Monday, September 12, 2005
At just after 9 am, the parking lot is still empty.
By 10 am, the cars start arriving.
By 11, the parking lot was full.
I apologize if anyone looking at the above photos has a permanent squint or blurred vision. The camera in my PDA is not good with long shots.It is not hot with medium shots either. I would have tried the new Nokia 6020's camera but I doubt the pictures would be better. Besides, I cannot possibly transfer the pics from the phone to the pc until Farris delivers the Irda cable.
The pictures above were of yesterday's Autovision 2005, organised by my Special Events & Risk Management students. The event was basically a competition for car modders. The published time was 9am to 6pm. It didn't start at 9am or end at 6pm. It did test my patience at first but I learned a few things about the modders and their passion for modifying their cars.
The 50 cars that entered the competition yesterday weren't ready to be judged the moment they rolled into their designated spot. First they have to move forward so that a mat or a big piece of cloth can be laid out. One creative owner used a camouflage netting. Then the car is reversed so it sits squarely on the mat/cloth/netting. Then the doors are opened to reveal the interior, the bonnet (or hood, if you are American) is raised to reveal the engine. Some opened the boot (or the rear door) to reveal their speakers. One van had a total of 12 speakers. The owner tried to drown our PA System. When he succeeded and we could not make any announcement whatsoever, we politely told him to point his array of woofers and tweeters in the opposite direction. I am sure his collection of rap songs can be heard all the way in Genting Highlands.
Back to the modders. The next stage is to polish the car and to wrap engine parts with aluminum foil. Polishing the car is allowed but apparently the aluminum foil is not. Also discouraged is the use of stuffed animals to decorate the roof of the car. I saw one red crocodile dumped on the ground. A couple of stuffed tigers suffered the same fate.
Judging could not be done until 2pm. even though the last registration was at 1.30. The judges had a tough time. The cars were judged on their paint work, safety and interior. I haven't seen so many unique Kancils and Protons. Even the Tiara were transformed into Cinderellas on wheels. A few cars had double sunroof. One even had a plastic roof on the bonnet. Curious, I asked one of the judges if any of those got melted by the heat of the engine. The answer floored me. Those cars are rarely driven. Usually the owners have other cars.
You might think that the owners are rich people. They are not. They are ordinary working folks. Some are mechanics (ordinary mechanics, not overly rich ones with Harleys and power boats.) One of the winners is a bus driver. Whatever they are, they share something in common - the passion of transforming a bread and butter car like the Kancil into something sporty and exciting. Something that they lovingly care for and show off whenever they have the chance. You can't help but admire their handiwork.