When limousine driver Wade DeVillier gets ready for work, he feels like he’s going back in time. He puts on a white button down shirt, white gloves and black slacks, with matching black leather shoes. For pizzazz, he finished the look with a pink bowtie and pink top hat.
“It’s Wade the Chauffeur Extraordinaire!” he exclaims.
But DeVillier isn’t driving just any stretch limo. He’s chauffeuring people around Big Island in Kona’s “Pink Go.”
At 30 feet long and bright Barbie Pink with matching interior, the pink limo makes weddings, date nights and princess parties sparkle.
“It’s fun for me as well,” Devillier said. “Meeting the passengers, socializing with them, finding out where they’re from, entertaining them. It’s all a good time.”
Cindy Conners, who also drives “Pink Go”, agreed.
“It’s so much fun to drive that pink limo,” she said. “Not only just driving it and seeing everyone look your way, I just feel like I want to laugh the whole time I’m driving it… It’s just so pink.”
The limo sure is a crowd pleaser.
“We get a lot of smiles,” Conners said. “People will honk at me, they will wave at me, little kids get excited and point. Or people will stare and want to come up and talk to us.”
Pink Limo Kona began operations two years ago, after CEO and founder Julia Hutton spotted the limo on Memorial Day 2020 while shopping around for “unusual vehicles” in Hilo.
“I knew right away that was the one I wanted, and I was hooked,” she said. “It needed a lot of mechanical work and it wasn’t in very good shape, but the body and inside was perfect and we got it up and running. Two years later, we’ve got a nice little business going.”
Hutton purchased the 2008 Chrysler 300 with a Bentley Grill she calls “Pink Go” for $17,000 from a private party seller.
Pink Limo Kona offers an array of services, including: birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and airport pickup.
“We just booked the limo for nine older women who just wanted to go out and have fun and didn’t want to drive,” Hutton said. “They go out for a few hours and get dinner and have a nice time.”
When DeVillier opens the door for his passengers, they step into a whole new world as if they shrunk and were inside Barbie’s dream house.
The interior is complete with hot pink leather seats, surround sound speakers, champagne flutes, an ice box and mini bar, mirrors on the ceiling with glittering stars and windows all around to look out at the ocean, or rolling green hills.
For 6-year-old Lilly, it was the princess party she always wanted.
“It was absolutely wonderful,” said Lilly’s mom, Kindra Fratus. “All the girls had the windows rolled down, they were blowing bubbles out the window, playing girls just want to have fun, driving down Allʻi drive. We got bobba [an ice cream tea], and our driver pulled up right to the front. He opened the door and was screaming “Happy birthday Lilly!” Everyone was looking our way.”
But the Pink Limo isn’t all sparkle and shine.
Apparently, driving an airplane is easier than driving the limo.
“It sits really low to the ground,” Devillier explained. “I think driving the limo is more challenging than driving a plane. I have plenty of experience flying airplanes and I’ve been doing that for 20 years now. The limo is definitely more challenging.”
“On one occasion I drove to someone’s house, and I had confirmed with the guest beforehand, but it was a private rental. I ended up getting stuck in a sharp turn on a driveway, so that was a fiasco. We got out, but I didn’t do it alone. We had to jimmy ourselves out of there.”
Still, Pink Limo makes people happy, even through the tight turns.
“It was a really fun experience to get together with our girlfriends and get all dressed up,” said Bri Torres, a recent passenger on Pink Limo. “All of our friends color coordinated in our pink outfits and the pink limo. It was awesome to feel super feminine and glamorous.”
There are some places it doesn’t go. Fratus said: “You’re definitely not going to a funeral in that thing.”
But for a special day for Fratus’ daughter to always remember, it was perfect.
“And our limo driver went above and beyond to make that happen,” she said. “He was so enthusiastic. He had accessories there for the girls, necklaces and tiaras. All the girls felt special. Everyone got a crown.”
The downside, she said: “Now we have to pay for that pink limo every year.”
Pink Limo Kona is located in Kona and offers service from Captain Cook to Waimea. The rates
are $160 per hour with a 3-hour minimum. Passengers can book online
at www.PinkLimoKona.com. For questions, email [email protected].