The brochure for the 2008 Chrysler 300 sedan lists one of the color options for the car as "Cherry Red."
Which is exactly the color Ricky Mena chose when he ordered his.
The choice, in retrospect, seemed fitting for Ricky, seeing as the car was something of the cherry on top of the sundae that was Ricky's life in his early twenties.
"I was young. I was making good money," Ricky recalls. "I bought the car for the image. I wanted to go out and be seen."
Seven years later, Ricky is hoping to been seen in a much, different way: as the 31-year-old who has now dedicated his life to dressing up as Spider-Man and volunteering to help cheer up sick and underprivileged children.
"I'm poorer than I have ever been but happier than I have ever been."
Back when he bought that car, Ricky not only had a steady job with the city of Pittsburg, but a promising and prolific career as a rap artist. "In just a few years I put out nine albums," Ricky says.
Ricky says life, however, started taking some unexpected turns shortly afterwards. An injury lead to him losing his job. A stint in Los Angeles convinced him the big-time music industry wasn't a good fit for him. Topping it off, a love affair that had drawn him to the East Coast didn't last.
What it all meant was that last year, Ricky found himself down to his last $1,000, living in the spare room of close friends in Pittsburg, treating them to personal training sessions in exchange for room and board.
"I was like, 'OK, who am I now?'" Ricky asked himself.
The answer to that question came from a very surprising source: Ricky's grandmother. Surprising, because she had died a year earlier and she delivered the answer to Ricky in a dream.
"She showed up in my dream, flipped on a reel to reel projector, an old school movie projector.
Which was totally her style," Ricky says. He says the images the projector played were of a man, dressed as Spider-Man, handing out gifts to sick children in a hospital.
"So I asked her, in the dream, 'Why are you showing me this?'"
"Because that is you," Ricky says his grandmother answered.
Moved by the experience, and by the expressions of happiness on the faces of the children he saw in the dream, Ricky realized he had a new calling in life.
He spent months researching where to find the best, tailor-made Spider-Man suit available as well as hospitals, homeless shelters, and any other place where kids in need might need a lift.
He spent that last $1,000 (the last of the money, by the way, left over from selling his beloved Chrysler 300) and had a Spider-Man suit custom made for himself.
Ever since it arrived in October, Ricky has been criss-crossing the East Bay volunteering anywhere there are kids having trouble in life. "I wish there was a super hero who walked into the room for me when I was a kid and said, 'Hey, it's going to be okay. It's going to be alright.'"
Ricky has already started his own non-profit, Heart of a Hero, in the hopes of one day making enough money to pay his bills. He is not rushing that part of the plan, though. Right now, he just wants to be the best web-slinger he can for the kids who need it the most.
"Everything in my life was meant to groom me for this."