While it’s no longer a secret that the best kept secret in Houston is the back-to-back MLS Cup Champion Houston Dynamo, you can add another one to that list. After overcoming growing pains early on, the crew at 713 Motoring steadily but firmly entrenched the company’s name and influence on the local scene. And, with a winning formula that focuses on superlative customer service, striving for innovation and giving back to the community, 713 Motoring has quickly expanded from their South Houston roots and is quickly becoming a Texas institution.
The four men responsible for the success of 713 Motoring—co-owners Ashworth Barnes and Jason King, vice-president Brandon Stewart and general manager Michael Stoneham—have been friends since their days at James Madison High School from the mid- to late-’90s, during which time they began customizing their cars.
“We’re all from the south side of Houston, and candy-painted cars are what we looked up to when we were in high school, like candy red with ’84s, swangers, ’83s, fifth wheel with popped trunk and bang—that’s what we looked up to. That’s what was going on in the south side of Houston at the time—candy red,” Barnes said.
The seed that would become 713 Motoring was set during that time, when King would spend his time looking at lowrider magazines at school every day. “It was a hobby—looking into lowrider books and customizing our high school cars,” Barnes said. “Back in high school, Jason and Brandon, they had the Civic, so they were doing that with the TV and wheels and everything.”
While 713 Motoring was eventually founded in 2002, what the guys were originally looking for was to purchase parts for a better price from suppliers. “We actually went looking for a tax ID number before we could start purchasing at a better price. But to get one we had to have a business name, and we came up with 713 Motoring so we could represent the city of Houston in everything that we did,” Barnes said.