Soldier “Pimps His Ride” To Honor Fallen Comrades
August 26, 2007
We’ve all probably heard of the popular show on MTV called Pimp My Ride in which the owner of a car is chosen and his or her car is restored and customized. The shows generally begin with the owner showing off their car and convincing MTV why it needs to be “pimped.” Afterwards the star of the show, rapper Xzibit shows up at the persons house, checks the car out for himself, all the while making snarky comments about it and promises that it will be given a complete make-over. The car is then taken to a custom auto body shop, where the car is basically torn apart and customized based on the owners personality and interests.
Built as a tribute the fallen soldiers and his friends he proudly served with in Iraq, Sgt. Nicholas Ashby and his Infiniti G35 coupe. Photo by Regina Bell.
Sgt. Nick Ashby, a Florida National Guard membr is a tuner. A tuner is an automotive enthusiast who mechanically and cosmetically alter a car. On the tuner circuit, Sgt. Ashby’s car is known as the Tribute Car. He and his car recently appeared on Import Tuner Magazine’s front cover of the August 2007 edition as winner at the Hot Import Nights show. Sgt. Ashby’s car is unique.
Custom 20 inch DPE wheels have been airbrushed with the US Army Values (Anthony featured them here a few months ago), on the driver’s side, every war that the US National Guard has ever fought in is listed, the rear of the vechicles displays the National Guard Motto and the windshiled displays the National Guard Creed. But that’s not what Sgt. Ashby is most proud of. What’s most important to him, are the airbrushed portraits of the fallen National Guard heroes that he served with in Iraq.
“Every person who sees it helps us to remember the fallen,” Sgt. Ashby said. “After all, that’s why we built the car - to remember those who gave all for us.”
The vehicle has become such as hit that it’s currently touring the country with the National Guard’s “Hot Import Nights” and “Night Shift” recruiting and retention program. “Hot Import Nights” is a leading lifestyle car show that is geared towards the Generation X-Y crowd and 95% of those attending are under the age of 30. It’s an interactive entertainment environment and it creates a very unique recruiting setting for the National Guard.
In July, the “Hot Import Nights” show came to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Attendance reached record levels, as people enjoyed the exihitibts, DJ’s playing music, models and musicians. The Tribute Car was there as well. Many imes, National events such as “Hot Import Nights,” the owners of the cars being exhibited aren’t able to attend. This time however, Sgt. Ashby was able to attend and be there beside his car.
“Having Sgt. Ashby join us in Florida beside his car was really not an option, it was the right thing to do,” Recruiting and Retention Commander Lt. Col. David Peek explained. “He is a celebrity in the import tuner community.”
Airbrushed designs of Fallen National Guard Heroes, Lt. Andre Tyson on the hood and Sgt. Patrick McCaffrey on the driver’s side door of the Tribute Car. Photo by Regina Bell.
Due to the unique nature of Sgt. Ashby’s car and the name he’s made for himself in the import tuner community, the car drew a large crowd, hoping to meet Sgt. Ashby. He spoke about the car, how it’s was built and explained the design on a much more personal level than anyone else could have done. He was able to tell the crowd the story behind the car. The show was a success, not only for the National Guard that day but also for Sgt. Ashby and the Tribute Car. Show Judges awarded the car two first place trophies. One for Best Paint and Finish and the other for Best Mild Infinity.
I’d like to say Congratulations to Sgt. Ashby. What an awesome way to honor his fallen comrades.