Car & (Pile)drivers, Part 1
Readers who pop open the April 2007 issue of WWE Magazine will be pleased to find what’s “Under Maria’s Hood” on page 48 (check out the .PDF file). The Diva’s knowledge of cars is nothing short of amazing, and her popular mechanic column seems to run on all cylinders with WWE fans. In the latest issue, WWE’s car goddess shifts gears with her personal list of auto accessory “hots” and “nots.” WWE.com decided to tailgate on the subject and ask several WWE road warriors—Raw’s Shelton Benjamin, Kenny Dykstra, Chris Masters, Trevor Murdoch and Shad of Cryme Tyme; SmackDown’s Montel Vontavious Porter and Jimmy Wang Yang; and ECW’s Elijah Burke—how they like to varnish their vehicles.
Burke enjoys a personal “Elijah Experience” whenever he heads out in his tricked-out maroon 1990 Camaro. “It’s very stylish, very hooked up, with nice American racing wheels and 15-inch rims on it,” he boasts. “Real low-profile, but an awesome-looking car.” Meanwhile, a life of Cryme Tyme seems to have paid off nicely for Shad—“I’m fixin’ up a 1969 Chevy Chevelle Convertible SS, fully loaded. I put a chrome engine in, with 20-inch chrome rims that don’t spin, but they look ballin’ as hell. It’s gonna be tight.”
“Chrome” is the operative word when it comes to Benjamin’s white H2. “A Hummer’s a great car once you’ve accessorized it,” he says. “I’ve got the chrome 22-inch rims, chrome light bezels, chrome door handles and I’m working on a chrome gear shifter. I even took out the original factory dash—you know, the casing for the radio and everything—and had carbon fiber put on it. Now it’s a carbon fiber dash, and it’s clean. It really sets off the car.”
“I used to have a van,” recalls the 20-year-old Dykstra about his pre-WWE days on the road. “I put rims on it and little shades in the windows, and I added a little disco ball in the middle. Then I took out most of the seats out and threw a bed in it.” These days, he prefers keeping his cars a bit more on the plain side, including his Z28 Camaro. “I have this Hawaiian lei on the rearview mirror that I got during spring break, and I never took it off. Shad once tried to convince me to get the car lowered, put rims and ground effects on it—like, he’s telling me stuff I already know.”
To the surprise of no one at WWE.com, the unsportsmanlike MVP won’t play nice and talk about his car collection—“I roll on only the finest German engineering; 22-inch chromed-out rims, low-profile tires,” is all he’ll say—but he won’t even entertain anyone’s ideas on how to pimp ’em up. “I am by far and away the flyest thing ever to happen to this company,” he declares, “the most ballin’-est player ever; there’s nobody here that could tuh-teach me how to deck out a ride. I’m from Miami, know what I’m sayin’? Will Smith even made a song about it—‘Hundred thousand-dollar cars, everybody got ’em’? Well, everybody ain’t got ’em. Only few of us that have ’em, and those that do have ’em know what to do with ’em. Those who don’t, wish and dream.”
On the flip side, guys like Masters don’t need to dream over auto-body touchups; other than adding a limo window tint and “eventually” some rims (crediting the latter suggestion to Randy Orton), he’s quite content with keeping his 2006 Cadillac Escalade the way he found it—a Masterpiece.
“It’s actually a Special Edition from the Grammy Awards,” he explains. “They only used it to drive a celebrity to the show, and I bought it with about 300 miles on it. It also has this big Grammys sticker, so people are always pulling up next to me, trying to look in through the tinted windows and see who’s inside.”
Think that’s ludicrous? WWE Superstars like Murdoch and Wang Yang may have Masters beat with their own ornamental oddities. “Any truck that drives on dirt road needs a Yosemite Sam tailgate cover,” notes Raw’s surly Superstar (who also happens to own what he calls his “pride and joy,” a cream-colored 1964 Plymouth Fury). “Everybody sees Yosemite Sam on a pickup driven by a redneck, they just get the hell outta the way.” As for Wang Yang, one might not notice his Toyota T100’s 17-inch, five-star Fatboy rims (“I went through a phase,” he says)—especially since WWE.com can’t verify if SmackDown’s resident redneck is joking about the accessories he’s kept in every vehicle he’s ever steered: “My 12-gauge shotgun and a rearview mirror.”
Needless to say, you won’t find firearm frills and the like “Under Maria’s Hood” in the April issue of WWE Magazine. She delves into more important, cooler and safer auto makeover ideas, so be sure to pick up a copy. Then come back to WWE.com for Part 2 of this story and discover what kinds of fan gifts hang in some Superstars’ cars, who likes having a dancing diva on their dash, and how vanity factors into some of their rides.