And what’s the fallout from the accident?
It was big news in 2019 when Kevin Hart was involved in a horrific car crash. What made the accident even more interesting was the vehicle involved: Hart’s very own 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda called Menace. Modified by SpeedKore, which is based out of Wisconsin, the restomod Mopar muscle car was outfitted with a Hellcat engine and more carbon-fiber than some modern supercars. That detail of the accident seemed to mystify and even enrage some mainstream media outlets as well as a good portion of the public.
Another interesting result of the crash was a wave of people trashing Hart for “being a bad driver.” It was stated in all of our reports of the accident and most other media outlets’ reporting that the comedian wasn’t the one driving. Instead, it was his wife’s trainer’s fiancé, Jared Black, who was behind the wheel. Still, many wanted to believe Hart was solely responsible for the wreck.
As for the crash, it sounds horrific. California Highway Patrol conducted an extensive investigation, concluding it was driver recklessness on the part of Black that led to the accident. They said Black accelerated recklessly on Mulholland Highway after coming to a stop. As the restomod muscle car oversteered, it jumped a curb, broke through a fence, and went down an embankment, hitting a tree so hard the back end of the car picked up and the roof was crushed against the tree, which then uprooted.
Hart suffered serious back injuries in the crash, which required surgery and rehabilitation. For the first while, the comedian couldn’t walk unassisted. He even admitted in a long interview with Joe Rogan he was fortunate to have survived the wreck.
For the CHP investigation, authorities dismantled Menace like performing an autopsy, trying to determine if mechanical failure was a contributing factor in the crash. With the damage to the car already extensive, it seemed the ’70 ‘Cuda would be worth a fraction of what Hart paid for it, especially since authorities probably weren’t willing to reassemble the car after taking it apart.
Since the incident, Menace, which was Hart’s 40-year birthday present to himself, hasn’t been in the public eye at all. While the comedian has enjoyed a new Netflix special and has starred in films like Jumanji: The Next Level, the restomod muscle car isn’t in the spotlight at all, so its fate is unknown. It would be hard to imagine such a valuable vehicle being scrapped, but Hart does have significant wealth and might have made such a move for “closure.”
What’s more likely is that the ’70 Plymouth ‘Cuda has been purchased and will be rebuilt, although it might look different when the process is done. The fact it’s famous because of the accident could make it even more collectable than before. We’ve reached out to SpeedKore to see if the shop has any info about the fate of Menace and will provide an update once we receive a reply.
There was also a threat of changing laws in California when it comes to restored cars. State legislatures were talking to the media about requiring not only seatbelts but also airbags in vehicles of any age before they could be licensed to drive on public roads, a fact which angered the enthusiast community. Not many people who owned something like a beautifully restored Duesenberg Model J or an original Shelby Cobra 427 liked the idea of installing non-OE equipment which would look entirely out of place all because a comedian was in a car accident. So far no such laws have passed, but that doesn’t mean someone won’t try to slide something through at a later time.