EVENT – ART OF SPEED 2012 IN MALAYSIA

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

Subaru Leone pick up truck and the orange "Dragon" Toyota Celica
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.

Nissan Bluebird 910 with massive wheels and camber
Nissan Bluebird 910 with massive wheels and camber

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.

Itinerary for the event on Saturday and Sunday
Itinerary for the event on Saturday and Sunday

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.

Moon Eyes Authorised dealer's booth
Moon Eyes Authorised dealer's booth

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!

Custom and Yamaha chopper
Custom and Yamaha chopper

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.

Modified Harley with Japanese inspired helmet by Beautiful Machines
Modified Harley with Japanese inspired helmet by Beautiful Machines

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's Chevrolet Impala
Asep's Chevrolet Impala

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.

Julian Acid, from Malaysian Rock & Roll Band, with a female fan
Julian Acid, from Malaysian Rock & Roll Band, with a female fan

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.

Bright Orange Celica in the dark
Bright Orange Celica in the dark

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)

Rendezvous at Istana Negara
Rendezvous at Istana Negara

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.

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