As many of you know, here at CoolFords.com we appreciate our fans very much and we like to highlight what some of them are up to. We were pleasantly surprised to find out we have a huge CoolFords fan by the name of Hyann Hennequin in Nice, France.
Hyann comes from a lineage of racers and he himself races a tricked out vintage Ford Mustang. We exchanged a couple emails with Hyann and although he's not a native english speaker we were able to translate his responses below.
CF - You live in France, how did you acquire your Ford Mustang?
HH - I live in the City of Nice along the French Riviera. I bought my 1966 Ford Mustang Shelby GT-350 in Normandie from a guy who had bought this car in California. It was destroyed, a horrible sight I had to do a lot of work to her. I built an 8-point roll cage, rebuilt the interior, changed the engine and gearbox, rebuilt the suspension and drivetrain, boost, strengthened the frame, all of this done home made. But I remember the first time when I saw the car; I said to her, it's you I’m sure!
CF - When did you get into racing? And do you remember your first race?
HH - My grandfather was a race mechanic, my father raced in Triumph tr3 and tr4 and my big brother raced in motorbike hill climbing on a Kawasaki. So I was born to race, since a little boy I went to race with my father, my first love with racing was in 1985 in the Monte Carlo, group B cars Renault 5 Maxi Turbo, Ford RS200, Lancia 037, etc... When you are 6 years old the sound of group B cars passing at 2 meters from you resonates in your chest and you never forget! So after that I promised myself to race!
I started racing at 18 years old with vintage cars, because it was easy to tinker with and cheap to fix. The cars were not electronic, all mechanical. My father had given me a passion for vintage cars with his triumph cars, I had triumph spitfire 1500FH, Mini Austin Cooper 1300, Fiat 850 sport.
I remember very well my first race with the Mustang! There was a big rain outside!!!! and you know it's not very easy to control the Mustang in the rain!! I woke up at 7 o’clock, the race was at 9 o’clock. I called a very good friend who did the Paris Dakar race a bunch of times along with a several rally races. I asked to him what do I do??? Do I go or not? He told me "do you think Steve McQueen stayed in bed warm? No, he would go racing and drift big in the rain! so GO!!!!” So I went and it was very fun!
CF - Tell us about the type of racing you’re currently involved in?
HH - I only participate in vintage classic races, I don't like very much newer race cars because less sensations, less vibes. I prefer 10000% a vintage 24H du mans or a vintage Monaco GP over a new race car even if it's very fast! The atmosphere is also very different; at Monaco all the drivers talk, drink, laugh, smoke cigarettes, and help the mechanics. 15mn before the race, it was a great time so alive!!!! You can only find that with vintage races, the vibes are here, listening to the older guys giving advice, the smell of the fuel, the sounds, I love that and I’m happy in this class.
CF - What driver do you most admire in the racing world?
HH - I admire a lot a drivers but I love the racer Jo Siffert, and its funny today his son Philippe Siffert is one of my sponsors! I loved him for his life and his style of life that inspired McQueen for the Lemans movie. Although in driving style I think for me THE BEST is Ari Vatanen in Pikes Peak with Peugeot 405 turbo16.
CF - Do you have any future plans for your Mustang?
HH - Yes, this summer I plan on buying a carbon fiber fender flares by Maier racing. I also plan to paint the car in the reverse colors, white with blue stripes, and maybe a Paxton kit.
CF - What is your favorite racing moment or accomplishment that you’ll always remember?
HH - I remember when I met Henri Chemin who was motor sport manager for Ford France from 1962 to 1969 and he was very impressed by my car, and my favorite racing moment… it's all the races when I see people screaming like crazy when the car goes into slides, it's so magic I love that so much.
CF - What do you like about CoolFords.com?
HH - All Ford fans can share all things cool, CoolFords.com is a great community, we can speak about racing, Ford news or learn about Ford passion, but in one word I love Ford and it's cool!