Ed, and his wife, Pam began Opposite Lock Accessories in Thornleigh, Sydney, in September 1974, stocking and selling motorsport equipment as well as many of the usual road car accessories.
The following year, they began selling seats, driving lights, suspension, etc to 4WD owners and then rapidly progressed to bull bars, winches and recovery gear.
Ed bought a new Landcruiser FJ45 (LWB Soft Top) to tow his rally car to various Australian Rally Championship events in 1977 and soon modified this vehicle with every possible accessory. From this it was a natural progression for him to spend weekends pursuing 4WD recreation.
At the end of the 1970's, Opposite Lock changed its direction, from the relatively limited motorsport market to the expanding 4WD market.
Ed Mulligan could see the writing on the wall - Australians were changing their view of 4WD vehicles and the role those vehicles played in our daily lives.
The demo vehicles at the business became 60/62 Series Landcruisers, Hiluxes, Navaras, Patrols, etc.
A branch of Opposite Lock opened in Melbourne in 1984, complimenting the two Sydney stores. With the ever-expanding boom in 4WDs, stores were opened and acquired in Brisbane, Canberra and Tamworth, and franchises began in the mid-80's in Orange and Wagga.
But with the arrival of Paul Keating and the floating of the Aussie dollar - the 4WD boom slowed as the recession we had to have arrived with a thud we didn't want!
The result saw Ed sell the Opposite Lock name to his franchisees and concentrate on the previous headquarters at Rydalmere, in Sydney, now trading as Auto Team.
With lower overheads and by trading seven days a week the business grew to become Sydney's largest 4WD outlet until Ed sold it in 1999.
In the meantime, Ed had also started 4WD World on the internet in 1997 - creating a way to successfully compete with ARB and TJM's catalogue marketing.
4WD World combined the area of accessory specialists with service and repairs, wheels and tyres, 4WD modifications, parts operations and tours and training specialists.
The product range and outlets of 4WD World grew and, coupled with a 1800 number and Ed's immense product knowledge attained over the years, ensured customers and outlets were well catered for.
4WD World and its other websites
4WD Shop was started in 2000 to promote online purchases.
Ed's motorsport career has involved a variety of surfaces and vehicles, from competing in the 1970 Round Australia Rally as a young lad to owning and driving one of Australia's first monster trucks and touring with the American monster truck legend Big Foot.
Most, however, have involved dirt, off road and the outback, bringing a unique quality to the man who runs 4WD World.
His competition background includes:
These days Ed remain keen on motorsport events such as the legendary Australian Safari and classic car rallies of all types; and of course he's often seen in his 4WD in the outback or in the hills and mountains of Northern NSW or Southern Queensland.
If it's got wheels and a motor, it's of interest to Ed Hooligan ... sorry ... Ed Mulligan!