-themed dunk in 2008.
• Performance: Stock supercharged 6.2L
HEMI SRT Hellcat V8
• Exterior: Custom 12-inch widebody with
door vents; custom Flash logo, Plexiglas, lighted, cut through hood; Oracle plasma halo rings, illuminated wheel rings and custom Flash logo floor illumination door lights; painted custom Redline pearl with three clear coats; hand-painted two-tone Hellcat fender logos
• Interior: Victory Red perforated leather seats with the Flash logo on backrest; lightning bolt logo on headrest; red carpet with custom floor mats; painted all interior pieces, dash, door panel and plastic pieces yellow, lightning bolt hydro-dipped; basketball hardwood trunk floor
• ICE: JL Audio system with two 12-inch W3v3 subwoofers; custom-lit Plexiglas floating amp racks, fiberglassed and painted to match trunk panels
• Wheels/Tires: Forgiato Elicia wheels, 24×9-inch front, 24×15-inch rear; Lexani tires, 255/30/24 front, 305/30/24 rear