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.