Monday, April 15, 2013

Ol' School Gangstas

Words by: Ben - Pics by: Ben

Who doesn't like classic cars? Born during a time when the industry was all about giving drivers cars that stole their hearts through mechanical ingenuity, these machines were full of little details made to capture the eye and distinguish their model from the competition. The lines were simple and pure, made so by technological limitations. Cars were small and light, due to lax or non-existing safety rules and regulations, yet engines were as powerful as they come.

While owning a classic car overseas is mostly a matter of finding one that hasn't rusted out, owning one in Singapore is a completely different story. It's not about fighting rust, but being ready to face ridiculous COE and insurance prices that climb higher and higher every year. Another option, is to give in to the classic plate scheme, but that would mean being restricted to drive your beloved ride only 45 days a year. To some, that simply doesn't cut it, and I totally agree with them!

Back in March, POWAA Garage joined a classic car meetup, happy to be able to see some old metal. Quite a few BMW's showed up, showcasing the 3-series timeline, with a few E46's, E40's and even a clean E30.

But those who stole the show were the late comers: 2 of the 5 Celica first generation remaining on the island were there, accompanied by the one and only Datsun Bluebird 510. One detail that was greatly appreciated is that all three classics were sporting black plates, which shows the dedication each owner has to keep their beloved ride and drive it unrestricted.

The orange Celica ST, for example, is kept in pristine condition by its owner, Nicholas. Not only does he makes sure his car gets all the TLC it needs, he also drives it to work.
Every single day.

Double round headlights, hood vents, hood-mounted side mirrors, the ST has all the timeless cosmetics to catch the eye and seduce.

The overall design of the ST clearly shows the bygone era where Japanese cars were designed to follow and pay homage American muscle cars, if it wasn’t for the much smaller 4-bangers under the hood.

The dark green, almost black, TA embodies the essence of American muscle even further, with slightly more angular shapes.

Its rear clearly evokes the Mustang's liftback, with an integrated ducktail spoiler.

The Celica GT was sporting a set of cool bosozoku-style SSR Star Shark that completed its looks perfectly.

Parked between the two Celicas was the last surviving 510 in Singapore. This was yet another black-plate classic which was held together with much love. The Bluebird has much less American influence in its boxy design than the Toyotas, but its charisma still goes through the roof.

Contrasting with the blue paintwork of the Bluebird was the red of its classic Enkei AP Racing rims. This was surely a classic done right.

When I asked the owner if I could see the engine, he assured me that there wasn't much to see as he did not modify it.
Well, if swapping the 1,600cc L16 engine to an L18 is not considered as being much.

Then again, the engine swap would be hard to notice as the first thing that pops to your eyes upon seeing under the hood is the army of 12 horns staring straight back at you.

Expecting the expected "what tune does it sing?" question, the owner went straight for the horn, and suddenly the tune of the Godfather rang out into the night.

Nothing more to say here, other than Classics FOR THE WIN.

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