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Unhinged: The Kevin Hart Crash, The CHP, And What It Might Mean For You

Unhinged: The Kevin Hart Crash, The CHP, And What It Might Mean For You

On September 1, 2019, comedian Kevin Hart, along with Jared Black and an unnamed third passenger, were involved in a single-vehicle accident in Calabasas, California. Black was at the wheel of Hart’s 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, a SpeedKore build known as “Menace”, when the car wound up rolling down an embankment. As of press time, Hart has undergone surgeries on his back, Black was also being treated for back injuries and the third passenger managed to get out of the crash with no significant injuries.

Accidents happen everyday. But it isn’t everyday that the California Highway Patrol takes a significant interest in the wreck of the car after the incident. For the next couple of weeks, the CHP is going to go over the remains of the Barracuda with a fine-toothed comb, which alone wouldn’t be so bad…after all, if something broke on the car, it would be good to understand what happened, right? But there seems to be a panic floating around, possibly due to TMZ articles like “Kevin Hart’s Ride Lacked Critical Safety Features, Car Experts Claim” that use Joe Rogan and Dr. Phil McGraw as “experts”, or “Kevin Hart’s Car Will Be Disassembled By CHP and Laws Could Change“. Now, between you and me, reader, TMZ has all the merit of the printing press that sits between the sink and the tub in my bathroom at home, and the content of what’s on the paper is pretty much the same in my eyes. But, as annoying as it is, TMZ is an influence site and naturally, people are picking up on keywords, such as “unsafe”.

SpeedKore didn’t explicitly build an unsafe car. There have been cries about how “Menace” didn’t have a full roll cage and five-point harnesses. Argue about that point all you will. But the 2016 SEMA show car did have one thing that probably raised a red flag with CHP immediately: two seats. The rear seats had been deleted in favor of two storage bins. Three people, two seats…yep, that’s a problem. In a car with at least 750 horsepower from a supercharged late-model Hemi that’s about to hit a twisty road in California, we’d want to be in a seat, not camping on a storage bin. And about that horsepower figure…Black was driving the car at the time of the accident. I don’t care how long the Hellcat has been out at this point, once you’re over 450 horsepower, if you don’t know what the hell you are doing with the throttle, brake and steering wheel, whatever happens next is bound to hurt. 300 horsepower Mustangs and Camaros from twenty years ago can still get crossed-up and stupid in a hurry. A 750+ horsepower torque monster in the canyons?

We wish Kevin Hart and Jared Black a quick, progressive recovery from their injuries. We hope that the CHP find a useful note in the wreckage that was once a beautiful show car. But if a celebrity’s car accident is all that’s needed to start talking about changes in law, is a change in law needed? If I had crashed that car and suffered those injuries, the internet would be quick to label me as a non-driving hack and some troll would yammer on about how I needed to keep my driving to video games. Hold off on the discussion about law changes until the CHP’s report is released. And for the love of everything holy, stop getting any kind of car “information” from TMZ. Their call for law changes is simply based upon the fact that a celebrity was injured, and not because of any perception of safety, real or otherwise. Things are already going to be bad enough with the CHP looking into the crash.

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16 thoughts on “Unhinged: The Kevin Hart Crash, The CHP, And What It Might Mean For You

  1. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    Aye – this is what happens when a talentless idiot with way too much money buys a car that is too powerful for their small minds to handle and rams a third passenger into a car built as a two seater – and then hands it over to somebody else to drive!

  2. Chuck

    Okay, we know who owned the car, we know who was driving, and the young lady known as “unnamed passenger…..escaped without significant injuries”. Apparently sitting on “storage bins” is safer than sitting in some intact aftermarket seat installed at the currently fashionable driving angle.
    As far as TMZ, one word…..clickbait.

    1. Matt Cramer

      Assuming the third passenger was riding in the back of the car might be unwarranted, considering typical Hollywood antics.

      If California doesn’t already have a law against more passengers than seats in a car, it’s high time they had one. Hard to imagine that isn’t the case already, though.

  3. 75Duster

    TMZ, Joe Rogan, and Dr. Phil doesn’t know shit about performance cars, it is nothing more than a tv tabloid. The only person responsible for the accident is Kevin Hart who let Jered Black drive the car on Molholland Drive a known dangerous road.

  4. Paul

    I’ll bet money that there’s nothing wrong with the car. The problem is 3 passengers in a 2 seat car. It’s no different than putting 3 people in a Vette or Viper.

  5. tracey

    It has nothing to do with seats,seatbelts, no cage, etc.

    It has to do with a sh** for brains hooning a high HP car that got away from him.

    If he drove it with the respect that kind of car deserves there would have been no crash.

  6. Jay Breea

    If the owner had any brains, he\’s have his attorney protect the car and not let CHP fiddle through the remains fishing for justification for writing up the owner.

    Too much car for too little driver.

  7. Patrick

    funny, you can spend six figures to update performance but decent seatbelts, seats, traction control, are too much. I don’t like where this is going, but the megabuck builders have this coming…

  8. BennyB

    Jerry Z. No, wait. Citations SHOULD be handed out. Regular ones for the ones who weren’t injured. X-11s for the person who has the most good life left to live.

  9. Whelk

    Looking at photos of the car, other than the roof being crushed and subsequently cut off, the car doesn’t look that badly damaged. Especially if you compare it to other 60’s car wrecks. It looks to me like they rolled the car, not necessarily hitting anything or going at that great a speed.
    It looks to me like this accident had little to do with the modifications and everything to do with poor driving.

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