US body shop brings 90’s hero ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ to life

To celebrate 'Sonic the Hedgehog's' 25th anniversary, Japanese video game giants Sega commissioned US body shop Fox Marketing Cars to design a one-of-a-kind customized vehicle. The company will display the car at SEMA in November.

By Mike Pickford

San Diego, California — August 9, 2016 — 2016 is a milestone year for a certain famous, spiky blue mammal, as Sega’s very own ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ celebrates its 25th birthday. As a way of commemorating the occasion, the Japanese video game developer commissioned a renowned American body shop to carry out a special project, the stunning results of which were unveiled at Comic-Con in San Diego last month.

Tapping into Honda’s best-selling Civic series, the one-of-a-kind ‘Sonic Civic’ was displayed in all its glory at the convention, wowing both longtime fans of the franchise and custom-car enthusiasts alike. Boasting an array of impressive interior features, the motor is topped off with an incredible paint job starring who-else but ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ himself.

The man behind the project, Brian Fox of the Pennsylvania-based Fox Marketing Cars, spoke to Collision Repair magazine on August 5, highlighting exactly just how much work had gone into making the customized car a reality.

“This was a crazy, crazy build,” Fox said. “We were supposed to have three months to put this thing together but, for one reason or another, we were left with three weeks to get it done. It was insane.”

The job itself, Fox recalls, came about after a longtime friend contacted him just before Christmas having recently taken up an executive position with Sega. The company was looking for a special way to celebrate Sonic’s 25th anniversary and pitched Fox about the possibility of designing a customized vehicle.

“The only thing I remember about that conversation is looking back and reminiscing about playing ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ when I was a kid and thinking about how incredibly cool this was going to be,” Fox said. “The kid inside of me was going nuts.”

And so the project began. Before long, Fox had decided on the base-model of the vehicle, while also enlisted the help of his most-trusted colleagues to formulate cutting-edge designs for both its interior and exterior.

“The very first thing we had to decide on was which manufacturer we were going to go with for the build. We agreed very early on that we wanted to go with an Asian car just to keep everything real to what Sonic is and what Sega represents,” Fox said. “From there I had so many conversations with so many different people… I had someone to do the rendering, someone else for the actual design, someone for the interior. There were a lot of people involved in the planning phase of putting this thing together.”

Following that shorter than usual stage, Fox gave the go ahead for the real work to begin. Bringing in Andy Weaver from Creative Car Tunes to take care of the entire interior layout, Fox and his usual shop team, assisted by some outside friends, tackled the rest of the project. In less than three weeks, the group turned a factory 2016 Civic Touring Sedan into one of the premier four-door custom builds on the continent.

Painted in ‘Sonic Blue’ BASF R-M candy colour paint, the exterior is complimented by a custom vinyl Sonic the Hedgehog design, custom ‘Sonic Yellow’ Honda logos and ‘Sonic Black’ painted grill. Topped off with 18-inch custom XXR wheels and tires painted to represent Sonic’s famous red shoes and gold rings featured in the game, the finished product truly is a sight to behold.

Under the hood lies a 1.5-litre Turbocharged DOHC engine and Injen Cold Air Intake system, filtering through an Injen T304 Stainless Catback exhaust system.

As lavish as all that may seem, it’s the interior that secures the ‘Most Impressive’ award, according to Fox. Decked out with front and rear Katzkin Blue Leather seats, the inside is a fully loaded mix of style and comfort, though it’s the junk in the trunk that really makes it stand out.

Featuring a Rockford Fosgate audio-visual system complete with two 500-watt T1S2 10-inch subwoofers, a pair of 500-watt TM500 amplifiers and a couple of TM400 multi-channel amplifiers, the rear of the car essentially doubles as a home entertainment system as it also boasts a floor-mounted 32-inch flip-up/down television and, of course, a video game system on which to play the classic ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ series.

While he was hesitant to name the ‘Sonic Civic’ his best build to date, Fox did say it was up there with his favourites.

“I find it’s always so hard to put a ranking on a job as everything is unique in itself and epic in its own way. I always get so into the job at hand and I’m so passionate about my work, it’s really difficult for me to say ‘this job was the best’,” Fox said.

He added, “From an emotional marketing standpoint, because Sonic the Hedgehog resonates with millions of people across the world, because I absolutely loved the game as a kid, then sure, from that point of view, it’s the best vehicle build I’ve ever been a part of.”

“The only thing I do know for sure is that it was an absolute honour to be a part of this build. It was a really, really cool job to be a part of and I had the very best team right there with me helping me out when the going got tough. This was a big team effort.”

Having debuted at Comic-Con in San Diego, Sega will have the opportunity to show off its ‘Sonic Civic’ at SEMA in Las Vegas from November 1 to 4.

“This car is a real piece of work. It looks great in all the photos, but it just glows in person. This is the sort of thing you really have to see for yourself,” Fox concluded.

For more information, please visit rockfordfosgate.com.

{unitegallery SonicCivic}


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