Footman James client Phil Carr has been ‘mad on cars’ since he was young. Now a proud owner of a 1999 New Edge Mustang, Phil has owned many classics over the years and the passion is almost an assumed family trait.
“The saying goes in my family, ‘Carr by name car by nature’, it's always been that way! When my son (Nathan) was in primary school, he came home one day so excited and said, ‘I know why we have our surname, it's because we're mad on cars!’”
Phil enjoys classics with his own son, but his Dad was a big influence on him in his childhood. “My Dad worked at Frazer Nash garage when they became the first importers of Porsche in the UK. He was a Porsche mechanic, then moved onto being an engineer and in his later years, was a privateer race car driver too.”
“As a kid, my interest developed being on the race circuits in the ‘60s with my Dad. I will always remember; he was involved with the Gulf Livery Porsche 917's which he had a great fondness for. One of which is on display at Beaulieu Museum which we visited on our last holiday down south.”
As a young adult, Phil enjoyed custom cars and hot rods which he remembers fondly as ‘lots of fun’. He even owned a Ford 300E custom van and he’s friends with the current owner on Facebook. He intends to see it again some day in person. But this was only the beginning of Phil’s love affair with motors.
“I've had a keen interest in neoclassic or classic cars throughout the eras and I haven't really been loyal to any marque. Over the years I've had a couple of air cooled 1970’s VW Beetles, two 1990's Volvo 940 estates, MK5 Ford Cortina, Ford Sierra Xr4i, 1967 Volvo Amazon Combi,1963 Cadillac 4 door hardtop, Ford Mustang SN95 and a MK2 Vauxhall Cavalier to name a few but the latest being my 1999 Ford Mustang New Edge which I've owned for over four years now. She was found by my son at an American dealership in Essex. She is affectionately known as ‘Lady Luck’ and is a Japanese import, build date in America of December 1999. She was shipped new to Japan & registered a year later in December 2000 but finally arrived in the UK in 2015.”
Lockdown provided Phil with the perfect opportunity to bring forward some work that he’s been planning on his Mustang. “In the last two years parts have been replaced or renewed including a custom made dual stainless-steel exhaust, different from the factory single pipe making the V6 sound better. The later generation Mustang wheels were powder coated and painted black, the car sits on Eibach lowered adjustable coil overs and, unfortunately due to some vandalism, a small area was keyed on the rear flank which really upset me. I considered selling but I was encouraged to keep going and we did a full repaint. I think the Mustang looks lovely, we have yet to be at a proper event to show her since we’ve done all the work but are really looking forward to it when we do.”
We asked Phil what his advice would be to someone just starting out in the classic world. “If you’re looking into this hobby that we all love, do your research first and pick a vehicle that fits your needs, your facilities and the skills you have. Make sure to get involved with clubs and attend their gatherings because being in the circle you will meet helpful fellow enthusiasts and get recommendations for businesses and more.”
With thanks for Phil Carr for his time and images. If you’d like to tell us your classic story and be featured, please email firstname.lastname@example.org