It’s time to take you back to Retro-land boys and girls. Back to an event that blew everybody away with its diversity and quality of machinery. Many people don’t expect Malaysia to have such a strong presence in tuning circles but the Malaysians are serious about their cars and one look around Retro Havoc and even the most jaded or cynical of enthusiasts would admit that what they see before them is nothing short of spectacular. And you’re about to see the best of it, right here on 7Tune. Read on…
Retro Havoc is the brainchild of Alie Kuoppa, Danny Foo and the great team at Atara Racing; a company set up to provide wheel and accessory support to the aftermarket industry in Malaysia.
Malaysians love their modern cars but they are totally crazy about classic Japanese and European machines.
Retro Havoc was created as a landmark event in order to unite people who share in those passions and display the best of the best in the Malaysian scene. 7Tune was brought over to Malaysia as official media partners for the event and together with Gene Chan and Praveent Chelvam, we’ve got the entire hangar covered.
The very fact the event was being held in an aircraft hangar was totally cool, very original and a great idea as it gave a lot of shelter against the sometimes unpredictable elements but also doubled as a great backdrop for the main arena where selected cars were displayed.
Finding this hangar though was a royal pain in the backside with Praveent and I driving in circles for about an hour before spotting a big truck carrying a bunch of customised scooters. “He’s got to be going to Retro Havoc…so, let’s hope he knows the location better than we do!“, Praveent laughed as we filed in behind. Future Retro Havoc events definitely need more posted signs at specific locations along the way.
Once we arrived though, it was clear that we were all in for a bit of a treat… and a very long day of shooting. People often ask me what it’s like to do what I do and I reply that if you do what you love, you never really work a day in your life. At least, that’s what I keep trying to tell myself! 😉
Retro Havoc had a little bit of everything to cater to every sort of taste. There were all sorts of classic European rides from Germany, England and Italy plus a huge selection of classic Japanese metal from all her different manufacturers.
Some of these cars are so rare in Japan even that it’s almost impossible to spot them on the road, so you can imagine my surprise when I find them rolling through the gates in Malaysia!
Take this Mitsubishi Scorpion (Galant) for example…
Or this immaculate Karmann Ghia…
Other cars we spotted during the day had some pretty crazy engine swaps or other mods. Take this B18C powered Mini for example; a common swap in the UK I hear but one I’ve never actually seen before – in Japan or anywhere else for that matter.
I can only imagine how crazy it would be to drive when it’s pulling only a few hundred kilograms of weight.
The engine in this MkI Escort was uber clean.
Another car I almost never see in Japan.
I’ve always been a very keen Celica fanatic having tuned 3 of my own over the years, so you can imagine my joy at finding a bunch of TA and RA version Celicas gracing the halls of the Subang Skypark Regional Aviation centre.
This red “Mustang Nose” RA23 was one of the best ones.
Actually, they were all pretty much pantie droppers.
Including this beautiful Daruma or “coke bottle” TA22.
But the one that really took my breath away was Azin’s yellow RA28, a classic that has undergone massive amounts of restorative work over the course of many moons.
Azin is a big 7Tune fan and couldn’t contain his joy in showing me around the car. At one point he whips out his phone and shows me a photo of the very same car with his dad standing next to it, some 30 years ago. That’s right – this car has been in the family that long after his dad purchased it almost brand new back in the late 70’s!
The bodywork alone was something to marvel at and it came as absolutely no surprise to me to learn that Star Road’s Inoue san was also taking a very keen interest in the Celica. In fact, Azin’s approach reminded me so much of the way Inoue san goes about building perfection.
The engine as well is turning into a real masterpiece, with Azin opting for the traditional and pure route.
I can’t wait to see what the finished product looks like. Both Shouji Inoue and myself were really interested in the craftsmanship. You might recognise the Playhouse Garage Fairlady S30 from a recent feature we did…
Among the halls, there were loads of other amazing machines.
Take this RX2 Capella built by my friend Raj at My Rides Magazine.
The details on this car are fantastic and no expense has been spared in getting it looking this good.
Raj brought along a bunch of awesome machines, including his flame spitting, 13B powered 510 Datsun.
On a few occasions he fired it up and let it roar from within the hangar, the resulting flames fierce enough to char-grill your chicken.
Speaking of amazing conversions, this Paul Walker inspired Mk1 Escort was sporting a Toyota 1UZ-FE V8 engine…
…stunning two tone white and blue paint…
.. and a pretty lass who fired it up only to bash off the limiter to the delight of people standing nearby. I could see a trend forming here. Show goers would gravitate to wherever an engine was being brought to life like moths to a flame.
But without question, the loudest of them all was the RPS FC3S drag car that, when given the beans, exploded with a deafening sonic boom every time the throttle was released.
I nearly shit myself the first time it went off, wondering if the event was under attack.
Shouji, Toshi and I just looked at each other and laughed. Malaysia Boleh!
Malaysia Boleh just means, “Anything goes in Malaysia!” and so it definitely was at Retro Havoc 2014.
There really was a little of everything at the event. Take this Bosozoku inspired MkII Corona with matching paint and wheels. Very Japanese.
A lot of what I saw at Retro Havoc was very accurate in the sense that Malaysian builders really take after their Japanese cousins when going for the right look.
Japan always was and always will be a pioneer for stylistic cues and it’s good to see our friends in Malaysia following suit. I don’t recall seeing a single grain of rice at the entire event.
Some cars were most definitely grain fed herbivores though, including these ratted out/war inspired VW Beetles and Kombi’s…
But among the herbivores, there were plenty of carnivores…
Like this Lancer sporting a boosted SR20DET and huge top mount turbo.
Or this KE70 Corolla with a 20 valve 4A-GE conversion.
Venturing further still, we discovered some pure American muscle like this R/T Charger…
…or this beautifully restored Camaro and Mustang
Japan wasn’t without its own representatives in the form of well presented Hakos…
Mazda rotaries of all types…
And of course, ubiquitous Fairladys.
But out of all the cars present, there was one that stood out as a real marker for future development in regards to parts creation and custom fabrication. Kong Kenichi’s S30Z has been fed a large diet of carbon fiber and instead of buying off the shelf parts, every carbon piece on the car has been created by hand. In fact, there is nowhere in Malaysia where carbon parts for the S30Z can be purchased… until now. And I have an exclusive feature coming for this very car in a future post.
The rest of that story is going to have to wait until part two of this MASSIVE Malaysian extravaganza from Retro Havoc 2014!
7Tune. The Ultimate “Malaysian” Experience Since 2005.
Words: Adam Zillin
Photos: Gene Chan, Praveent Chelvham and Adam Zillin
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