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, a 1985 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 world. 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 a 2005 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 triple-plated 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 Q at Exquisite, Tom Stacks for his great work, Charles McFadden from AST, Chuckie for 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.
2005 Hummer H2
Colorado Springs, CO
City Wide Colorado
GM Vortec V-8, murals by Tom Stacks, ostrich hood cover
House of Kolor candy purple, silver leaf by Chuckie, custom pinstripe, murals on gas tank cover and frame, painted by Q at Exquisite Auto Body, murals and patterns by Tom Stacks, triple-plated chrome and engraved exterior trim, tow hooks, tail cover, and front and back wiper arms chrome and engraved, bumpers painted HOK purple, under glow white lights
Chrome undercarriage, plating by Rollin, painted rotors, changed rear end gears
Original leather with ostrich inserts, chrome, and engraved pieces done by owner and Krazy Kutting
AV1 Pioneer head unit, Helix Blue German midrange and highs, Rockford Fosgate 12-inch subwoofer, Nitro BMW 1800 amplifier, two 1,000 CCA Deka batteries, and power capacitor installed by owner and Charles McFadden from Auto Sound and Tint
28×10 Giovanni Settes, 325/35R28 Lexani tires