It was just the other day we had a retro car event, Malaysia is again entertained with a different kind of custom car show familiarly known as the Art of Speed. The OlSkool & Kustom Kulture event organised by Switchblade KL was first introduced in 2012 and it has grown bigger and better year on year into one of the 'Must Visit' events in Asia.
Art of Speed promotes local customisation scene and it serves as the platform for all passionate enthusiasts to come together and talk about cars. With stronger support coming from local and international participants this year, its standard has been upped and that means they had to find somewhere grandeur to accommodate this year event.
And they found just the best place at MAEPS indoor exhibition hall at Serdang, air conditioned with brightly lit environment made it pleasant and comfortable for everyone to enjoy the show.
To be honest I'm not knowledgeable in custom car culture and definitely not a huge fan of the 2 wheelers, but Art of Speed opens up my mind to understand this important chapter of the automotive world.
Roaming around the event hall, I saw plenty of fresh unique custom cars, but there were also cars I've seen before from Retro Havoc like this pristine 260Z. I remember it has a 2.5L 1JZ straight-6 Toyota engine under its Nissan hood. :D
You've probably notice the Fast & Furious 6 replica at the back, but I was more interested at this turquoise Ford Escort Mk1. Not only the colour is unique, I like how the owner injects modern flair onto it while keeping it nice and simple.
Here's another Ford Escort Mk1 with a couple of German beauties - BMW E30 and Mercedes Benz 190 EVO2s.
And, this German forgot to wear its skirt and pretty much revealed the raw shiny machinery. It seems that this R8 is packed with 1000 worth of horsepower. Crazy!
Datsun Bluebird 510 needs no introduction in the classic car world. It is no doubt one of the favourite cars among enthusiasts for modification and restoration project. I like its name as much as the car looks, as it has this similar boxy feature and round headlights like the legendary Hakosuka.
Ryan from SPIFF Wraps and Graphics took the opportunity to dress up Sean's 1973 Datsun Cedric 260C to look like a Japanese police car.
The door panel 'kanji' characters spells 'Seibu Keisatsu' which Sean specifically chose in reference to name of the popular 80s Japanese TV drama, and old Nissans like Cedric, Laurel, Gloria were the notable patrol cars in the show. The red beacon light on the car roof isn't just for show, it actually works.
Before the arrival of AE86, TE27 was the first generation Corolla Levin introduced in 1972. I'm sure many car enthusiasts agree with me that modern cars no longer carry the distinct old school features and we kinda miss it. This pristine wide body Levin reminds us how cool vintage cars used to be.
Well, that doesn't mean cars of this decade have lost its flair and kick. This Rocket Bunny 180SX is the best example to illustrate the fusion between modern and classic together.
I noticed that Zee's 180SX has started appearing at local car shows, and it never fails to lure me to it every time the car is around. Not long ago at Retro Havoc, it bagged the 'Best Future Retro' award, and this time at AOS 2015 the owner must be pleased to hear his ride has been personally picked by Dino of Speedhunters.com for the 'Best JDM' award.
This machine was definitely one of the main highlights at Art of Speed. Taking a Mini and convert it into a Rat Rod hasn't really cross anyone's mind except for Mr Edwin. In case you didn't know, Rat Rod is a semi-restored custom build Hot Rod that's purposely left unfinished and rust-covered, and it's accepted universally as a custom car style.
Mr Edwin completed this creation of his, named 'Stedrod' just in time for this event. The minimalistic interior looks like it was inspired by the movie 'Mad Max'. It has no windshields, no cushion seats and no roof.
But don’t be fooled into thinking this is a piece of junk because it still has a functional engine in the front. With the extractors directly sticking out from the V6 Nissan Cedric engine, Stedrod is all about creativity and style.
There was another Rat Rod in the hall, a customised Datsun 620 Pickup. I'm not sure if people like rods for its imperfections, but builders should deserve the slightest appreciation and respect because of their imagination and talent making one.
Apart from the usual car exhibits, visitors could take the time to visit the varieties of booths and enjoy live tattoo action, art painting, merchandise for sale, model cars and even a haircut. These experiences are what makes the Art of Speed event different from others.
Among the booths, sat Dino Dalle Carbonare, the famous journalist from Speedhunters.com who came all the way from Japan to provide coverage of the local Malaysia event. Being a big fan of his works, I couldn't resist the chance not to talk to tall friendly man.
His booth was entirely covered with Speedhunters merchandise which I regret not buying that day, maybe next time. Dino also had this ingenious idea of leaving his booth conveniently for his photo-shooting work. :D
Art of Speed allocated an area for local custom Hotwheels modelers to showcase their talents working with small scale diecasts, and the details on them were meticulous.
I even came across a hotwheels custom built to Star Road's latest wide fender S30Z which I saw at Tokyo Auto Salon early this year. Immediately, I told Shoji Inoue about it and he intends to have one too. So, if you guys know who's the builder for this hotwheels, let me know. :)
Many might remember this beautiful Fairlady 280ZX from Retro Havoc. The owner shared that it had undergone a complete restoration work from total scrap to the superb condition you see now.
What's more amazing was the shiny L28 engine that lies under the long bonnet. Shoji-san of Star Road would be proud to see this Zed. :)
This good looking pair of CR-Zs really showed the world that the country's car tuning quality level has been raised tremendously. Grasping ideas and inspirations from others wouldn't seem to be a bad thing in customising cars. Like the blue CR-Z, the lady owner loves the Liberty Walk GT-R so much that she wanted the design in her car, and she did it!
Not to forget the owners who went to some extent fusing Japanese culture and stance element into their local Perodua Kelisa kei cars. Oh my, that outrageous camber angle!
I like the fact that Malaysia's car customisation scene is gaining more exposure, thanks to major events like Art of Speed. Owners aren't shy to bring their cars there, visitors like me get to admire them and basically, it's a place where everyone with same interest to unite and have fun. I'm excited at what we'll get to see at AOS 2016.
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