With great riches comes great responsibilities, well that’s what you’d expect from someone like Will.I.am but then again maybe not judging by his latest custom car. It also goes to show, that it doesn’t matter how much money you throw at the project or how skilled the builders are, if you give them enough contradicting information you’ll end up with a very expensive dog’s dinner.
The purple, Morgan Aero 8ish looking custom car, believe it or not actually started off as a 1958 Volkswagen beetle. It’s been chopped and hacked about more than Michael Jackson’s nose and looks just about as mismatched and ugly.
Just about the only thing that looks beetle-ish about it is the front windscreen (chopped version anyway), the rest was completely custom built by firstly Austin Weiss of The Garage in Stuart, Florida and then finished off by West Coast Customs of “Pimp my ride fame” in California. Though I’m sure both of them won’t be rushing to put it in their portfolios.
The biggest problem the both faced was that Will.I.am didn’t actually know what he wanted when he started the project. Initially he told Austin Weiss to create a Socal Speedster which was meant to have a Porsche twin turbo flat six in the rear. Then about six weeks into the build, Will changed his mind. Now he wanted something futuristic and crazy with stretched doors and a supercharged V8 Chevy LS3 engine in the front.
But the modifications didn’t stop there, first Will wanted it to look like a Morgan, then put a Bentley Grill on it, then add suicide doors to it. It was meant to take a year and a half to build but the time was getting longer and longer as The Blacked Peas singer flirted with different ideas and changed his mind so many times.
In 2011, Will said to Austin he needed the car on stage for the 2011 Super Bowl halftime show, to which Austin said it will take another six months to finish because there were so many things to be sorted out. Will replied that West Coast Customs had said they could finish it in six weeks for $100,000. Will had already spent over $400,000 on the car by this time. Austin, not wanting to hand over the car to a competitor took up the challenge and Will said he would pay whatever it cost to get the job done.
Six weeks came and went and the car was not ready, so Will took the car and gave it to West Coast Customs, who said they could have done the job from start to finish in eight months. West Coast Customs had the advantage over Austin because by the time they had the car, Will had finally sorted out what he wanted it to look like, ha or so they thought. They also said they could put 25 people on the job to get it done in time.
Well you can guess what happened next, the car was there for a few months, then a few months, more than a few months more. In the end it spent two years at WCC because so much work was needed and, yes you guessed it, Will kept changing his mind.
In the end the car was sort of finished but even then Will decided to have the interior redone and change the brakes. So all in all, Will has spent $900,000 (£600,000) on the car so far. If it was $50K maybe he could get away with it but $900K, that’s nearly 2 1/2 Lamborghini Aventador’s. Maybe the money is gone to his head and affected his vision but then again he has previous form for this sort of automotive visual thuggery.
His previous car was a customised DeLorean, which he managed to spend $700,000 on turning it from the classic back to the future stainless steel sports car into something that resembled a cross between a 1980s Maserati and a kit car of similar vintage. At one point someone actually stole it but then it was found again, or maybe the thieves realised the error of their ways and the hideousness of its looks and abandoned it in the street with a note saying return to owner.
The reason he states of why he wanted a bit of this car and a bit of that car effectively glued together was because that he was trying to create something in a similar way to the way he makes music. Sampling drum loop here, a guitar riff there, a synth noise somewhere else then tack on a vocal and there you have it, a Will.I.am track. He figured why can’t I do the same with a car. Start with a Beetle, put in a Corvette engine, old school suicide doors, maybe a Bentley Grill, a stingray style rear window and there you have it a Will.I.am car. Maybe he should just stick to music.
If the sales guys at his local Rolls-Royce dealership have been taking notice of his cars, maybe Well.I.am will be first call on the customer list for their new SUV which looks almost as hideous and at least will be a lot cheaper at $350,000 but then again given his history maybe he’ll bump it up to $1 million to make it look a bit worse.