Car shows in the Philippines have come a long way in recent years. So much so that tuners and builders would dedicate their time and passion to bag coveted awards in the scene. Now in its 12th year, the Manila Auto Salon opened its doors from November 29 to December 2 to showcase the hard work and the wares for cars and off-road trucks alike. With what was estimated to be more than 200 quality vehicles on display, MAS and the Sport Truck Show had everything for both road goers and trail beaters.
As it has been in its past 11 shows, the Manila Auto Salon and Sport Truck Show were not focused on up and coming car models. Instead, it showcased builds of actual cars and off-road trucks by workshops and owners. From 90's Japanese hatchbacks that looked straight out of an aftermarket parts catalog to tricked out (yes, tricked out) ultra-luxe cars (read Rolls-Royce) to an immensely large and lifted monster truck (you couldn't have possibly missed it), there was something that would appeal to all those who walked into the exhibit's doors.
Organized by Tradeshow International, Inc. and presented by Delium Tires Philippines, all four halls spanning close to 9,000 square meters became both haven and battle ground for showgoers and car owners with their entries, respectively. Also worth mentioning is that Delium Tires has been present in many major shows worldwide and for this event, they had their entire line-up of two-and-four-wheel vehicle tires on display.
From the entrance alone, you can already get a vibe that this show had a whole lot to offer. Flanking the venue's gates, there were cars on display already. From one end of SMX to the other, there were Nissans, Toyotas, Mazdas, and even a Ferrari displayed for everyone to see. As for the show's main presentor Delium, their showcase was right in the center of the halls' entrance. As mentioned, tires for motorcycles and cars and trucks were on display.
As you make your way to the left, you are greeted with stalls that sell anything from shirts to outdoor paraphernalia. It is a car and truck show after all so you won't be left wanting in terms of merchandise. Move further on and you'll see the aforementioned 1995 Civic hatchback. It is in shows like this that even old cars can shine, and believe us when we say that this particular one did. For those heavy into the Japanese Domestic Market scene, it was a veritable Spoon Sports catalog in the metal. Not bad at all for a 23-year old car.
Towards the back of the halls were stationed the tricked-out off-roaders of the Sport Truck Show. Most of the parts manufacturers for these trucks' suspension parts and body panels were also located in this area, so if one is in the market for a lift kit and meaty, chunky tires, this was the area to be during the show. Off-road customization has seen a rise in its base, and this provides a good avenue to see how to properly setup a pickup or an SUV whether to take on the trophies, or the beaten paths, whichever an owner may like better.
Onwards and towards the right, there we see the displays opening up to more cars. From Type Rs, Mercedes-Benzes, Toyotas, and a lot more, there was very good representation for cars from all corners of the enthusiast scene. Here we saw a multitude of entries and cars participating in the awards race. With so many builders vying for the top awards in their categories, it seems that the judges had their hands full with all those who gave more than a thought and a lot more of their efforts to showcase what their builds had to offer. Yes, car shows are mostly about form over function in recent years, but looking at the participating cars at MAS this year, there seems to have been a proper balance struck between function and form this time around.
What seemed to have caught the eyes of most, though, was the display of Tuned supercars. There is no denying that although Japanese imports had strength in numbers, it was this collection of Lamborghinis and Ferraris and other European exotics that, in a way, stole the show. Not to take away from all the other exhibitor areas and their cars and/or trucks on display, but it may be safe to say that many showgoers gravitated towards supercar mania.
Aside from a bevy of custom cars and trucks, there were also a lot of booths dedicated to the display and sales of aftermarket parts and accessories. Performance parts, audio systems, alarm and security gadgets, dash cameras, wheels and tires, repair equipment, motor oils, automotive paints, and even motoring publications had their own dedicated areas during the show.
Organized by Tradeshow International, Inc., president Sophie delos Santos had this to say about this year's event, "The Manila Auto Salon and Sport Truck Show have now become iconic brands in the automotive industryspecifically in the automotive aftermarket and off-road fields. I hope to use these shows as major tools in supporting advocacies related to restoration excellence, responsible modifications among others."
12 years into it, and with what looks like another 12 more years and shows ahead, it seems that the Manila Auto Salon and Sport Truck Show have already been established as a staple event in the local auto industry calendar. After this year, we can safely expect that the succeeding shows will be bigger, and will only get better.