THE Art of Speed was here. It was a great one.
If you don’t know, the art of speed is all about two and four-wheeled fun, and whichever way you have your fun.
It is the best custom vehicle showcase in the country, and this year we see that classic cars are getting a lot of love from their owners.
Classic Japanese cars dominated the scene with small Toyotas and Datsun in sedan, coupe and pick-up trucks taking centre stage.
Apart from the variety of models, there was also a variety of ideas and concepts in restoring the vehicles, many went for full restoration and no less went for a more sympathetic touch, leaving the grace of age intact on the outer skin, while restoring the mechanicals.
The quality of work on the vehicles have shown tremendous improvements with a few showing off cars that they have worked on their own, in their spare time.
Although some may point out imperfections in the end result, I see them as thousands of man hours of dedication and countless ringgit poured into making dreams a reality.
The best thing about going to a custom show is that there is no such thing as a wrong way of doing things, just unusual combinations and interesting juxtapositions.
There was an orange Volvo 121 that looked like an escapee from Cuba, which had been grafted with a complete set of Lexus LS430 engine, transmission and most of the air suspension bits.
A chop-top 1966 Volkswagen Beetle covered in rust was another favourite. It was a labour of love of one man from Penang for his wife. He customised everything, including the wiring.
He used all red wires because the interior of the car is red. It looks cool but it’s a wireman’s hell.
On the motorcycle scene, one of the best of the show was a Honda CB200 with balloon tyres. At first glance it looks like well restored vehicle, then you realise the tyres are “cartoonish”.
The result is like a well restored miniature bike, the tyres make it look like a toy.
Then there was that twin-RX-Z engine motorcycle that was the lucky draw main prize, which really caught everyone’s attention.
An old Toyota KE16 two door wagon was a particularly tasty dish, maintaining the original trade owner’s registration and trade address details, while enjoying a fully restored engine and transmission.
For some reason I am less interested in the spotlessly restored cars, but was more inclined to look at “restomods” that go out of their way to preserve a car’s age.
There was a very rusty Mercedes stroke eight that had pristine interiors. There wasn’t any crack to be seen on the dashboard.
There were just too many motorcycles for me to look at and if you wanted to look at all the exhibits, it would mean being there for both days. The exhibition was that good.
Even the manufacturers had put up a good show with Ducati, Triumph, Honda and Kawasaki putting up their best wares for us to see.
Kudos to all who took part in this year’s Art of Speed, next year we hope they will get even better.
If you want to watch our selection of the top 10 best show vehicles, do drop by our Bahasa Malaysia youtube channel, Engear