MagnaFlow kicked off SEMA 2022 with the debut of two of Kevin Hart’s latest project cars. The showcase features five of the comedian’s prized personal vehicles in all, including one which he set eyes on in its completed state for the first time at the opening of this year’s show: a 1987 Buick Grand National GNX appropriately dubbed the “Dark Knight.” The Dark Knight was unveiled in our booth alongside Kevin’s 1958 Chevrolet Corvette known as “Mint Condition.”
The recently restored pair were on display alongside Kevin’s 1970 Dodge Charger which he nicknamed “Hellraiser.” Each vehicle is equipped with a custom MagnaFlow exhaust system constructed using our Custom Builder Parts. The trio of thoroughly customized vehicles were joined by Kevin’s 1969 Plymouth Road Runner named “Michael Myers” and his 1969 Chevrolet Camaro known as “Bad News,” which were each featured in Meguiar’s booth right next to ours.
The Dark Knight
The current crown of the collection is Kevin’s Grand National GNX, which he hadn’t seen before taking the wraps off of it in the MagnaFlow booth last week. As its name implies, the design of the Dark Knight is inspired by the Caped Crusader himself. From the tightened-up body lines and BASF black paint to the tastefully modernized interior which is appointed in the blue, bronze and grey of the superhero’s suit and cape, the vehicle exudes a sense of menace that lives up to its moniker. The interior also features a custom 3D printed dash fitted with Holley gauges.
Designer Dan Salvaggio and his team at Salvaggio Design further utilized 3D printing technology to create molds for the Dark Knight’s bespoke carbon fiber bodywork, including the front bumper (which they added functional ducts to for improved cooling), the hood, chin spoiler and mirrors to name a few. The GNX’s dark exterior pairs beautifully with its 19” nickel-plate finished 19” HRE 501 wheels.
When it comes to performance, the Dark Knight doesn’t disappoint. As he made clear at its unveiling, Kevin likes to drive his cars, which is why his Grand National’s stock V6 was swapped for the 3.6L V6 from a Cadillac ATS-V. The engine makes the most of the stock intercooler, although the stock twin-turbo setup was replaced with a single turbo. Together with its custom MagnaFlow exhaust system, Comps Cam fuel cam and a software calibration done using an HP Tuners Module, the Dark Knight has shown on a dyno that it produces about 650 hp.
Sitting on a custom Salvaggio frame, the vehicle has been upgraded with DSE X-Gen 595 front suspension, a four-link Panhard rear and Ultimate Performance coilovers. A set of Brembo GT brakes and Toyo Proxes R888R tires have also been installed to ensure the car can handle and stop as deftly as it accelerates.
Stepping back several decades from the Dark Knight’s 80s aesthetics, Kevin’s “Mint Condition” 1958 C1 Corvette is all classic mid-century Americana. Mark Bohlen and the team at Bent Custom did an amazing job creating a rolling work of art that deeply embodies its name in more ways than one. Where the Dark Knight is all about mean looks and menace, Mint Condition evokes both timelessness and elegance. It’s tempting to say that such a visage is effortless, but the truth is that a ton of work went into making this all-American sportscar a reality.
While most people restoring a Corvette would go for a popular hue such as red, yellow, black, silver, etc., Kevin opted for a unique mint paint scheme that perfectly matches the car’s crisp and refreshing theme. The cool coloration continues into the car’s interior, where it mingles with sumptuous beige leatherwork and custom interior badging that reminds driver and passenger alike that they’re riding in something truly special. The custom interior badging carries on to the vehicles exterior with specially machined logos featuring the car’s name in both the front and rear.
Like all of Kevin’s vehicles, Mint Condition is more than just work of art with an engine. Above all, it’s meant to be driven and enjoyed. In keeping with this ethos, the ‘Vette has been upgraded with a GM LT-1 V8 mated to a 4L70e transmission. This powertrain is further enhanced thanks to a Nick Williams billet 103mm T/B and billet ProCharger intake and custom MagnaFlow exhaust.
Other upgrades include a Holley drive assembly, machined brake reservoir with lids and caps that match the intake, one-off machined billet rear bumpers, machined gas and brake pedals featuring the Mint Condition logo, Dapper Lighting LEDs front and rear, a handmade center console and a handmade bezel surround designed to look factory. The car also features full stainless-steel hardline plumbing and complete Morrison independent front and rear suspension setup.
Rounding out the Kevin Hart Collection vehicles featured in our booth was the ominously named “Hellraiser” 1970 Dodge Charger built by SpeedKore. This Mopar monster commands attention with its custom MagnaFlow exhaust system mounted to its ginormous 7.0L “Hellephant” V8 crate engine that produces around 1,000 hp. In order to handle such power, that epic engine is mated to a Dodge Demon-spec 8-speed automatic transmission.
Of course, wrangling with 1,000 horsepower (or heck, even HALF that amount) requires a chassis and suspension setup that is up for the challenge, which is why Hellacious utilizes a custom chassis with a full carbon fiber body and integrated roll cage. The car’s suspension system is a unique setup featuring the front suspension from a C6 Corvette and an old-school Ford 9” rear end that can handle the power and torque that the 8-speed cranks it with.
The interior speaks to the vehicle’s devious levels of performance with a sleek if spartan black and red leather-clad aesthetic with Recaro bucket seats fitted with racing harnesses. Needless to say, this car means business.
Next door to MagnaFlow was Meguiar’s booth, which hosted the remainder of The Kevin Hart Collection. First up is “Michael Myers,” his 1969 Plymouth Road Runner which was made possible thanks to another collaboration with the automotive wizards over at Salvaggio Design. Like Hellraiser, this Halloween-inspired special boasts a modified Hellephant engine, this time turning about 940 hp through a Tremec 6060 6-speed manual transmission that Kevin personally requested. Also similar to Hellacious, Michael Myers sends that power to a 9” Ford rear axle.
The body shell and frame required a significant rework in order to house and handle such a mammoth motor and its transmission. For this same reason, a custom front suspension setup was also needed. When it came to modifying the body, the team fabricated a new firewall, wheel tubs, trunk (including an integrated fuel cell) and several additional components. A carbon fiber hood and bumpers were also installed. The vehicle’s roof, fenders, doors and rear quarter panels were carried over from the stock Road Runner.
14” Brembo brakes with 6-piston calipers were installed in the front and 13” Brembo discs with 4-piston calipers in the rear to further elevate the vehicle’s performance and better put a stop to all that horsepower when necessary. The car’s 18” front and 20” rear aluminum wheels from HRE feature billet caps designed to resemble a stock Road Runner’s rims.
Michael Myer’s black and red interior houses leather wrapped Recaro front seats with an orange splatter pattern, as well as a billet steering wheel, shifter and digital instrument cluster housing.
We’re going to have to round out this Kevin Hart Collection vehicle breakdown with some “Bad News,” which fortunately refers to his 1969 Chevrolet Camaro. This satin black stunner was stripped down by Timeless Kustoms in order to check that everything was in good working order before building it up into the magnificent beast it is today. The team flush mounted both the front and rear glass and installed a new splitter below the front bumper, in addition to a rear diffuser.
Despite its name, Bad News DOES NOT disappoint when it comes to the car’s interior. The bespoke baseball glove colored leather cabin was designed and appointed by Sean Smith. It features a roll cage, flat bottomed steering wheel, custom center console, custom dials and switches, and inviting bucket seats with racing harnesses, belying the Camaro’s capable performance.
And perform it most certainly can thanks to the D-stroked LSX based 380cui LS7 with a 9:1 compression ratio. Further modifications have been made in the form of a forged rotating assembly, CNC produced LS7 head and upgraded 68mm Turbonetics ball-bearing turbos. With all these components working in concert the vehicle now produces a hearty 650 horsepower and 680 lb-ft of torque at the wheels. It channels all this mechanical energy through a Tremec 6-speed manual transmission.
To make all this power useful on the road the vehicle sits on an Art Morrison G Max Chassis and custom Forgeline wheels wrapped in Kumho rubber (305 front/355 rear). Like Hellraiser, the Camaro utilizes the front suspension from a C6 Corvette, while the rear suspension makes use of a triangulated 9” four-link setup. A set of carbon ceramic brakes have been installed all around, allowing this thing to brake under intense driving conditions like no muscle car of yore ever could.
Can’t Get Enough of SEMA 2022?
It was both a joy and honor to host The Kevin Hart Collection at SEMA this year. Thank you to Kevin and his extremely talented collaborators for making it all possible. Interested in seeing more coverage of The Kevin Hart Collection and all the other amazing and interesting vehicles we featured in our booth this year? Check out our other SEMA 2022 blogs and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and TikTok to get a glimpse of the best that SEMA 2022 had to offer.