It seems as though the entrepreneur and Black Eyed Peas singer will.i.am isn’t satisfied with his own music group and fashion label. The artist recently announced he wants to create more jobs, and will do so by creating his own…car company?
During an appearance on last night’s episode of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” the singer revealed he was investing his money to create “a car company in the neighborhood where I come from.” The name of the project? IAMAUTO, patterned after the singer/rapper/producer’s stage name.
So what made the Will.i.am want to start this new business venture? “I’m a big technology geek and a freak, and I invested my money into building my own vehicle because I want to bring jobs to the ghetto that I come from,” he said to Leno, who even volunteered to take IAMAUTO out for a test drive.
Weird? Things get quirkier yet. Leno asks Will.I.Am if he’s just going to customize cars, but the singer talks about buying parts – notably chassis, airbags, and Beats by Dr. Dre sound system – from Chrysler, and modifying only the body. In his theory, this allows him to create something custom without having to recertify the car (although we can’t help but notice Fisker, who once did something similar to BMW’s 6 Series and Mercedes-Benz’s CL coupe, had to go through some of those same regulatory hurdles). It kind of sounds like the singer may be targeting something based off the 300.
Here’s where things get murky: when asked the name of the project, Will.I.Am responded with IAMAUTO – the same label applied to several of his previous customized cars, including a 1958 Corvette. When Leno asked for a photo, a shot of an odd, boxy sports coupe was shown. If it looked a bit like a DeLorean wearing box flares, it’s because it was. The singer has a DeLorean that was customized by West Coast Customs; photos of the car under construction look exactly like the car shown on Lenos’ show. Talk on DeLorean forums suggest the so-called “Delor.i.am” even packs a driveline ripped from a Audi R8 V-8.
So, is Will.I.Am really founding his own company (and taking business away from WCC), or is this just a bit of a misunderstanding surrounding his project cars? We’ve got a feeling it may be the latter, but we’ll wait and see…