Posted by Editorial on 03 7th, 2012
Every car aficionado has their own story and CARiD wants to get your story told. From now on, we will periodically post interviews with people whose interest in cars goes far beyond daily commuting and occasional oil changes. We’re looking for real-life stories from motor enthusiasts. We’re looking for YOUR story! Want to be featured? Email us at community(at)carid(dot)com.
We’ve connected with Ben Eddington on Google+. From his posts we found out that he comes from a family of Mustang enthusiasts (the opportunity to communicate with our customers and like-minded people is what we at CARiD LOVE social networks for!). It also turned out that Ben is a professional photographer and after browsing his personal website, we had no doubts that the story of this guy would make a great beginning for the “YOUR Story” series on CARiD Blog. Ben kindly agreed to answer our questions, and now you can read his interview below. Enjoy the post and ask your questions in the comments!
Ben, please tell us how did you get started with cars? What was your first car?
My initial start with cars began when I got my driver’s license at the end of my senior year in high school. By that point in my life my dad had his 1990 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 Hatchback for 5 years and was beginning to modify it into a show car with the help of my older brother who was in school at the local community college to become a mechanic. Although I didn’t have time to stop and learn the technical side of things because I was heading into college I had been bitten by the “show” side of the car hobby and spent as much time as I could washing and detail my first car which was in fact a 1985 Toyota Van. That van was in fact Toyota’s very first production minivan sold here in the United States, and despite the lack of “coolness factor” it was my very first ride and I loved it. I worked an entire summer to have it repainted only to see it get totaled in a collision with a driver running red light 2 years later.
From your website HPR56.com we know that you own a 03 Ford Mustang GT Coupe and a 07 Nissan Sentra SER Spec-V. Are you equally a Ford guy and a Nissan guy?
I’m a Ford guy first and foremost. I spent time working for both companies in my early twenties and in fact bought my Mustang shortly before I left Ford to go work for a friend at Nissan because she needed help getting her dealership’s internet/fleet department up and running in the right direction. Fast forward ahead five years later and I was out of the car business and in need of a replacement daily driver for my old 1992 Ford Mustang LX Hatchback. I loved the LX but it was getting horrible gas mileage, and at the time I didn’t have the disposable income to fix up it up like I wanted to and it made more sense to replace it with a reliable car that wouldn’t kill me at the pump. So naturally when I learned that I could still use my old employee discount at Nissan I decided to buy the Sentra Spec V so that I could save money on gas yet have some fun in my daily commute with the better engine, bigger brakes, tuned suspension, and nicer seats than the base Sentra S.
What’s custom on your Mustang? Is there anything else on you modification list? What about the Sentra?
Below is the updated list of modifications for my Mustang (I have several more coming this year). I have been slowly customizing my Mustang due to budget constraints but I am hoping to finally get some more major drivetrain, suspension, and engine modifications done in the next 2 years.
My Sentra is still stock and will stay that way because it’s my daily driver and I would rather spend my money on modifying my Mustang first.
You seem to attend lots of car shows as a professional photographer. Which shows do you love most? Do you participate with your own cars?
My favorite car shows are the regionally ones like the Steve McQueen Show held at the Boys Republic in Chino Hills, CA. (Boys Republic is the boys home where McQueen spent time as a teen), the Temecula Rod Run which is held twice a year in Temecula, CA., and Cruisin’ Grand in Escondido, CA. which is a weekly event on Friday nights from April through September. But in 2011 I started shooting live racing events and now have a new favorite which is the Coronado Speed Festival held at the active North Island Navy Base on Coronado Island in Coronado, CA. I have already committed to shooting the 2012 Speed Festival and will also be shooting a few other races later in the year if my schedule permits.
I haven’t participated in any major shows in recent years because of my busy schedule and planned modifications to my Mustang. The last major show I participated in with my Mustang was the 2010 BULLITT Nationals hosted by the International Mustang Bullitt Owners Club and held at the 2010 Steve McQueen show mentioned above.
What is the best customized Mustang you’ve ever seen?
The best customized Mustang I have ever seen actually belongs to a gentleman that I know from the International Mustang Bullitt Owners Club and he lives just 20 minutes from me here in the San Diego area. His name is Michael O’Donnell and he owns a 2001 Mustang Bullitt that was featured in the April 2009 edition of Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords.
You have been involved into the automotive manufacture industry. Have you ever thought of a career in the aftermarket or tuning field?
I have always considered working in the custom muscle car industry in some form or fashion as an awesome way to make a living and I would love to have a career in the aftermarket or tuning field if given the opportunity.
If you could have just one car in your life, what would it be?
If I were financially blessed enough to buy one II would take a 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 with the Laguna Seca package. It has been called the best performance Mustang that Ford has ever put into production and I couldn’t agree more. The Boss 302LS is essentially a factory built race car that is still street legal and it would be a dream to be able to take it to an open track day one weekend and then cruise it to car shows the next.
As an active web user, what websites would you recommend to car enthusiasts to look for inspiration and valuable advice?
Being that I have a specific genre of the automotive world that I frequent I can only share the websites that will help muscle car enthusiasts.
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