The automotive aftermarket industry took a big break from a crisis year to converge at the SMX Convention Center and conclude the year with a bang. The Manila Auto Salon featured some of the country's top auto stylists, craftsmen, restorers and tuners all under one roof all for auto enthusiasts to appreciate and for the show judges to decide who created the best works for the year in the 14th edition of the Custom Car and Sport Truck Competition.
Entries in this years show were a mix of restored and modified old school cars, tuner cars, tricked out SUVs and monster trucks. With over one hundred fifty cars at the SMX, only a few would stand out and be recognized as the best. The coveted Best in Show award was divided into four categories for this year's show: Custom Car, Sport Truck, SUV and Extreme Tuner.
Capturing the Best of Show - Custom Car award was the Voltex-clad, heavily modified Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII entry of PR Autosport/118 Designs/Autoline with an all-out show and go setup. It also bagged the Best Bodykit award for function, and best in class for AWD Tuner Car and AWD Sports Sedan.
Taking home the Best of Show for Extreme Tuner award was the completely modified TRA-Kyoto widebody-clad Nissan Silvia RPS13 of Autoplus/Motul; the car kicked sideways by Japanese drift ace Nobuteru Taniguchi in the final round of the Lateral Drift Championship. The 490-wheel horsepower strong tire-burner also won the RWD Tuner Car Class.
Coming all the way from Baguio City in the Sport Truck category, the monstrous Toyota Hilux entry of Jeff's Off-Road, nicknamed "Ondoy", captured the top plum while bagging the Off-Road class as well. The Land Cruiser BJ60 of Charlie Yao done by Dr. G's Car Clinic took home the Best of Show - SUV award.
A special award was also given this year by Japanese Head Judge Minoru Gouko sponsored by Car-Part.com to the 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback Custom entry of Alex Car Restoration & Modification Service owned by Wilfred Siy.
The show is not just for appreciating but also for shopping as aftermarket distributors and suppliers displayed their latest products and services like accessories, air fresheners, detailing products, navigation systems, and even t-shirts, with show exclusive discounts and offers. It was virtually like a huge candy store for car aficionados both young and old.
As the saying goes, car and girls go along. What auto show would be complete without beautiful models and race queens? With the Philippines being home to hundreds of thousands of lovely ladies, big smiles and popped out eyeballs were common amongst the predominantly testosterone-charged visitors of the show.
Running under the wings of the Manila Auto Salon was the 3rd Mobile Electronics and Technology Show featuring the prestigious IASCA Car Audio Competition, garnering participation from some of the country's top mobile audio installers. Thirty-three competitors vied for the IASCA Sound Quality with Installation competition. However only a handful of competitors showed up for the IdBL competition for the loudest vehicle.
Organizers also displayed General Douglas MacArthur's 1937 Cadillac V16 town car (only one of two ever produced) as a special preview to their upcoming event on the summer of 2011 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Trans Sport Show to be held alongside the Manila Sports Car Club's Concours d' Elegance and the 1st Philippine Nostalgic Motor Show to be held at the SMX Convention Center.
Despite the crisis and calamities that rocked the country, the Tradeshow International organized show was still an astounding success with over 35,000 visitors attending the four-day event.