Celebrity Car: Hines Ward - East Valley Tribune: Business

Celebrity Car: Hines Ward

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Posted: Friday, July 6, 2007 12:00 am | Updated: 7:54 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

It’s not a too-far-fetched generalization to say that once a kid picks up a football and begins to play, he dreams of going pro. Even for “big” kids, a football in hand is all the magic needed to transform them into their favorite player.

It’s not a too-far-fetched generalization to say that once a kid picks up a football and begins to play, he dreams of going pro. Even for “big” kids, a football in hand is all the magic needed to transform them into their favorite player.

And Celebrity Car Magazine is betting that ever since Pittsburgh Steelers Hines Ward won the Most Valuable Player trophy at the 2006 Super Bowl that there’s a lot of kids out there who pretend to be him.

His cars, however, are more reason to want to walk in his shoes.

His three-bay garage at his house in Smyrna, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta, is full and then some. There are more rides parked in front of the house.

The Cadillac Escalade, as you might guess from all the MVP logos, came along with his Super Bowl title. The custom rims have the MVP marks in the center caps as well as on the speaker enclosure in the back.

Ward’s 1966 Mustang isn’t exactly stock, with its 20-inch wheels and a custom suede interior.

His other trick ride is a Range Rover that rolls on 22-inch wheels. “I’m a car fanatic. [I have been] ever since I was a child . . . It’s in all males, I guess.”

Incidentally, Ward didn’t know until he got home that a little blue toy Escalade he had picked out for his son had multiple television screens in the trunk with his image on them.

Oh, how far we’ve come. Ward’s first car was a silver Ford Escort GT that his mother bought for him when he was 16. “I worked . . . to afford a little sound system for it in high school. I wish I still had it, but I think I ran it into the ground from the number of miles.”

Although most star players buy a car right out of college, Ward’s agent told him to sit tight until he found out where he was drafted. The first purchase he made with his signing bonus was a Lexus GS 400. “I loved it to death. It had navigation and everything. It started from there and I kept upgrading every year. I’m into cars now.”

The man to whom Ward entrusts all the custom work is Korry Pitts at Wheel Emporium in Pittsburgh, Pa.

“Korry has his own little flavor. I love everything he does.”

But there’s more under the skin than a little bling.

“I’m not doing it to be flashy. I get enjoyment out of it. Each and every day that I wake up, I go out and drive in something nice. Who ever would have thought that a kid from Forest Park, Georgia, would have a Bentley? It’s a blessing for me. With all the hard work that I put into my profession, that’s my reward; that’s my gift to myself.”

Fast exotics are noticeably absent from his stable.

“I had a Ferrari 360 Spider. I got rid of it when I had my son. Now it’s more about my son than anything.”

Fatherhood has made the NFL star cautious, at least about driving fast. “Being in a sports car like that, something takes over. You want to punch it and really test the limits.... I loved the Ferrari, but once my son was born I had to get out of it. It was kind of like that movie Christine: You get in the car and it takes over. That was the car of all cars. Every kid wants either a Ferrari or a Lamborghini.”

He’s clearly not done with the automobile world, however he has something else in mind. “I love everything about football, but I am trying to set things up for life after football.”

What he means by “setting things up” is some real estate south of Atlanta where Ward plans to open a wheel and aftermarket shop.

Another dream come true.

Celebrity Car is produced by Wheelbase Communications in conjunction with quarterly publication Celebrity Car Magazine and the duPont Registry.

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