It was round two of the monthly Slow Life car feature and the enthusiastic team found themselves on a deserted roof top of an Adelaide CBD carpark. With a stunning metropolis as our backdrop we were waiting for Ben’s E60 5 Series BMW.
As “Dapper” rolled up to Level 6, it definitely looked like the chariot of gentleman but Ben has put his own individuality into what he describes as a “grandpa spec” executive car. The 2010-born 525i is not a common choice for Euro enthusiasts but that is what gave fire to the decision of feature car this month.
The E60 is Ben’s first European-made choice after always having fast cars. He wanted to switch it up and now, two years on, here we stand gazing at his VIP-spec cruiser that is a sure-fire head turner.
In the precence of this slick creation, your eyes are most likely going to dart to the incredible Evo61 custom twenty-inch wheels. Truly like no other, the black spokes and copper-plated lips are a perfect compliment to the slammed silver BMW. We were all drawn to the wheels with their extremely aggressive offset and stunning appearance. The rear is a 20 x 10.5 -5, while the front are 20 x 9.5 + 0. They were custom made for Ben from the small yet prestigious Californian wheel specialist and include hidden inscriptions only visible when the wheels are removed. In case that wasn’t special enough, there is only one other set that Ben knows of which we may see in “Fast 8” on their featured Liberty Walk GTR. Ben reflects that there are a few E60’s similar to his but none with such an aggressive offset or unique wheel choice.
“I never thought I’d see it get to that level. I’m sure every car guy says that!”
Dapper is lowered on an AirREX digital airbag suspension system, which was installed well before the wheels arrived; Ben’s first major modification. They make it much easier to adjust the height for wheel fitment and that means that the car can take on two guises – a VIP head turner or Ben’s daily driver that blends in with mainstream society. The modifications are flexible depending on whether he’s headed to a meet or taking the car to work. He doesn’t like to push his luck with the wheels and that is why he chooses to fit them for special occasions.
Poke your head inside of this luxury-mobile and you’ll notice the Junction Produce VIP interior additions. Ben claims that his passengers could easily fall asleep with the pillows up and curtains drawn. He’s carefully chosen the finishing touches to this already executive car as he believes that there’s a fine line between classy and tacky. That is why it isn’t heavily modified.
The 2.5 litre engine is untouched but its factory power and airbag suspension set up keep Ben content with the whole package. He mentions that his dream would be to swap the engine over to the S85, V10 engine found in the M5. After speaking with him about his pride and joy, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about this modification from him later down the line. Details, time and planning have been put into the choices for this car and that is why he plans on keeping the car for a while and boy did we appreciate him sharing the journey with us!
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER
Scotty Cunningham (AKA The Digital Garage) brings many years of passion to the automotive photography field. Initially finding his love for photography back in school (this was when film was still a thing, mind you) and even found himself lurking in his own dark room at home. Unlike today’s instant digital age; Scotty’s grass roots go back to the days of film and black and white processing! Picking up his first digital camera in 2001, Scotty didn’t delve into the automotive photography world until his first car show; Day of Volkswagen (2013). The Slow Life team remembers their first day meeting scotty – at our ‘Meat and Greet’ BBQ with Driven Motorsport in 2014! His black VW Polo GTI has certainly changed significantly (and for the better) since then!
Scotty likes to say he’s a Nikon guy. His two bodies consist of the D7100 and a D800, and his collection of lenses has many of our photographer friends in pure awe. In fact, we’re going to have to list them to make this easier to read!
- 35mm 1.4
- 50mm 1.4
- 85mm 1.4
- 24-70mm 2.8
- 70-200mm 2.8
- 16-35 4
As for his lens of choice..? Scotty preaches to us that the 70-200mm 2.8 has been his go-to lense up until recently, but now it’s the 85mm 1.4 (that buttery depth of field though, am I right?). The use of these lenses can be demonstrated in the very shoot we’ve published with him!
Scotty’s greatest challenge faced in automotive photography would have to be light reflections. Creating the right atmosphere at the perfect time of day (we waited for literally hours for the sun to sit in the right positions for Ben’s shoot) and finding new and unique locations are definitely challenges that Scotty, and any other photographer, would struggle with at times! However, some of these challenges can easily be overcome with a good polarising filter, a sturdy tripod, and the right shooting conditions.
On the editing end of things, Scotty advises that patience is your friend. Take your time, think about what you’re trying to achieve, and if you’re having trouble with an image; take a break! Going back to an image you’re working on with fresh eyes is guaranteed to help you out.
In the long-term, Scotty’s sticking with his passion. Always striving to learn more, he aims to one day have an editorial feature of his own! We’re sure he’ll get there, because we think he’s just pure talent.
You can be linked to Scotty’s automotive photography page, The Digital Garage, by clicking here!
ABOUT THE MODEL
Rachel Coleman is a nineteen year old young lady born and raised in our own little old town of Adelaide. With a love for Euro cars, we couldn’t think of a better choice for our model of the month!
Up until recently, Rachel hasn’t been the model – she’s been the photographer! Assisting friends with their portfolios and honing in on her photography skills; Rachel’s a girl of many talents. However, she’s done some modelling work primarily to assist other photographers with their portfolios and even for belly dancing competition promotion! After spending time behind the lens; Rachel had a strong understanding on what makes a flattering shot (which made Scotty’s job much easier during the shoot!). After her shoot with Slow Life, Rachel’s definitely keen to get more involved in automotive modelling, and claims it’s her new favourite! However, she’s never going to lose her love for Boudoir.
In her spare time, you’ll generally find Rachel down at the beach, chilling at your local shisha lounge, hitting the search button on cars she can’t afford (it’s okay, I think we’re all guilty of that), and looking at her dream pizzas on Instagram. As for her dream car? Well, it’s definitely Euro. The Volkswagen Scirocco R is her weapon of choice!
In the long-term, Rachel’s in it for the fun. Choosing not to pursue a professional career in modelling; she’s all about enjoying herself, and remaining passionate. That’s why we get along, Rachel. Keep that passion alive!
AUTHOR: MEGAN LANGHAN
Full gallery available on our Facebook