ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE
TAKING A STEP BACK TO STEP BACK UP
If I told you that you could go from flipping burgers at a fast food restaurant to owning a million-dollar company, would you believe me? That’s the true-life story of Steve Akers from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Steve grew up around his grandfather building vehicles at the age of 13. When he got the chance, he put his knowledge to work after purchasing his first vehicle, an '85 Firebird. Steve spent the entire summer flipping burgers at Wendy’s to earn enough extra money to customize that Firebird. “I had to do all my own work, “Steve tells LRM. “It wasn’t always the best, but I learned a lot.”
Custom vehicles remained his passion but in 1995, at 22 years old, Steve had his first son and took a step back. It was a 20-year step back as he focused on putting his family first. He began building a successful trade by becoming a chef for a small company and then moving to one of the largest hotels in the state. At 28 years old Steve went back to school and received a degree in environmental studies. Once he earned his degree, he started a business by teaming up with a great partner without ever borrowing a cent.
Now that his company was starting
to grow and his children were older, Steve went on the search for not only a new vehicle but one that embodied success. At the time Steve was driving a Yukon but it didn’t have the “success factor” that he desired. One day on his way to dropping his kids off at school, he saw an '05 Hummer H2 in solid black at a local car lot. After he dropped the kids off, he went to that dealership and purchased the Hummer. When the bell rang, his kids didn’t even recognize their father waiting for them in a brand-new Hummer.
For the first couple years that he owned the Hummer he did what any new Hummer owner would do, he went to the sand dunes and jumped hills, testing the virtually indestructible SUV. With always that flare for creativity, Steve just couldn’t leave the Hummer alone as he started adding TVs to the truck. “It started with one, then four, then 10, and before I knew there were 28.” Steve adds, “I guess I go all-in when I decide to customize something.” Well, his all-in was an understatement as Steve ordered all of the chrome exterior parts for the SUV and had them tripleplated chrome.
For the exterior, airbrush expert Tom Stacks was brought in to add skulls and murals in doorjambs, the engine compartment, and frame.
The next step was changing the basic black color to something that stood out and carried the same flare that Steve possessed. He enlisted Q from Exquisite Auto Body for the complete color change to a House of Kolor candy purple with massive flake. Chuckie added pinstripe throughout the truck to make the paint pop even more. Rollin handled all the undercarriage chrome plating and Santiago from Krazy Kutting engraved virtually every piece of visible chrome. A set of Giovanni Settes finished off the build.
As the owner of a million-dollar HVAC company called A&H Mechanical, Steve looks back at his time flipping burgers and knows that he put his heart and soul into achieving the American dream. “I never took a handout, and I never expected anyone to do anything for me,” Steve says proudly. He wants to thank everyone who stood beside him along the way, including his crazy pinstriping, his entire City Wide family in Colorado, Texas, Arizona, California, and
Kansas City. A special thanks to his club president and best friend Chris Kaufman, as well as his family, his children, and all his friends in the Lowrider community for their passion and support.
The H2 was built by AM General under contract by General Motors at AM General military assembly plant in Indiana.
6,600 pounds rolling on 28inch Giovanni Settes and Lexani tires.