Scion collaborates with Riley Hawk

At the SEMA show in Las Vegas, Nevada last month, there was a modern car given a stunning retro makeover that you'd never guess was designed in part by a skateboarder. The car is Scion's xB and the skateboarder is none other than Baker Skateboards pro Riley Hawk, son of legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk. The man mainly responsible for the automotive side of this project is Scott Kanemura of KMA Productions. His and Hawk's ideas resulted in a unique automobile featuring an interior comprised of shag carpeting, brown leather seats and wood grain trim, plus an 8-track player and a CB radio. The exterior has a conversion van's paint job, tires, and bubble windows, not to mention a roof deck with extra storage space. The rear hatch features a mini fridge, a Tech Deck halfpipe and a guitar jack with an iPad mini for a mixing board. Hawk, a veteran of the X Games Real Street series and an X Games Skateboard Street competitor, spoke with to talk about how it came about. Is customizing cars something you've always been interested in?
Hawk: No, until Scion approached me with the idea, I never thought about it. I've never been too into cars. All the cars I've had have been pretty standard, I've never done anything crazy to them. I don't think anything I ever could do to a car would be near the extent of what they did here.

What kind of cars have you driven?
I've had a couple Toyota 4Runners and I had a Prius and I just got a Tacoma -- the one with the four-door cab. The Tacoma was just the car that I'd been looking for. It has everything I need and it works out.

Did Scion approach you?
Yes. I knew this guy named Daniel who runs a record label and he would send me records and gear. He worked with Scion and threw my name into the mix when they were coming up with an ad campaign. It was kind of far-fetched at first but it ended up working out, so it was pretty awesome.

How many different meetings did you have with Scion to get this done?
I only went up to Scion headquarters once. Afterwards, there was a lot of emailing with pictures being sent back and forth. They told me to find pictures of what I liked for ideas and we'd discuss them.

Is Scion one of your sponsors or are you just a brand ambassador?
I'm a brand ambassador. We didn't want it to look like Scion was giving me a car -- we didn't want it to look forced. It was more about them wanting to support what I do and my lifestyle, and not take over what I'm trying to do.

What were you aiming for with it exactly?
We were throwing around ideas and didn't know what to do at first. We agreed on the general concept of doing a '70s style van and then once we came up with that, the ideas started flowing super nice. They came up with some cool stuff and I put in my two cents and next thing you know we had a rad '70s style van built up.

When does the car come out?
The car was first seen by the public in November at the SEMA show but it's not a production car. It's more of show car, just to give people something to look at and test and see the response about the car and whether or not to make it happen. Who knows? For now I know it was made to be some eye candy for people at the car show.

What the most fun you had working with Scion?
Scion gave me and my buddies two cars and flew us out to the Northwest to skate spots, film and have a good time. Anytime a company is willing to bring in my buddies and support what we're doing, that's awesome. That was probably the most rewarding thing. We all got to go out and have fun and we didn't have to take money out of our pockets to do it.

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