Every once in a while I come across someone who is just a little more anal-retentive than myself (lol). After talking with Eric Koester over at SSP for 5 minutes I could tell that he was going to fit that bill. When it comes to the people who work on your car this is NEVER a bad thing. Attention to detail and sheer knowledge will help to set Eric and SSP apart from many competitors.
Eric originally came to be the Houston partner of SSP through a bit of a competition with Kris and Jeremy at the original SSP. These guys were in the midst of a battle to see who could build the highest horsepower Mitsubishi EVO X MR. Already rocking an SSP gearbox in his own MR, Eric set out to win this battle. He designed many go fast goodies for the car as the competition reached the 500whp mark. Who wouldn’t want 500hp powering all four wheels? This would ultimately lead to Eric taking on the role of tech support for SSP roughly a year ago. Tech support would be just a side job for Eric as he has worked for Continental Airlines for 20 years. A job that he will soon be able to retire from with free flights for the rest of his life (I am jealous).
Eric has spent his whole life around cars and airplanes. If you can name it, he has probably worked on it or built one. He won an award at Sturgis in 1993 for a fully built Harley Davidson and has done a frame-off restoration on an old CJ-6 Jeep Wrangler. When he was 8 years old he took the muffler off of his dad’s lawnmower because he thought it would go faster and help him finish the yardwork quicker. I am pretty sure I was still trying to stave off a cooties epidemic when I was 8 years old (lol).
SSP set up shop off of Gilder Rd. in Northwest Houston a few months ago and they haven’t looked back, at all. After listening in on a few conversations and watching Eric talk with David Geiger it was obvious that working on cars came very natural to them. After being given a quick tour of the shop I noticed a few things. One, these guys were very detail oriented. There were labeled bags with parts in them for various cars that they were working on. The parts they design are made to work better than OEM and fit in the OEM location with little to no modification. Two, SSP was stricken with quite a few construction delays on the shop itself. Lifts, a dyno, and a BIG air compressor make short work of a long list of items that have been delayed due to delays. Finally, despite these delays, these guys were there working as hard as they could to help their customers. When I pulled up to the shop they had just finished a clutch install for a customer’s car.
When Eric isn’t hanging out at SSP working on cars you will usually find him working on airplanes. How he manages to squeeze in time for his family is pretty far beyond me. Looking into the future he would like SSP to be a premium installation facility where people go to get work done on their car correctly. At the end of the interview I usually ask what the owner would like to improve about the shop and Eric’s replay was, “I’d like some blinds and an exhaust fan.”
SSP already seems to be the place to go to when you need some work done on your car. I can only imagine what it will be like when all the delays are over and the shop is set up like they want it to be. I’d like to thank Eric for taking the time out of his to show me around the new shop. I would also like to thank him for handing me a carbon fiber hood for his EVO that was lighter than the old carbon fiber hood I had on my Scion xB (lol). I have a feeling that we will be hearing a lot from SSP very soon.