Retro Havoc 2014 was an event that really took a lot of people by surprise, including me. I had no idea what to expect for my third visit to Malaysia but for all intents and purposes, the promise of over 300 of the countries best classic cars, crammed into one giant aircraft hangar on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur made for a tantalising proposition that couldn’t be missed!… Read more
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
After a good night’s rest we got up nice and early to head on over to Sepang again on Sunday to bring you the final coverage of our 2 part coverage of the Super GT here in Malaysia and coming early was certainly the right choice to make as Sunday is always more lively at Sepang for Super GT. We stored away our things at the media centre and grabbed our vests and headed out again for coverage and we decided to get a regular spectator’s perspective and see what they see. Read more
Its a new year and its time again for the JCCA (Japan Classic Car Association) annual new years meet in Odaiba. A veritable feast of classic automobile goodness and plenty of gasps of “natsukashiiii” from the locals…natsukashi meaning “its so nostalgic isn’t it!!”
Straight in at the gates you gaze upon rows upon rows of gleaming classics, most older than myself.
Alongside all the Cars is a very very Japanese level enthusiasts flea market and by Japanese level I mean everything you would ever want as a classic car lover no matter what your vehicle of choice or fancy is! From Sparco seats to vintage car sales brochures to toy cars, you name it its here.
Headlamps, you got it.
Model Kits, absolutely.
I spent hours walking the aisles mesmerised by all the history surrounding me, whilst turning down one of the aisles I came upon two schoolboys holding a flag and wearing uniforms….upon speaking to them I found out that they form part of the Hosei University Automobile Club, today they had brought along a real stunner. A 1938 Jaguar SS, a real piece of automotive history, as far as I could read most of the parts and some of the bodywork is still original, either way its a grand spectacle.
As an Englishman it was rather strange walking around a Japanese Classic Car meet and being met with rows upon rows of classic Britishness, from rows of Lotus Espirit and various racing incarnations of other Lotus models to Minis, Triumphs and Jaguars.
After a while of wandering around and chatting to some locals I found what I personally was looking for, the Fairlady Z section. I have always found the first gen of Fairlady Zs to be such a beauty to behold….which comes as no surprise given where its design influence came from…..this particular model however I found in the parking lot!!
Up and down I went finding more gems from “Back in the day” sometimes so far back in someones day I don’t know if I was alive at the time some of these cars rolled of the production line or flew off the grid.
Found some real gems.
A wild blue Celica GTV circa 1972.
As the day drew to an end my shutter finger was still maniacally twitching away, so much awesomeness. It was then I had an epiphany about enthusiasts and collectors of every nature….we all love what we do and love to talk about it with like-minded and noobs a like, if you have the passion, they have the time, I shot this last image and I think it sums up the atmosphere of the day perfectly, bunch of mates hanging out talking cars around a car, drinking ghetto sake surrounded by car parts and other car lovers! CARS!!
Till the next time… but before I go, here are some bonus shots for you to enjoy
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 simply could not believe it. I just stood there staring at it in disbelief, wondering if it was really the genuine holy grail for all Zed lovers. Could it be the rarest and most valuable Fairlady Zed in the world; the Fairest Lady of them all? 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.
The AE86, or the Hachi Roku, which literally means 86 in Japanese, is worshipped by many in the motorsports world, and made famous by the anime that took the world by storm, Initial D. The aura and the driving physics of this car is definitely not one of luxury or class, but more along the lines of raw unprecedented fun, and the car’s handling capabilities are quite forgiving which entitles many novice drifters to learn and experience drifting and extremely fun driving all in one readily available package, one of which many modern cars are unable to achieve. The AE86 is truly a legendary piece of engineering, that gives one an adrenaline rush regardless of whether you are behind the wheel or just watching it in action from the sidelines.
The Hachi in question here is known as “Pinky”, and it’s definitely not your normal AE86, judging by the eccentric colour chosen, one can already begin to understand how different this Hachi is. The owner of this Hachi goes by the name of Anep Dorifuto, a local drifter in Kuala Lumpur, who’s just beginning to learn the ropes. His drifting exploits began in 2009, and he bought his very own Hachi in 2010. After beginning to perfect the art of going sideways he has won several events. Events that Anep participated in have all been on the local scale, namely the Cyberjaya Drift challenge and the KBS drift challenge to name a few. In one of the races he earned 6th place in the expert category and 3rd in the novice category.
When one talks about Hachi’s, one usually revels about the 4AGE engine, and the brilliant toyota handling, but there are other cars out there that have parts that fair a little better than the Hachi’s, which leads to another unusual piece of information. A normally aspirated SR20 lifted from an S13. Other parts have also been exchanged and include the front axle and front suspension, all also from the S13. All this is made possible with the help of Under3 Garage, who takes care of all the mechanical details. With these modifications, Anep has successfully negated all of the issues had with the original parts, and now with a car that has more power and more precise handling, this hachi is now a weapon to Anep, ready to tear up the track.
To many this is just another Hachi with an unusual colour scheme, but this is no doubt a tribute to Anep’s passion and hunger for speed. Fueling his burning desire to have created this precision drifting machine, which now has the characteristics of a poison dart frog. Blazing about with it’s brightly coloured skin to show that its a highly potent and worthy adversary regardless of its size. Drifting is a sport which requires immense precision and control on the driver’s part, and as for the car, it has to stand out and appeal to the crowd and judges. It’s safe to say that Anep has managed to achieve that combination with flying colours.
If you are from Malaysia, Catch this car in action in SpeedCity Serdang ( near Astro building ). This car is one of the main attractions, which you could hop on and feel that intense adrenaline rush.
Check out Retro Garage for more awesome pictures and also don’t forget to drop on our 7tune Facebook Page. Have a nice day.
7TUNE. The Ultimate JDM Experience Since 2005
Words – Eugene Chan
Photos – Praveent Chelvam
This was my first time at the Nostalgic Car Show after missing it the last few years for one reason or another. But boy was I glad I made the trip to this one! It was oldschool nirvana for anyone into their classics and there must have been 50 odd occasions where I was left absolutely speechless either by raw power, beautiful curves, classic or modern approaches to a build or by utter rarity. Let me show you what’s inside… Read more
I must admit i’m not really a daytime kind of person. I’m at my best after the sun is down, the city lights turn on and the streets are abandoned. It has something to do with the magic of an illuminated city that awakens me and drives me onto the streets. I’ve seen many enchanting city’s in this world but nothing compares to the streets of Tokyo by night.
It’s around noon on a cold day in January, I’m standing in the lobby of my hotel at the pay phone punching in the number that my girlfriend is reading to me from the computer. The phone rings and I wonder if I’ll even get an answer as it’s only a been a few days since New Years and in Japan, most shops are usually closed. The phone keeps ringning but as I was about to give up hope, someone picks up. I reply awkwardly as I didn’t expect an answer. 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