As the sun rose from the east down here in Malaysia, The boys from Back wheel Bitches & Twinbladez Stickers finally gathered their nostalgic rides after months of planning to embark on an uphill climb to Genting Highlands Malaysia. The estimated distance from the rendezvous point till the top of Genting Highlands was about a 47.7KM long drive, with a challenging 15KM steep uphill climb which will prove to be a gruelling test of endurance for the classic cars.
Watanabes never fail to make any car look the part.
Classic Pick ups are the growing trend down here in Malaysia.
Bosozoku styled Mercedes Benz, Nicknamed “Cosa Nostra”.
Media partners who were involved on ground to witness the heart pumping and adrenaline moments, were RTM Malaysia, Atara Racing Datsuns, Malaysia CCCM and lastly Retro Garage in conjunction with 7tune. There were 30 cars that participated consisting of Datsuns, Toyotas, Volkswagens and a Mercedes, We here at Retro Garage and 7tune was amazed with the high spirited aura radiating from the drivers as man and machine form a special bond to push forward to the peak and their goal was simple; to reach to the top and nothing could stand in their way.
As the drive progresses, The convoy of classics were 25KM closer to the chequered flag but unfortunately there were a few problems that had come up; few cars were left behind as their machine experienced technical problems while pushing the limits of their rides and for some, they stopped for an hour or so to let their cars cool down before they resume another half of torturing drive up fairly steep corners. Eventually the convoy arrived at the peak of Genting Highlands Malaysia with an ecstatic atmosphere and an overwhelming amount of happiness can be seen on each participant’s face. Nothing can explain the sheer excitement more than seeing those drives who made it up like a bunch of kids that just got huge amounts of candy.
Lastly, Respect was given to all the drivers who spare their time to conquer the treacherous situation climbing up onto Genting Highlands. And not forgetting a special thank you to Retro Garage, RTM Malaysia for your patience and willingness to cover this historical moment.
That’s all for now, Signing out from Malaysia. Terima Kasih!
Terima Kasih – Means thank you in Bahasa Melayu
EVENT MAIN SPONSOR – TWINBLADEZ STICKERS
Words – Praveent Chelvam
Photography Kean Yap/Praveent Chelvam
It was an absolutely MEGA end to 2012 for 7Tune – with almost a dozen events to attend, countless people to meet and a couple of international events to fly to. Here is a rundown on what you can expect on 7Tune in the coming weeks during the first month of 2013… Read more
Publika at Duta Solaris in Kuala Lumpur played host to one of the most exciting events of the year. The Art of Speed event is billed as Malaysia’s first “Kustom Kulture” and hot rod show that features everything “custom”. How does this fit into the JDM related world? We will soon find out.Subaru Leone pick up truck and the orange “Dragon” Toyota Celica
The Art of Speed event was held at Publika’s The Square and White Box. The Art of Speed event is inspired by the successful Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod & Custom Show in Japan, which had recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. I was happy to be invited by one of my best friends and co-organiser of the event, Mr. Rahmat from Playhouse Garage.
Rahmat, the owner of Playhouse Garage, specialises in rust repairs and restorations for classic and retro cars. He offers custom modifications and repair jobs to old or new cars.
The event was held over a period of two days. Various local celebrities, bands and artists had made their appearance on that day, where they have performed on stage, playing rock and punk music. People were mostly occupied by the diversity of activities that were offered in the event. The crowd was also exposed to airbrushing, pin-striping, tattoo demonstrations and various related activities. Performing artistes include Altimet, The Malayan and LOKA Band, among others that were present that day.
It was very interesting to find that there was a Moon Eyes authorised dealer in Malaysia. Moon Eyes were hardly heard off outside of USA and Japan, unless you follow the retro and classic JDM scene a lot. It was nice to find that finally decided to bring the cool range of products from Japan. There were tons of imported T-shirt and automotive related accessories for sale. Sadly, due to time limitation, I was unable to make any purchases, because there were too much to choose from!
KickAss Choppers from Jakarta, Indonesia and Thor Chops and Kustoms from Bangkok, Thailand were flown in for this special event, along with their awesome customised motorcycles. A lot of modified motorcyles and bicycles were on display. It was nice to see some bikes to be turned into a work of art. The bikes were a mix of either European, American or Japanese bikes.
The Harley Davidson Club of Malaysia were also present to lend their support to the movement. This beautiful Harley Davidson on display in Beautiful Machine’s booth takes cues from both Japanese and American modifications. I definitely like the customised Japanese artwork on the bike helmet.
Asep, the owner of Switchblade lifestyle diner, is the proud owner of this star car, a modified Chevrolet Impala with air suspension lift kit and a muscular V8 engine. He is also the brainchild of this event and he is responsible for bringing this wonderful customs and modification culture to Malaysia for the first time. It was great for me to witness the Impala first hand in Malaysia, as Left hand drive cars or more-so, American cars are pretty scarce in Malaysia, due to the horrific road tax system, that taxes cars on engine cubic-capacity or size. The V8 growl was definitely an awesome engine soundtrack that took my heart away.
Rock and roll music were played until late evening. After the bands had wrapped it up for the night, participants of the Midnight cruise were told to assemble in front of the Square, to be led by the local Royal Malaysian Police bike outriders for a car cruise around the city of Kuala Lumpur.
I brought my passenger along and we went off in style, revving the engines loud in my 1995 Jeep Wrangler and hooning around the city of Kuala Lumpur, along with other cars and bikes. We started our journey from Publika, passing by Jalan Duta, Jalan Kuching, Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan Sultan Ismail, and then back towards Jalan Duta again to assemble our cars and bikes in front of the Istana Negara car park for a photography session with the event organisers and participants. (Editor’s Malay language translation note : Jalan = Road ; Istana Negara = National Palace)
About 20-30 cars of Japanese, European and American mix turned up for the Midnight cruise. The event was overall a great success. I wish that in the future, there will be more JDM participation, but this is just the beginning, and being this successful, I have faith that JDM participation will increase.
Words – Kevin Lee
Photos – Kevin Lee
7TUNE. THE ULTIMATE JDM EXPERIENCE SINCE 2005.
Not everyday you come face to face with legends, and we were extremely lucky to be able to feature a pristine 1975 TA23 Celica that belonged to one of my many friends who had a united passion for restoring and maintaining Japanese Legends. Read more
I’m going to show you around an extremely special little EF9 that is packed with modifications and built to such a high standard but at first glance you may just pass over it without a second look at it because it appears…normal. And yet, there is so much under the surface here, that it’d be foolish to overlook it! Trust me, this EF is properly hardcore. I had some quiet time with the car to see what really made it tick and then a rundown on what went into the build with the owner… Read more
“You will never find another pristine example like this anymore around Malaysia.” This is one car in Malaysia that has been sought and dreamt by car enthusiasts of young and old, around the world. It was a very fortunate moment to be given a glimpse of this fine beautiful machine, before it goes on sale and to be sold to the luckiest owner in Malaysia.
The Datsun 240Z, which Mr. Ng owns, was obtained about 30 years ago from Kuantan. He admires this glorious machine very much; that he had it garaged and pampered all its life. He has retained many of the original parts in the car, to preserve its originality. So what makes this car very special?
The Datsun 240Z is the ancestral grandfather of the popular Nissan 350Z or 370Z. It is also fondly known as the Datsun Fairlady Z in the Japanese market. The smooth, Kammback swooping lines of the car’s silhouette is the unmistakeable Z car trademark. The President of Nissan Motor Company USA, Yutaka Katayama, didn’t wanted to gamble its luck with the company’s image abroad, decided to enter the American market with a new brand, called Datsun. They would want to disassociate itself from the brand in case they failed to penetrate the US Market.
The 240Z started in mind, as an affordable sports car for the masses. Designated as the Model S30 the Fairlady’s styling and design cues are from German-American designer, Count Albrecht Goertz, who was also well known for was involvement in the design inputs of the Toyota 2000GT coupe. The Toyota 2000GT went on to be a legend of its own and it became one of the most desirable Japanese sports cars in the planet, after being driven in the 007 movie, You Only Live Twice, starring Sean Connery.
The 240Z was a star of its own. Although it did not have the endorsements of a widely acclaimed movie franchise, it has its own merits and sensations, not least because of its price. It was a very smooth, civilised, fully equipped yet a very capable sports car its time. Most journalists of its time had compared it to the legendary Jaguar E-type, however the 240Z trumps in it being a more affordable alternative than the latter. With all the positive praises from automotive journalists everywhere, buyers began to flock into the Datsun showrooms.
The long nose of the 240Z was very distinctive in shape, as it wrapped around a 2.4 litre inline-6 engine snugly, that produced 151 horsepower. Power might sound inadequate by modern standards, but back in the early 70’s, this was a lot faster than most cars in the category and overall car performance beats the baseline V6 powered Ford Mustang of its days.
The car had modern underpinnings for its time. Chassis specifications were very up to date, considering it had 5-speed running gear, all independent suspensions via Macpherson struts, wishbones and coil springs, rack and pinion steering and front disc/rear drum brakes. The dashboard was however, more American, having inspirations from the dash of a Corvette.
Soon, Nissan realised that the 240Z was an instant success. They realised they were unable to cope with the demand on the market. Never had their cars ever been compared to the badge prestige of a Jaguar but yet provided so much mechanical reliability in the Z cars.
The original Datsun 240Z was sold at a phenomenal rate of 50,000 cars a year. Later in 1973, Datsun introduced its 260Z model, which had its engine enlarged by increasing the size from 2.4 litres to 2.6 litres, in hope that it will compensate for the power losses due to detuning of the engine in accordance with the U.S. emission limits. That however, did not helped, as it possessed lesser horsepower and torque than the former. Newly regulated U.S. rules dictate that the crash bumpers had to be larger, which caused the 260Z’a performance to suffer.
The Datsun 260Z later introduced a pair of tiny seats for passengers at the rear. Designated as the “+2” variant, it allowed two adults to be tucked in properly at the back, although the designs of the Z had to be altered, with its swooping rear and flow lines changed slightly, to accommodate the headroom of two adults. That made the “+2” variant undesirable, as the hump from the roofline raised made it ugly. Sales unfortunately plummeted considerably after its introduction.
The Datsun 280Z was the last hurrah in the earlier Z cars. It had its engine enlarged to the final size, of 2.8 litres. Realising that the performance was suffering in its earlier 260Z cars, the 2.8 litre engine produces good power figures that finally offsets the lack of performance due to the requirements of the U.S. government of its time. The 2.8 litre engine adopted a Bosch electronic fuel injection and junked its older carburetion unit for driveability.
Demand for the Z cars had remain strong most of its life till the last model sold in 1978. Despite all the models that were sold in the US and European market, the only model that was not sold outside of the Japanese car market was the Datsun Fairlady Z432. The Datsun Fairlady Z432 was fitted with impressive twin-cam 2.0 litre engines that were actually powering the most legendary of Nissans since the 70s’. This legendary entity is none other than The Nissan Skyline GT-R. The engine produced 160 horsepower and it emitted one of the most unforgettable engine sounds, that distinct note of which is still appreciated by motorsports enthusiasts up until today.
The Z432 is one of the most expensive and highly sought after Datsun Fairlady of them all, considering prices nowadays still going for a whopping $100,000 in Japan, and with so few in existence of which are mostly held on by collectors and it is hard to see one ever change hands anywhere in the world. Only 420 units of these were ever built and sold to the public.
Considering it was one of the most affordable sports cars of its period, most race teams have purchased them for racing. It was a very successful race car in the 1970s. Famous names such as Bob Sharp Racing in the Eastern US, had employed Paul Newman of acting fame, to race for its race team, in their race prepared Datsun 240Z. While in the Western US, Brock Racing Enterprise, participates their races with a race prepared Datsun 240Z, with John Morton winning most of the time, at the wheel.
With such immense fame and involvement in racing in its days, the Datsun 240Z was a legend of its own. It was very much a Nissan GT-R in its time. The 240Z is also portrayed often in modern media, in the forms of modern serialised comic/animation, as the lead character vehicle in the Wangan Midnight series. With renewed interests in the cars, most of these cars in Malaysia are sold for exorbitant prices now to enthusiasts. Even very badly rusted wrecks are purchased by enthusiasts to be restored and repaired to its former condition.
It will be a while before a car of such pristine condition will appear for sale in the market. It is a poster boy’s dream come true to be able to come close to feel and admire the car from close. Hopefully, the new owner will enjoy and preserve the car for the coming years.
Words – Kevin Lee
Photos – Kevin Lee
7TUNE. THE ULTIMATE JDM EXPERIENCE SINCE 2005.
Finally the day arrived where I was able to put the new Toyota 86 through its paces in real life situations and I came away from the test really impressed with the car. I wasn’t blown away, nor was I expecting to be since the base model is where you start with the package but for what it is, and the price it drops in at in Japan, it makes for a compelling and delicious argument… but now I have a major problem on my hands… Read more
The one car which completely blew me away at this years Nostalgic Car Show in Yokohama was this original KPGC10 Hakosuka 2000 GT-R that is having an entire book of EPIC modifications thrown at it. It is going to be one of THE most hardcore classic sports car to come out of Japan this year and I’ve got the details on what’s gone into it ( and what’s going into it ) at this stage of the build. Wanna know all about it? Right this way please… Read more
Hello. My name is Praveent Chelvam and I am 19 this year. Kenapa saya cinta JDM? “Kenapa saya cinta JDM” means “why do I love JDM” in Bahasa Melayu. I am from Malaysia and I come from a small town named Ipoh. I have been in love with JDM for 17 years and counting. And this small red Toyota Corolla KE20 Deluxe named Mona started it all. Read more
With a few mixed emotions, I took the Lambo to Daikoku Futo the day I was to hand it back and there, among other enthusiastic Lamborghini men, something odd was noticed. In the outer groove of the right rear Pirelli Zero Corsa was a screw, nestled flush against the tire! Read more
Dom Bloemhard is a great guy to have on the 7Tune team. One reason besides being awesome to down pints with is the fact that he is so deeply ingrained into the VIP culture that it was an insta-yes the second he told me about the Sessions Platinum event at Fuji Speedway not too long ago. Read more
If the traffic lights were green this post probably would never have materialized. Nick Itoh and I were on our way to Suzuka circuit that morning after a treacherous drive through torrential rain from Shizuoka. I slowly pulled the Audi A1 up to the lights and stopped directly outside the equivalent of Honda NSX Nirvana; a place where “dreams” can be touched, drooled over…even bought. What I’m about to show you is quite simply one of the most amazing car showrooms you could ever hope to see… Read more
Before I said farewell to the RWB workshop in Chiba earlier this month, Nakai san handed me a little yellow ticket that had some special writing on it: “Credential Pass”. The 12 hour endurance race turned out to be an unforgettable experience. The weather was mercilessly hot but that didn’t stop nearly 100 cars and hundreds of spectators, competitors and supporters alike from heading out to the Motegi Twin Ring circuit for the 9th annual round of the Idlers Games 12 hour Endurance race. Let’s take a look around the grid before getting stuck into the action on the track later that morning… Read more
In the last post we were looking at Nakai sans rare E60 daily. I’m sure his kids LOVE getting taken to school in RWB monsters but wives aren’t usually so accommodating so a compromise was obviously needed! For Part 2, we’re going to have another look around the outside of the workshop simply because it was bursting at the seams with Porsche goodness and then we’ll venture inside the Man Cave, have a good look around and take a long look at a few RWB creations that are either ready to go or on their way… Read more
Akihabara ( or Akiba as everyone calls it ) was like a second home to me for 4 years. I grew to know the place better than where I actually live and have watched it go through some dramatic and irreversible changes over that time. The Akiba of yesterday with its backstreets packed to the brim with odds and ends stores, teeming with colorful characters, is slowly being peeled off, like a snake shedding an old skin; becoming more and more a hub for corporate business. The old world charm is still there in great doses but these days you have to dig a little deeper into the many surrounding sub cultures to get a peek into what Akiba is really like underneath those glaring neon lights illuminating the ever increasing presence of faceless office buildings… Read more