Text by : Ben Wong, Photos by : Neo & JieYong
Now we have been inactive for quite a while but I promised we were getting out and about once again. The kind of content you are about to see is not the kind of content we usually host on our humble little blog, but this will be a post worth reading because it is something you will rarely get to see.
I’m quite certain there is no need for me to repeat myself about the vehicles structure in Singapore and the miserable COE prices, while there is a shimmer of hope that prices may drop soon with a slight decrease in the previous bidding, it still remains unlikely that those prices will drop by much. So lets accept that motoring here is extremely tough and let us move forward in appreciating everything that is available to us, regardless of any car type.
We were actually at the Kallang carpark beside Mcdonalds to cover the SG Merc meet. To the guys from SG Merc reading this and wondering where are your pictures, do give the photographers a little more time to finish editing the photos. Seeing that we don’t do this full time, we rush them out as quickly as we can whenever we have the time to spare. Fortunately for us, neither of the photographers play Diablo 3, so they should be ready even quicker.
We were actually unaware about any meet happening behind us until this little car rolled in.
Right after that I looked to the right of where he parked and saw something I never expected to see in Singapore.
I was sold. This was a meet we HAD to attend.
I walked over and handed my name card to the guys standing around talking and introduced myself. These guys were from a club called MSVCR, The Malaysian Singapore Vintage Car Register. Being the performance junkies we are, this was something that we have never experienced before but it was certainly worth exploring.
You would expect the people who admire these cars to be of slightly older age group right? Well you were… right. They are slightly more mature then the general crowd we are used to seeing at most of the car meets we attend.
Yet, age was no boundary when interacting with these guys. They hold a genuine love and interest in these cars they restore and maintain with pride! Despite being unfamiliar with anything of such nature, you could see the sparkle in their eyes when answering some of the basic questions to aid my understanding in some of the things these guys do. When it came to talking about their cars. Some also brought their kids or partners along to just relax and enjoy the evening spent with other MSVCR members.
We did not exactly get the chance to interact with every single car owner and our apologies if we missed out any car in our photo-set. It was an extreme pleasure interacting with those that we managed to speak to and their patience in explaining to us the things they undergo to keep their cars on the road. From the simple things like only having to pay 10% of the current COE price but only being allowed to drive their cars 28 days a year, or the $10,000 dollar fine they are slapped with if caught driving without the vintage car coupon they are supposed to tear each time they take the car out. Some other topics brought up were things like having to modify their starter motors to fit their respective cars as parts are almost impossible to find. For the few with slightly newer cars, they are extremely thankful for E-bay.
However there were two cars in particular that got camera raped by our two camera men Neo and Jieyong.
Pardon me for not being able to remember the name of a car. These cars are genuinely alien to me and it took me some effort in getting all the names right. I had to at least get the year they were manufactured right though. At least I hope I did.
Any way, the JAAAAAAAAAG E-type was only familiar to us for one reason. Top Gear. If its familiar to you too then you’re a true car lover. All car lovers watch Top gear, partially for their crazy antics but mostly for their brutally honest car reviews, something you don’t get to see in most magazines. Some where in series 17 of Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson specially gathered an entire fleet of Jaguar E-Types as a tribute to this gorgeous car. I’ve attached a YouTube link of that clip here in case you missed that particular episode.
Even when it was started and driven off, the simplistic joy we got from listening to that V12 purr cannot be described in words. You just couldn’t take your eyes and ears off it.
It was not just about the rarity of the cars present that day but it was the atmosphere that everyone was interacting with everyone and asking questions about what have they done to their cars. No discrimination or snobbishness, just genuine interest in their cars. When I mention the “work done”, its not the usual performance modifications that most of us speak off but these guys, do most of their repair and maintenance work on their own! While cars were a lot simpler back then, you know genuine love and passion when you are willing to spend the time and effort in fixing what’s broken to get the car running. Most of us would just spend the 50 dollars in having our current cars towed to a workshop and have the problem rectified.
We thank the guys from MSVCR in allowing us to stick our noses into their meet once again and we had a pleasant time with them for that evening.
Some of the members also mentioned that they will be holding one of the largest vintage meets in the months to come and hopefully, they will remember to give us the opportunity to cover that as well. We will be sure to keep you posted on any meet they might be holding. This way, we can appreciate and share with all of you this simple bit of vintage pleasure, on an island that rarely gives you the opportunity to appreciate any car beyond 10 years of age.