A car is never just a car. It’s not just four tires, an engine, and a mass of wires and metal powered by gas and batteries. It’s freedom, allowing those behind the steering wheel to drive wherever, whenever. It brings much-needed convenience to everyday life. For those who rely on their car to get them to their jobs and back, it’s a livelihood. For gearheads, lowriders, and kustom kulture enthusiasts, the car is an identity. And for T-Pain, his car — specifically, his 1994 Honda Accord — is a valued symbol of friendship. “This car is pretty special to me,” he tells HollywoodLife when discussing his new partnership with eBay Motors and the special Renew Your Ride pop-up coming to Atlanta this Memorial Day weekend.
“One of my team members, Rob Robinson, he owns a shop called Auto Extremes,” explains T-Pain. “It was the second shop I went to when I bought my first car in Atlanta. I went to a shop right next to his, and they kind of denied me service just because they didn’t feel like doing it. They didn’t know who I was. They didn’t care. Then I went to Rob’s shop, he did it right away.”
“Rob owned the Honda before I did,” T-Pain tells HL. Right after he did that service to my car, we instantly became friends, and then I became co-owner of the shop and did a bunch of stuff together. And then, I bought the Honda from him. So, it kind of marks the beginning of a friendship, you know what I mean? It’s a really special car to me, and I don’t show it to a lot of people. I don’t take it to car shows. I don’t do a lot of gallivanting with it. I just kind of like — this is me and Rob’s car.”
This isn’t just a 30-year-old car sitting in his garage. “Once I got it, I started doing all kinds of crazy stuff to it,” he explains. “When I got it, the air ride suspension was controlled by a Nintendo controller. It was just a lot going on. So I changed a lot of stuff, and the wheels were specially made for that car. Those are one-off wheels. That’s the only set of those wheels in the world. So I take care of the car.
“The whole car is molded into one piece,” he adds. “None of the bumpers come off. It’s just a really, really specially-made car. And it’s called the Bel-Cord because we took a Honda Accord and modeled it after a 56 Bel Air. It’s a cool ass car. So to have that be a part of our friendship, I don’t really let people touch it. I don’t let people in it. I don’t let people ride in it. I damn sure don’t let anybody drive it. So I’m just very protective of that car. My Ferrari? Yeah, you can stand on the top of it. Go drive it. The Rolls Royce coming in? Anybody can take that, whatever. The Accord? Don’t f**king touch it.”
The Bel-Cord doesn’t just look like a dream. It still runs like one, which is impressive, considering it’s a thirty-year-old car. “Yo, eBay Motors has come through with actual parts for this car,” T-Pain tells HL. “Let me tell you, god-damn, it is hard to find parts for this car. And eBay Motors actually came through with parts that fit.”
T-Pain’s struggles with maintaining his beloved Bel-Cord is why he teamed up with eBay Motors for the Renew Your Ride campaign over Memorial Day Weekend. With supply chains still recovering after COVID and automakers prioritizing profitable cars over economy models, the car market is wild. When someone is lucky enough to find a used car for sale, they’re often as expensive as a new car. So, it’s becoming more economical to repair the car you have than to buy a new one.
That’s where T-Pain and eBay Motors come in. Atlanta-area drivers can visit eBay.com/RenewYourRide to pre-register for consultations over Memorial Day weekend (May 27-29.) Each appointment offers the attendees the opportunity to order up to $200 in free parts backed by eBay Guaranteed Fit.
“Not only do they fit,” T-Pain tells HollywoodLife, “you know that they fit before you even get the damn part because they have this little check mark that tells you it’s a Guaranteed Fit. So you can look at a part as long as you put in your make and model, your body type, and your engine. You look at the part, and you’ll see the check mark that it fits.”
“Regardless of if you’re a car guy and you know everything that’s going on, or you’re just somebody that’s trying to keep your car alive, you can actually know what you’re getting,” adds the Masked Singer winner.
T-Pain was in pain when trying to get car parts from one of eBay Motors’ competitors. “When I was trying to work on my E46, and I literally got three sets of the wrong brakes. I got the wrong break calibers, three sets of them, and they’re still sitting in my garage right now because there’s no return. And I had no idea that they weren’t going to fit. Terrible idea, don’t do that! Should have gone to eBay Motors.”
Now, eBay Motors is bringing it to Atlanta. The Renew Your Ride event is “making sure that everybody’s aware of this because people need this all the time,” says T-Pain. “I can’t tell you how many YouTube videos I’ve gone through, and you know, you get to a part in the video and you’re like, ‘where the hell do I get that part from? What is that?’ You need a 1-inch hose for something, and what is it? Who sells that? And you can always go get a hose and cut it. But when you find a place that actually has the exact size gauge and the length and all that, and you see that check mark, and it’s like, ‘cool.’”
“Memorial Day weekend, it’s going to be something special for people to see that they can actually get parts for their car, no matter how old it is, you’re going to find something that you need,” he adds. “And this is after they had to prove it to me with the Honda Accord, so it’s not just something they already had going. And I was like, look, ‘I’m not going to promote this thing if it doesn’t work. I’m not going to put this out there until y’all prove to me that I can get stuff for this Honda Accord.’ And man, I mean, we worked it out.”
To prove to T-Pain that eBay Motors is legit, the site had the crew from Donut – the automobile-centered YouTube Channel with over 7.6 million subs – upgrade parts of the Bel-Cord. “First of all, those dudes are super nice,” says T-Pain. “They are literally the first people outside of me and my shop that has ever touched that car. Nobody’s ever seen the interior of that car. I probably let, in the time that I’ve had this car, there’s probably, outside of me, been four people in it. Only four people have ever even ridden in the car. Now, to have the Donut boys come through and show them the intel, to show them the actual inner workings and the wiring and all that stuff that, that’s new to me because I’m used to working on my own stuff.”
“I’m used to doing my own thing,” he says. “But to have them come in and actually team up with me and eBay Motors to actually just renew the whole thing, to renew the ride and to maintain it and to keep it rolling for another possibly 30 years? Man, I mean, it was cool as hell because I always watched Donut. Meeting the boys from Donut and having my car renewed by eBay Motors, I mean, it’s kind of putting a hat on a hat.”
Renew Your Ride is open to the public from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. ET on Saturday-Monday, May 27-29, at 6569 Roswell Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30328.
Local drivers can visit eBay.com/RenewYourRide to schedule an appointment during Memorial Day weekend, May 27-29. After their consultation, attendees can order up to $200 in free parts backed by eBay Guaranteed Fit. On Saturday, May 27, Donut will be on the ground from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. ET to say hello to attendees and talk cars and modding T-Pain’s ride. All weekend long, guests can enjoy music, bites, and a car show featuring T-Pain’s beloved 1994 Honda Accord, Donut’s own Hi and Low Subaru WRXs, the eBay Motors Modathon Bronco, and more. Just don’t touch the Accord.
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