Last weekend (Oct6) held a very special vintage & classic car event which I had been highly anticipating. It was the Asia Klasika 2013, a historic automobile festival organised by Historic Motoring Ventures at Matrade Exhibition & Convention Centre. This year is a special year for few exotic brands to celebrate their heritage and achievements in many years of their committed duty to make great supercars. Congratulations to Aston Martin's 100th Anniversary, Porsche's 50th Anniversary and Lamborghini's 50th Anniversary!
Firstly, I've got to thank Mr Benjamin from BenAutobahn.com for letting me join him as a media and managed to gain access to special place to meet different people of the auto industry and most importantly, unlimited source of drinks at media area to quench our thirst.
If you love classic supercars, this is definitely the event for you because you'll find all the well maintained classic cars around Malaysia and even sightings of the rarest machines in the world.
And, let's start with this rare one, the Bugatti EB110! Only 139 models had been built over 5 years since its release in '91. Knowing that there's one in Malaysia really surprises me. The name EB110 means the 110th anniversary of the Bugatti founder's birth, Ettore Bugatti (EB).
EB110 performance figures were quite marvellous at that time. Its 3.5L quad-turbo V12 engine produces 553hp, giving it a run from 0-100km/h in 4.2s and top speed at 343km/h! Looks like Bugatti's super high speed culture continued 10 years later with the Veyron. Even with that >300km/h speed, the EB110 owner (wearing hat) described that the car only had slightly more than 300km mileage on the clock! Preserving its quality and performance over 20 years of ownership.
At 11am, His Royal Highness the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim arrived and he received a warmth welcome from the public. Many were trying to get near to catch a clear look, snap pictures and even shake hands with Sultan of Johor. Many knows that he has huge passion for cars and his garage contain quite a number of car collections. As the Royal Patron of Asia Klasika, he is here annually to check out the owners' rides, displays some of his collections and mainly, his culture to get along with the public.
HRH Sultan Ibrahim came in this Mercedes-Benz 600 Landaulet, a large and luxurious vehicle which was introduced in the 60's. 59 units of Benz 600 Landaulet were manufactured and 10 of them are right hand drive. This one here is the right hand drive model. Many celebrities, royalties, presidents, dictators own this kind of car and one of the many that I know of is, previous North Korean leader,
Kim Jong-il. O_o!
Click play and see Sultan of Johor's car collections. :)
At Lamborghini's booth, the 50th anniversary celebration was even more meaningful with the presence of three rare classic exotics from Sultan Ibrahim's private collection. First, is the Lamborghini LM002, nicknamed 'Rambo-Lambo'. Never thought Lamborghini had an SUV? Well, it is the first off-road four-wheel drive ever created and was initially built as a military vehicle for the US but for some reason, it failed to be sold to the US. LM002 was unveiled as production model in 1986 and only 301 LM002 machines were built. With Countach V12 engine under its hood, LM002 could achieve top speed 200km/h and 7.7 seconds from 0-100km/h.
Continuing Sultan of Johor's Lamborghini collection, was the yellow Lamborghini Jalpa. It was produced during the Countach era as an affordable Lamborghini model. The brother Countach uses a V12 engine but this is only a V8. Regardless of the lesser power it has, it was Lamborghini's most successful V8 car which managed to sold 410 units. Jalpa was then succeeded with the current Gallardo.
And, finally Lamborghini Espada, a 2-door four seater coupe built in between the year 1968 and 1978. The Espada was fitted with a 4L V12 engine producing 325hp. Quite a range of models to choose from Lamborghini's lineup during the 70s and 80s; V12 supercar Countach, V8 sports car Jalpa, SUV LM002 and this four-seater coupe Espada.
Of all the models in Lamborghini lineup, I have a particular one that I like most, the Lamborghini Diablo. My all-time childhood favourite supercar. I was first introduced to DIablo, thanks to 1998 Need for Speed (NFS3) racing game. It has all the great looks a supercar should be (mid-engined V12, scissor door, wide tyres, gear shifters, pop-up headlights), a stuning name, a winning car in every race I compete (in game) and I am glad to see it still running alive here at Asia Klasika. :)
Aston Martin had the largest area of the event. 100 years anniversary is quite a big deal for any car makers to make it that far. Therefore, Aston Martin prepared the area with 9 amazing luxury models of different era: Vanquish, Rapide, DBS, new and old V8 Vantage, Virage Volante, Virage Vantage, Lagonda and DB7 Zagato!
Sitting in the middle of the stage is the latest flagship model by Aston Martin, the Vanquish. Beside it, is a pair of Virage Vantage (Left) and Virage Volante (Right) from the 90s. Both models were also part of HRH Sultan's collection.
Here's where Aston Martin showcased one of the best and rarest grand tourer around. On the opposite side of the main stage, parked an Aston Martin DB7 Zagato. A special limited edition made in collaboration with famous car designer Zagato. One of 99 is here!
Another gem from the Aston booth, a 1977 Aston Martin V8 Vantage. For James Bond fans, you might came across this car in James Bond's 1987 movie, 'The Living Daylights'. It was a black colour in the movie. However, the red on the V8 Vantage is eye-catching and clearly highlight the design and the bodyline of the car. Some might say it looked like an American Mustang, yes at the front but, I definitely like this British version lot more.
Apart from the Italian Lamborghini and British Aston Martin, we have Mercedes-Benz as Germany representative. They had quite an array of beautiful good looking classic cars and many of them were already 50 years of age. From the picture above, we can see a pair of 1957 220S (coupe & convertible version), a Benz 600 similar with Sultan of Johor's, a couple of 1967 280SL 'Pagoda' and ...
... a stunningly looking Mercedes-Benz 190SL! Well, it is the cheaper and less powerful version of the well-known 300SL Gullwing. Nevertheless, the 190SL has the same desirable design as the 300SL and both models were the main pioneer of Mercedes-Benz's SL-Class series. [SL = Sport Lightweight]
De Tomaso Pantera, is surely a car that many is unfamiliar with. It's a 1971 Italian made rear mid-engined sports car with 330hp packing in its V8 Ford engine. De Tomaso was a small company with reputation of producing sports cars and building F1 chassis for some teams. Unfortunately, the company couldn't sustain itself due to financial difficulies. Regardless of that, there are still many owners keeping their De Tomaso spirit alive, just like this Pantera here in Malaysia. Salute De Tomaso for making a great looking car!
At Porsche area, you could walk down the memory lane looking at almost all of the major models of the Porsche family. As a Porsche fan since young (Thanks to racing game NFS: Porsche Unleashed), I was really happy to see those virtual cars coming alive at this place. Let's start a little history lesson with Porsche 356 family. As you might know, 356/1 was the first model ever introduced in 1948. The 356 above is a 1950 Porsche 356 Cabriolet 'Pre-A' model and technically, not the first one but, they both have huge similarity in design. The curvy lines and two round headlights are the key features that shape what Porsche is today.
Flipping the next page of the history book, we continue with the Porsche 356A (Right) which was produced in between year 1956 to 1959. It had a power upgrade from 40hp to a whopping 70hp! And, fitted with extra styling parts improving to a more modern look while maintaining its 356 style. With the success of 356A, 365B (Left) was introduced (1959-1963). It had a new look, new body which you compare visually above. Can't identify? Examine the face. The bigger bonnet, bigger bumper, more upright headlights and bigger chrome handle on the bonnet. 356 series ended its production in 1965 with its last model, the 356C. Slight improvement in terms of power, but keeping 356B design. In total, an incredible 76,303 examples (356A/B/C) were produced over 18 years span of production.
The interior of the 356A is preserved like it was just rolled out from the factory at Germany. Perfection is the only word to desribe this.
Porsche proceeded with introducing 911 (Nine Eleven) as a replacement for Porsche 356 in 1964. Initially, the 911 was designated as the Porsche 901 but protested by Peugeot, for using their trademark three numbers with a zero in the middle. Haha :D
Over the years, 911 series continued on with newer and more powerful models like the 930 (1975-1989), 964 (1989-1993), 993 (1993-1998), 996 (1998-2004), 997 (205-2012) and the most current 991. But, don't be confused, those 3 digit numbers were and are Porsche's internal classification and they are still 911s. There were loads of 930, 964 and 993 (above) in Malaysia which are all potential candidates to be an RWB.
Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim awarded his Sultan Ibrahim Cup to the Mr Chris Au from Singapore, for having a pristine factory condition 1967 Porsche 911T that impressed the Sultan very much. Personally, I think the Sultan and I had same mind of selecting this car as the winner :D. It's definitely difficult to restore a almost 50 years old vehicle to its original condition since original parts are not widely available...
... like the 15" wood steering wheel by Nardi for Porsche.
However, Mr Chris did it and I respect his for his passion, dedication, time and effort spent on his iconic 911 classic. Thanks sir for bringing it here and sharing it with everyone.
Hot and sunny Sunday, but it didn't stop the crowds from enjoying the day with their favourite cars. :)
Aside from the outdoor Asia Klasika event, the indoor Matrade Exhibition was taken over by the New Straits Times Auto Show 2013. To avoid the hot weather outside, many people prefer to hangout inside looking at what possibly their next new car purchase.
Above Peugeot 208 GTi was recently launched to rival with the Polo GTI model of Volkwagen. 1.6L turbocharged engine produces 200hp which I think is quite substantial considering its hatchback size but, everything comes clear when Peugeot is committed to make a real fast hot hatch. 0-100km/h in 6.8s... What?!
Read all about the new launch here! <- From BenAutobahn.com
At Lotus/Proton booth, it was interesting to see the special sport models they could offer. The Lotus Exige S painted in British metallic green, Lotus Elise CR in red and Proton Satria R3 in yellow.
Vola! The Ferrari F12 Berlinetta! I was quite hyped about it since this is my first time seeing it. Haha, even putting extra effort to edit the B&W background for this pic. Big smile on the F12. :D
The closure of the event was the only time when you can get to see the cars leaving in style, hearing the terrific engine sounds they produce. Aston Martins make superb engine sound. I can't actually describe the sound in words but their roar is really unique and distinct from other Italian exotics.
This was how the Bugatti EB110 owner managed to keep his mileage below 400km. I joined everyone else to observe the whole supercar towing process before saying goodbye to EB110. Hopefully, I'll get to admire the car again on the streets or here again at Asia Klasika 2014.
Happy and joyful expressions on the crowd's faces proved the event was a huge success. People of all ages came to spend their quality Sunday admiring uncommon cars from yester year. Most importantly, the objective of congregating everyone from car makers, car owners, car enthusiasts and car fans to celebrate and appreciate the heritage and legacy of the classic cars.
Thank you and see you at Asia Klasika 2014!