Monday, February 15, 2016

Death of a Phoenix

Words & Snaps by Ben

Every now and then I hear from the owners of cars I featured on POWAA Garage. It's always good to catch up and hear about their latest mods and new plans for their beloved rides. 

Except when they tell you their car is about to get chopped in half.

You might remember Ryan's super stock '06 Galant "Quiet Confidence" that I featured back in 2014. A car built with a lot of attention to detail that was planned twice and executed once. Well, when Ryan sent me a line recently telling me his car's Certificate Of Entitlement was up and she was due to get scrapped, my heart dropped. I had to give her a proper eulogy.

The car scene in Singapore faces one of the toughest challenges there is: the Certificate Of Entitlement (COE) - the equivalent of the Pink Slip in the US - is only valid for 10 years. At the end of the 10 years, the car is due to be cut in half, unless the owners renew the COE. Renewal is a financial challenge, and as I write these words, it currently costs a "low" $40,000 for 2.0L cars.

Needless to say, extending the paper life of a car is not a solution anyone car afford. With this rule, the government is slowly bringing an end to cars from the golden era of motoring, as not all owners can afford to pick up a financial fight against a piece of paper.

It was now the time for this superb Galant to celebrate her 10th birthday, and with it, the end of her life on the road.

Ryan's dedicated efforts at keeping his DeeDee in perfect condition were foiled by a senseless governmental rule, but not being the kind of man to just bow down without a plan, he had already devised a way to save his beloved ride.

While it was unavoidable for this Galant to die on these shores, she was to be reborn from the ashes in the Philippines, Ryan's home grounds.

Ryan's plan was to strip DeeDee to a bare shell, and ship all the parts, wheels, body panels and interior to Manila, where he was sourcing for a Galant VR-4 platform to reassemble her upon. After all, if he was to put in the hard work of a rebirth, he might as well give her a new edge with the top-of-the-line VR-4 platform.

The build was not going to be instant. Ryan only went to the Philippines once in a while, and being a the hands-on man, he wanted to do as much of the works himself. Bringing this phoenix back to life was going to be a long, slow family project, as he planned on rebuilding DeeDee along with his son.

The day after I shot her, DeeDee's deconstruction was to start, and the week after, Ryan sent me this shot.

It was heartbreaking to see her in this state a mere days after I got to put her clean lines on my camera lens for the last time, but I knew this was just the beginning of a new chapter, and that I would see her again, one day, better than ever.

I truly admire Ryan's determination in saving his ride against all odds, and making the most out of it. Granted his morale was at an all-time low during the farewell shoot, but it was just a phase in the life of his phoenix Galant, the death before the rebirth.

Stay tuned as Ryan will keep updating us with the rebuild as it happens, which I will, of course, share with you all!

Farewell DeeDee, and see you again!


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