So Lewis took his prize to the
These are luxury touches, the automotive equivalent of investment jewelry or haute couture. Custom stereos. Suede, leather and stripes. Wheels that turn heads at a stop light. For what the average No Limit customer spends — between $2,000 and $10,000 — someone could go to Tiffany and choose a diamond. The shop's serious jobs run even higher.
"It's the next thing. It's the status symbol," shop owner David Barron says of why Baltimore's biggest names — and those who'd like to be — gild their cars. "It's 'How do you like me now?'"
Ravens are particularly drawn to the place. Ray Lewis.
After a Raven rookie gets his jersey and a locker, it's likely that some teammate will point him toward Barron.
"They're running with the big dogs now and though not all of them have money yet, I can make them feel like they do," Barron says.
After Phelps broke gold medal records at the
"That felt cool," Barron says. "The guy just hit the country, and he wants to get his car done."
"Do love the new ride," the Olympian wrote, typing in the shop's Twitter handle. "Thanks for always doing a sickkkkk job!!! Only place to go!!!"
MMA fighter and Shogun Fight owner John Rallo brought his Chrysler 300 SRT8 to No Limit, to boost the car, already a luxury model, into something that would impress potential investors. He wanted the chrome stripped, a spoiler added, all Chrysler logos swapped for Shogun ones and everything painted black as night. It's a little like the Batmobile now, he says.
"If I'm going to a meeting with people you want to give you thousands of dollars, you can't pull up in an old Mitsubishi," Rallo says. "Perception is reality. That car is now classy but powerful, and I like that."
He also brought his girlfriend to No Limit for a car starter. "He'll pimp your Bentley," he says, "or fix your Scion."
The son of an iron worker, Barron grew up, struggling, in
"There's people like
That got him work with the owner of a sporting goods firm, which got him more work with basketball star Allen Iverson, who hired Barron to work on his Rolls Royces. Iverson's recommendation led to a job for former Raven
"Once you do names like that," Barron says, "everyone in the locker room follows."
Barron is a guy more comfortable sharing the details of his underprivileged childhood then his decidedly comfortable adulthood. But the fact is, at 35, with a thriving business, nine employees, a Florida vacation home and a tricked-out Chevy Tahoe, the welfare days are well behind him.
In his baggy pants and hoodie, Barron might look like a college student, but he's all business, working six days a week and obsessively checking his phone to make sure he doesn't miss a customer. In the parlance of the athletes he caters to, Barron grinds.
The other day the shop was humming. Raven
Though the shop is something of a testosterone hub, women come in, too. He's tinted windows for
1st Mariner Arena Manager Frank Remesch went to No Limit to add some sex appeal to his BMW 750 and to have his tiny Lexus SC 300 recast inside so that he could comfortably fit his 6-foot-five, 285-pound frame into it.
He loves the "sinister" feel of the all-black BMW, which he calls "perfect."
"I get compliments on it all the time," he says. "And hey, if it's good enough for the athletes, it's good enough for me."