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Saturday, 10 December 2016 02:45

Kevin Hart: Mogul in the Making

Written by Kristie Bertucci Photos: Michael Vincent

It’s a typical sunny Southern California day in Hollywood, CA and we’re getting ready to shoot comedian Kevin Hart for his second DUB cover. He’s as animated as he is on-screen, taking to Facebook Live and Snapchat for his legions of fans. As he goes into each of his rides, he jokes with his crew and answers questions live for those admiring his collection.

In fact, Hart has come a long way in the past five years since we last featured him. The comedian and actor has starred in a vast amount of movies and is now one of Hollywood’s top earning actors. He’s recently ventured out into the business world with a stake in Tommy John underwear and is always growing his Hartbeat Productions. The last time we spoke to him, his goal was to get to a “mogul stage.” And although it might seem as if he’s achieved mogul status, the comedian thinks he has a long way to go.

Kevin Hart's Mustang

“No, I’m not there yet,” he admits. “Nowhere near where I want to be. I’m making amazing steps in the right direction, but there’s still more that needs to be done. It’s a very complex word and just as you get closer to it, you realize just how much more you can do. Right now, my business mind is catching up to my entertainment mind.”

With laser-focused eyes on the prize, Hart attributes his success thus far to his hard work and dedication, something his mom instilled in him. “It was beat in my head not to do things without finishing them,” he adds. Not only does that hold true to his career, but also his fleet. As an automotive connoisseur, Hart has amassed quite an impressive collection of rides that vary from fine exotics to restored classics and represent different stages and achievements in his career. His crown jewel is his 1967 Mustang he calls Eleanor, which took almost two years to complete. It’s his longest and most comprehensive restoration to date and he’s still doing small tweaks to it. “That one’s done up from top to bottom and has all the bells and whistles,” he notes. “But come to think of it, I did one bad thing; I can’t drive stick so I made it automatic…don’t laugh at me.”

Kevin Hart

For his 32nd birthday, he gifted himself a 1966 Pontiac GTO that has also been upgraded over the years and now rolls on Forgiato wheels, fuel injection, navigation, power windows and a custom sound system. He calls her “Tre Deuce” for obvious reasons.

In 2012, he purchased his Mercedes-Benz SLS, which he calls “Black Out.” “It was my very first big car purchase, I wasn’t in debt and could afford to splurge and treat myself so I did,” he says. “It’s a representation of my hard work paying off.”
“White Lightning” is what he affectionately calls his Ferrari 458 which has been his dream car since he was a kid. “I’d always tell myself that at some time in my career, I’d get a Ferrari. As a kid you would always see cars and say ‘I can’t wait to get that,’ and for me that was the Ferrari. It just sticks with me because it was my childhood love.”

Kevin Hart's Pontiac GTO

“The Sprinter was something that I got after I got a DUI and I was like, ‘You know drinking and driving is just stupid.’ It’s something that people don’t think about and you don’t realize how dumb it is until you get caught doing it and realize the lives you put in danger. It acts as my mobile command center - if I’m tired or if I ever put myself in a situation where I can’t drive I’ll always have the driver and Sprinter available. It makes me be a lot more responsible.”

He also has a G63, which is more like his daily driver, as well as a special G65 that brought to the shoot. “It’s fast and as you can see I love fast cars,” he explains. “That V12 is something that’s limited and there weren’t too many of them in the States when I purchased it and that’s why I got it. It’s more of a collector’s item. It has a ridiculous system in it!”

Kevin Hart's cars

And finally there’s his Jeep Wrangler which was gifted to him by the “Plastic Cup Boyz” after the success of his “What Now?” comedy tour, which was one of the biggest ones to date (it was actually on track to become the biggest comedy tours ever and he’s one of the few comedians to ever fill a stadium). “I call her ‘Jeep Nasty’ and as you can see, she’s heavily modified. It’s a Rubicon and was a gift from my guys after our ‘What Now?’ tour that broke so many records, they surprised me at the Lincoln Financial stadium. It’s good to be blessed enough to be in a position to have these cars on rotation and to have some fun and to have a hobby you can actually afford. The hobby of fixing up cars is something I have grown to love.”

With a large fleet of rides, Hart admits that he gives them all love, but has a few that get extra. He likes to keep low mileage on his old schools and Ferrari, while driving the Jeep, G-Wagons and Sprinter more while doing his everyday tasks. “I’m blessed enough to be in a position of having a rotation of rides and can obtain a hobby like this I can actually afford,” he admits.

Kevin Hart Jeep Wrangler

For all of his automotive needs, Hart goes to his boys at Stealth Motorworks in Van Nuys, CA. Owner Chris Mills has been friends with Hart for the last 20 years and he’s been helping with his car collection for the last four years. “The most challenging build was the 1967 Eleanor Mustang that was built from the ground up at Stealth Motorworks,” he confesses. “Nothing in it is stock and everything on it was replaced with high-performance products and custom-built parts, powered by a 650 hp, 427 all-aluminum engine, custom-built for this car. The handling is tight with front and rear independent suspension system. This car is a true beast with nothing but the best on it.”

As car lovers, Hart has seen a lot of vehicles that Mills has had over the years and admires his taste in customizations, allowing him to design his cars the way Mills would do his own. “It's great working with Kevin because not only is he a mega superstar but he is a down to earth personal friend so that just makes business run smooth with us because of the trust factor that we have built through the years.”

Kevin Hart Mustang

As for his next big purchase, Hart’s all about making an investment and is thinking of going with an original Gullwing or rebuilding a Chevy Chevelle like he did his Mustang. “I’m looking for something that will hold its value over time,” he mentions. “Not sure if I’ll go the collectors route or will build something from the ground up again.”
But right now, Hart is busy enjoying all of his rides that he gives equal attention to whenever he’s in town or on a break from his ridiculously busy schedule. Currently, he’s filming the Jumanji remake with Dwayne Johnson and will be filming the Untouchables after the new year, which will be Hart’s attempt at something more serious. “I want to challenge myself and do some drama, but you don’t rush that. It happens when it’s supposed to. I just want to show that I can wear many hats if given the chance. And if people don’t give you the chances, you have to be strong enough to take them.”

Besides his movie career, Hart also has a music one as his alter ego “Chocolate Droppa,” who will be releasing an album soon. “He’s a character who has goals of taking the rap world by storm,” he describes. “In his mind, he’s the best rapper to ever do it. For me, it’s just a way to poke fun at the rap game and I have a lot of fun doing it. You just have to mix it up and keep things fresh.” Which is just one reason why he’s taken an investor role in the Tommy John underwear line and is excited to take the brand to the next level.

“I didn’t want just another celebrity deal with this,” he details. “When I do something, I believe in it and this is real. It’s me in the position of ownership.” And if his career is any testament to how he’ll grow the brand, then it seems everyone who’s anyone will be trading in their Calvin Kleins for some Tommy John pieces!

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