Road Runners

Production duo the Runners are in tune with the value of ’60s racing cars.

Story Leah Rose /// Photography Michael Pisarri

Even though their name may suggest otherwise, the Runners love to drive. With three muscle cars and a pair of flashy everyday whips in their collection, the Orlando-based production team knows the value of a nice ride. In the past two years, their gutter tracks for A-listers like Young Jeezy (“Go Getta”), Rick Ross (“Hustlin’”) and R. Kelly (“The Champ”) have afforded 23-year-olds Andrew “Dru Brett” Harr and Jermaine “Mayne” Jackson plenty of royalties. Instead of taking after other super-producers like Swizz Beatz and Scott Storch and splurging on lavish Italian sports cars, the Runners have taken to buying and restoring high-performance street-racing cars from the ’60s.

“Our whole intention is to buy things that actually increase in value,” says Mayne. “In the business that we’re in, you hear about so many people just blowing all their money on things that only decrease in value,” adds Dru. “It just feels real good to put something into something that we could pass down to our children.”

Proving they are as business savvy as they are musically inclined, the production duo, who met in preschool, plan to open a classic garage in the next three years. Named after their entertainment company, Trac-N-Field Classics will be located in North Carolina, where the guys own their second home together, and will feature a fleet of hard-to-find, mint-condition muscle cars for sale. Catch them if you can.

First off, what is up with you co-owning your whip collection?
Dru I mean, we’re brothers, so whether it’s our cars, studio or publishing, we collectively own everything.

We know you two love the throwbacks, but what do you drive on the daily?
D I have a Mercedes SL500. I live down here in Florida, so it’s easy to get around in, and it’s real fast. I put 20-inch Giovannis on it, staggered. The rims in the back are a little bit deeper than the rims in the front. It’s just a real fly, young car.

Mayne I put all my money into classic convertibles [laughs]. I got the Cadillac Escalade. It’s not too small, not too big. Basically it’s just an everyday industry type of car. Takes me to the studio and back home.

Where does the muscle car love and knowledge come from?
D A friend of my family’s is a mechanic. He loves old muscle cars, which really helped Mayne and me, because they’re really, really expensive to maintain. Most of the time a mechanic will rip you off, but this guy works on all of our cars for free. Before we purchase the cars we research them heavy all over the Internet.

How do you usually find them?
D The Shelby [GT 350 convertible Mustang], a friend of mine bought on eBay. He actually bought the car for about $30,000. He came into a financial bind three years ago and wasn’t really keeping up with the value of the car. We bought it in ’04 for a little bit more, and right now, it’s worth over $100,000. There were only 404 made that year total, so that’s definitely something that you never want to let go of.

What did you do to it after you bought it?
D The whole thing about classic cars is you don’t want to put a lot of after-market parts on it. You want to keep everything as original as possible. So every one of the cars that we own is totally original. All we did was restore everything. We put another $15,000 to $20,000 into restoring it.

So as producers, you guys must stick in some crazy sound systems.
M Nah, some of the cars have 8-track players, and another one just has a straight-up radio in it. It’s an AM radio, too. These are really original classics.

Why did you decide to cop that ’68 Pontiac GTO convertible?
D First of all, it was one of the fastest production cars built in its day. Second of all, let’s say you were the same age as we are in the ’60s or maybe a little bit younger—that would be the most popular car.
M I remember my father always talking about that car. He passed away two years ago, so it’s one of those cars that always stuck in my mind.
D It’s amazing how fast the GTO is. When we first got the car, we took it for a drive, and we were skidding around like crazy. It’s extremely powerful.

What about the ’67 RS Camaro Convertible?
M We purchased that in ’04 for a little over $30,000, and it’s worth in the mid-$40s now.
D We found that one in Columbia, South Carolina. This is a really cool car for us, ’cause this is the first year Chevy started making the Camaro. There are two versions, the RS and the SS. The RS is the one we have; the main difference was the hidden headlights.

You two consider yourselves real collectors. How much do you actually drive these beauties?
M Let’s say somebody wants to buy the car. We don’t want to put too many miles on it, so it’s really just down the street and back. It’s not like we drive them on a regular basis. Our business plan is to open up Trac-N-Field Classics within the
next three years.
D Let’s say you were driving the car, and someone was to smash into you or something—it’s gonna kill the value of the car. And it can break down. We had that situation with the Mustang one day, where we were driving and the brakes went out. We were flying around cars, we couldn’t stop. Thank God we rolled into a gas station.
M We were trying to open the door, stickin’ our feet out like the Flintstones back in the day.
D You should’ve seen Mayne’s face!

Do you get a lot of attention when you take the old cars out?
D Ah, man, you don’t know how many thumbs-up we get. It’s like a whole ’nother thing when you’re driving a hot car like a Mercedes SL or something, and people look your way. But when you’re driving that Shelby and there’s only 400 made, people understand that. They give you a thumbs-up. I’ve never seen anything like it. It must be a muscle car thing.

What’s the reaction been from the women?
M We haven’t taken those cars to a city yet. You know these young girls—they want to see a Ferrari, they want to see the Gallardos and Murcielagos. So honestly, they really don’t understand. But if you break it down to them, then they look at you through a different scope.

So you’ve never had a chance to take a girl out in any of them?
M Yeah. There was this girl that I had a major crush on back home, and I picked her up in the Shelby. It was real fly—real ’60s.

Did you get lucky?
D [Laughs] I can’t disclose that information right now.
M Not in the whip, please! You gotta keep the interior original—no stains or anything.