BEHIND THE BIZ // Detailed by Ben
Meet Ben Loydstrom, the local owner of a bespoke car detailing service for motoring enthusiasts.
You know those types of cars that turn heads? Beautifully polished vintage cars, intricately restored antique automobiles, super shiny, super speedy and slick luxury cars...... if one catches your eye as you drive through the Southern Highlands, you’re probably looking at the work of Ben Loydstrom, owner of Detailed by Ben.
Now, we didn’t know there was quite the art to car detailing – we’re not kidding. Especially the kind of detailing Ben does on a daily basis.
“One day I could be preparing a collector’s car for a motor show, the next I could be helping bring a car someone has found in a barn back to life or working on someone's daily drive vehicle,” Ben says.
“Whatever the car may be that I’m working on, the principle of working with the paint, the materials, the machinery.... it’s all the same..... it’s all about precision and how the surface of the car responds to what you’re doing,” Ben explains.
See? We told you it was more than just a Wax and Polish!
Find out more about this super interesting niche business and the dedicated and passionate man behind it.
1 // Okay, we have to ask. Were you always this interested in cars?
Definitely! I have always had a keen interest in cars. I did go karting when I was young, and my Dad was always interested in cars. But it was when I got my first car at the age of 17 that I really began to appreciate the importance of looking after it and sort of took it to the next level way back then.
I’ve always had a thing for being neat and tidy (sorry ladies! He’s married!) and really enjoyed looking after my car and experimenting with different finishes. People started to notice and would ask me if I could detail their cars to the same level as I looked after my own.
2 // Explain the niche market you work within.
Being a car guy and always around car shows, racing and the automotive industry, I have a lot of experience and connections. I have worked on several high level cars over the years that have been entered into and won at multiple shows including Auto Salon, MotorEx, Summernats, Sydney Harbour Concours and most recently, Sydney Harbour Concors D'Elegance and Auto Italia.
This year, I've worked on some fantastic vehicles with Andrew and Marty Ash of AA Panelcraft and Tim Doyle of Zoo Autocraft (both Southern Highlands based businesses). Two of those cars have won multiple awards. The first was a 1985 Lamborghini Countach that won Best Restoration at the 2021 Sydney Harbour Concours D'Elegance which is an exclusive and valuable showcase of high end and rare cars. The second was a 1970 Lamborghini Muira that won Best Of Show and Best Lamborghini at the 2021 Auto Italia in Canberra.
I specialise in working on the cars of local motoring enthusiasts who might have a beautiful car they love to drive but don’t have the time to keep it looking it’s absolute best.
I also restore cars and enjoy bringing them back to life. Restoring vehicles, in particular the classic and vintage vehicles, is one of my favourite things to do. I work with a lot of specialised restoration products, so if you’ve got an old car in your barn or shed, let me know!
But it's not just about the type of car - it's about the desired end result. I've worked on farm trucks, utes and hatchbacks that have wanted the best end result possible.
3 // So why is your level of detailing so specialised? It’s not just a case of a wash, a wipe, a wax and getting the chamois out, right?
It's certainly a little more complicated that that! It's about the techniques you apply and the way you work the paintwork of a car, through a combination of movement, creating heat by using the right machine or pad and mixing that with the right compound or product. I do it all by feel. If you've been doing it long enough, you get to know what paint feels like when it's in the right zone or not.
In any aspect of fine detailing, it's about feel and touch. Because you're working so closely with the car and its parts, you need to know where the limit is. Especially on valuable cars, because there is a fine line between success and getting it wrong.
The most important thing is preparation. This can involve measuring the thickness of the paint on each and every panel at various points, masking off delicate areas, removing contaminants from the paint or metal surface etc. It may take longer but correct preparation leads to a far superior result.
So for one of the Lamborghini's I told you about earlier, on one particular quarter panel, I used three machines, four different buff pads, three different compounds and a wax. It took a lot of time, but we ended up with a flat glass like surface that was pretty near perfect. And I love chasing that level of perfection.
4 // So, what’s next on the agenda for you?
I'm building on the long-established foundations of the business in the Southern Highlands and working with more local motoring enthusiasts.
I’m also looking at a few opportunities I have through some networking and relationship building I’ve been doing with specialist automotive restoration companies, which will hopefully see me working on specialist restoration and rare car projects across the country.
5 // We have to ask – what do you drive?
Hey, I’m a Holden man. I drive a Holden Colorado and my wife, Jodie drives one of the last SS V Redlines we've had since new. I’ll be taking good care of her car so we can preserve the memory of Holden. It was actually used in a television commercial!
To be honest, I'm a car guy through and through. I love just about any car. I'm really into my vintage and modern classic BMW's. I own an E36 M3 Evo that I've had for a long time now. It's been my project car and I've added bits and pieces to it over the years. I'll soon be revitalising it to be able to take out again in the coming months.
6 // So what do you love about living and running a business in the Highlands?
I’ve lived here nearly all my life and have always lived on a farm around animals. My wife, Jodie and I are raising our two young boys on land at Exeter, which happens to be where I grew up. Exeter is unique and it's close to Canberra if we feel like visiting the big smoke, but still far enough to be away from the hustle and bustle.
Where we are at Exeter feels pretty untouched. The climate is great, the air is clean, and the countryside is beautiful. I spend a lot of time in the southern villages and just love it. It's no wonder everyone wants to live here!!
Detailed by Ben is a bespoke automotive detailing service based in the Southern Highlands. Ben is a Meguiar’s and Swissvax Australia certified professional detailer and paint correction specialist. He has vast experience in multi-stage paint correction, restoration and rejuvenation. He’s worked on a huge range of vehicles – rare vintage classics, custom tuner cars, race cars and trucks, old school muscle cars, Aussie classics, Hot Rods, heavy vehicles and prestige luxury and sports cars. If you love cars as much Ben does, we reckon you should get in touch with Ben and let him turn your car into the head turner it was meant to be! More info and contact details here.
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