Kevin Hart posing with his then-new Speedkore Barracuda (Instagram/TMZ)
1970 Plymouth restomod from Speedkore didn't have a roll cage or harness
Actor and comedian Kevin Hart’s horrible crash (as a passenger) in his Hellcat-engine-equipped 1970 Plymouth Barracuda might spell tougher laws for customizers in California and the rest of the country.
Hart was riding shotgun in his 720-hp Speedkore Barracuda SEMA car with friend Jared Black behind the wheel when Black lost control and sent them through a fence and down into a ditch. The roof of the car was crushed, as were Hart’s and Black’s backs. Both have been through surgery and will survive with a lot of physical therapy to come.
TMZ talked to the California Highway Patrol who said that “it’s protocol to disassemble cars involved in either fatal or major injuries to determine the cause of the crash.” After that they’ll write a report, which could include a recommendation that ALL customizers install harnesses (roll cages might be a stretch) in high-powered, restored classic cars, whether they're grandfathered in to the no-seatbelt rule or not.
The CHP also said that “even if there were mechanical problems a harness could have prevented or minimized the injuries that Kevin and the driver suffered.”
This is a tough one. On one hand, a restomod, 720-hp, carbon fiber, barely-Barracuda should have some safety protections like a harness and a roll cage. Even defensive, skilled drivers can go over the edge sometimes with power like that. On the other hand, this is America, and people should have the right to customize a car however they want and injure themselves if they please.
What say you?