713 Motoring is no stranger to the pages of our magazine. We’ve featured the notorious Texas customizing business before in Issue 56, and we thought it was time to catch up with them! A lot has changed for the Houston-based shop since then. With strong relationship ties and new blood infused into the brand, 713 Motoring has continued to remain a prominent force in the aftermarket automotive scene for 20 years. Throughout all the changes in the game, the executive leadership from OG veteran Ashworth Barnes has remained consistent.
713 first started when a group of high school friends began selling accessories out of a garage in Hiram Clarke on the Southside of Houston. Now 20 years later, those humble beginnings gradually grew into a small, local business before transforming into a major force in the automotive aftermarket industry. Run by Ashworth Barnes, the shop continues to be a notable name in the scene as it strives to push the limits on vehicle customization and customer service into an elevated art form. They consistently showcase their talents on an assortment of vehicles, including exotics, lifted trucks, classics, daily drivers and everything in between.
Ashworth Barnes gives us the lowdown on the shop’s current brand and business model!
In 2017, we rebranded our identity for a fresh start and built a new contemporary Westheimer location. With diversity in mind, I assembled a new team composed of different ethnic backgrounds and expertise in different fields besides automotive. With the help of Iyo Visual, the revamp is the new brand identity that you see today. That three-headed monster overseeing it all consists of AK Manesh, Mark Hernandez and myself.
713 has evolved over the years by continuing to add services to make a more complete customization boutique store that specializes in automotive design. When we first started, we were originally just selling wheels. 20 years later, we are doing complete project vehicles. Since the last DUB feature, we have a completely new team, fresh executive faces, a new retail store location, an off-site private garage, a new collision center and a whole lot more custom cars and experience. The business has grown exponentially over the years, being able to survive and thrive in this business is an accomplishment in itself. 713 has been fortunate enough to create a nationwide brand synonymous with high-end, quality custom looks.
My perception of where the car game is right now is that you can easily connect with people all over the world through social media, so everyone feels as if they can customize their own cars. Although connecting and networking through socials have made a lot of pipelines visible, it also has many drawbacks. The biggest drawback of social media and the Internet is that the consumer cannot always trust the validity of the parts sold and if they are actually applicable. This is why it’s much safer to deal with an expert in your area that you can trust.
The biggest trend I’m seeing right now is in wrapping vehicles. Vehicle wraps have taken the aftermarket automotive industry by storm in the last five years. The ease of installation and low cost, not to mention how it totally transforms a vehicle, make it a non-permanent alternative to changing the value of a vehicle. The amount of colors available and the ability to print on a wrap makes it incredibly versatile and a blank canvas for creativity.
These days, customers are coming in for classic cars. In Houston, there has been a resurgence of old-school muscle and a legendary strip in the area has become the scene that makes everyone want to bring their cars out. It’s a great thing for the city to see a comeback of old-school nostalgia in this Houston neighborhood. Everyone is adding wheels, engine mods and aftermarket audio upgrades for connectivity between devices.
Right now, we have a ton of cars in the shop, including four current Lambo projects and three Rolls-Royce builds. We get everything, and I mean everything. Bikes, ATVs, Vanderhalls, Slingshots, lifted trucks, off-road vehicles…you name it! This is one of the unique things about 713, we can shine on any project.
Our philosophy is simple at 713 – we are architects of an automotive lifestyle. We believe in connecting with like-minded individuals that are on an entrepreneurial quest to grow and share a love for nice automobiles. For us, it’s not just about the cars; the car game has provided a platform for us to make moves in the sign industry and real estate industry respectively. We truly believe through our network we are Houston’s elite motoring company.
The future for 713 is bright and we are thinking onward and upward. We won’t quit and we won’t stop. We plan to keep killing the game and keep doing things THE 713 WAY.