Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Subie Meet Up

Text by: June Photos by: Ben

Remember how you felt when you went for your first car meet up? June shares her virgin car meet up with us and brings a fresh eye on things we take for granted. For those of you who have never been to a car meet up, this read will hopefully teach you a few things and maybe even make you want to pop by one, if you have the chance to?

I was quite curious, just what exactly constituted a car meet up and just what was the big hairy deal?

As Ben so kindly defined it for me, it was a “gathering of like-minded motorheads to share tips for modifications, show off their rides, stay updated on the latest parts and trends and even kick off trends, and maybe also walk out knowing a new buddy or two from the scene”. Sensing my overzealous expectations, he reassured me it was not going to be anything as big-scale nor ostentatious as the bikini-clad babes and singlets-donning, bling-bearing characters depicted in shows like Fast and Furious movies.

I was about to find out, and Ben headed out to a seemingly ordinary open carpark, located just outside the Kallang Leisure Park.

At first, peering out into the darkness, it didn’t seem all that promising - just a handful of 10-odd cars, with their owners already sharing words of compliments and others eyeing with  silent admiration at select few va-va-voom body-kits and slick-looking rims. Then, like a thunder bolt out of nowhere, heralded by booming exhausts, appeared a line of over 20 Foresters. They slowly made their way towards us, like the stars of the show finally making their grand entrance. 

Ben was suddenly beyond himself, and judging from the glint in his eyes, his over-brimming excitement was hardly contained. He had spotted something, or someone that caught his attention. As the fates would have it, a BRZ, the colour of midnight, pulled up right next to us despite the largely available spots around the parking lot.

The BRZ is the new kid on the block, and judging by the sweet sounds of it, it appeared that a myriad of interesting goodies were waiting to be discovered under the hood. For the simpleton that is me, it reminded me of the TRON vehicles with easy elegant lines and modded blue curved LED lights.

Jeremy, the proud BRZ owner was a welcoming fellow, and it was through him that I came to know the existence of STI. For the blissfully ignorant, it stands for Subaru Tecnica International.
Founded in 1988, STI is the parent company of Subaru, responsible in promoting its strong standing performance identity. Like what Toyota Racing Development is to Toyota, STI is Fuji Heavy Industries' (read Subaru) motorsports division, supplying competition parts and managing the motorsport activities.

Previously responsible for preparing Subaru’s World Racing Championship (WRC) cars until the brand opted out, they have since turned their focus to manufacturing performance parts used for normal racing and street modification.

What is a party without some gatecrashers? I spied with my little mascara-ed eyes a couple of Nissan Silvia S15, two pretty sights in Silver and another in bright orange. While admiring, a couple of Nissan 350z Fairladies and a Toyota AE86 joined in the fun too.

The 350z Fairlady is a popular two-seater sports car model whose first iteration, the 240z, happens to be a favourite of our POWAA Garage founder, loved for its iconic long-hood short-deck design and high waistline.

The AE86 Corolla is the hero car of the widely popular Initial D car anime. For those of you who are wondering, its name comes from the traditional Toyota code: the "A" represents the engine that came in the car (4A series), "E" represents the Corolla, "8" represents the fifth generation (E80 series) and "6" represents the variation within this. 

These gate crashers also garnered a fair amount of attention with the enthusiasts present, adding just the right amount of interest to the mixing bowl. 

Overall, going to a car meet was, in my humble opinion, not too different form having a girls’ night out. Celebrity gossips, nail polish painting and checking out each other wardrobe are substituted with loud banter over which part is better suited for a ride, spreading the excitement of upcoming events and just basically boys having fun with their toys. 

What I do like about this experience, is that a meet up is a platform for the like-minded car lovers to appreciate each other’s automotive projects, give credit where due, and  the warmth extended to any utter clueless person who strolls by (such as myself) makes it an enjoyable knowledge journey. And for this very reason, fellow car-clueless yet curious people like me, can look forward to understanding the beauty of different car brands, models and the philosophy behind modifying cars when attending future meet ups.
I know I am!


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