‘No Man is an Island’ is a saying that extends to various facets of our lives. Whether it be a career, family, or in this case a hobby, you can only get so far going it alone when it comes to building a car. The ‘Project Car Life’ is an endeavor that will take you through a journey that will (literally) make you pour blood, sweat, and tears – and you will need all the friends you can get to help you along the way.

Bartering is back: The How’s Your Project Car Pare? Swap Meet image

This is the general sentiment of the folks behind the How’s Your Project Car Pare? Facebook group. Spearheaded and founded by Sonny Vicente back in 2017, our group understands the hardships and difficulties of a long-term project car all too well, and the group exists as space for project car owners to share their stories, tech tips, and life lessons from their own experiences of building their vehicles. Since the group has been gaining traction as a source of entertainment and/or wealth of information for aspiring enthusiasts, we figured that there should be an appropriate event that would take us away from our keyboards and into our cars: a Swap Meet.

Bartering is back: The How’s Your Project Car Pare? Swap Meet image

Swap Meets have been the go-to events to scour for spare parts short of going to a junkyard. Long before we did our shopping on our computer screens and through couriers, the previous generation of car enthusiasts would frequently host these meets so that they could find all the pieces to eventually complete their restoration projects. It seemed as if the wonders of the internet (or the curses of dealing with idiots on FB Marketplace) have washed away the novelty of having to go to these events and mingle with other enthusiasts to get the parts we need; It’s like taking away at the element of community when it comes to building our cars. That said, we held our first How’s Your Project Car Pare? Swap Meet at the Ortigas Technopoint Parking Building to bridge that gap.

Bartering is back: The How’s Your Project Car Pare? Swap Meet image

With the number of participants signed up, we were expecting to fill up the 6th floor of the parking for vendors while those who just wanted to peruse what’s on sale could park on the 7th-floor roof deck. As early as 12 noon, participants were already waiting at one corner of the designated floor as we sprang to action to sort out the incoming participants towards their spaces. Little by little people came through with their wares and began to set up shop across the floor, and by late afternoon the floor was already chockful of vendors and attendees plying for parts.

Bartering is back: The How’s Your Project Car Pare? Swap Meet image

In order to make the event more interesting, we invited a few corporate vendors to participate in the swap meet as well. Each vendor agreed to sell items that could be sold as clearance goods already. In a way, these vendors found an opportunity to free up some inventory space while getting in touch with the local enthusiast market – two birds with one stone.

Bartering is back: The How’s Your Project Car Pare? Swap Meet image

The 7th-floor roof deck was effectively a baking tray for a good chunk of the afternoon thanks to the summer heat. Later on in the day though we’ve found some choice examples of project cars in varying states of completion parked upstairs. Everything from a 550whp Lancer Evolution IV to a slammed Volkswagen Beetle was present to offer a fair amount of variety for everyone.

Bartering is back: The How’s Your Project Car Pare? Swap Meet image

This particular Impreza WRX is wearing some quirky tire stencils that would look familiar to players of Grand Theft Auto V. It even comes complete with custom Karin Sultan RS badges at the back to complete the video game fictional car ensemble. Talk about full circle.

Bartering is back: The How’s Your Project Car Pare? Swap Meet image

Later on, in the evening our corporate vendors and some generous participants all chipped in for a raffle. Everything from a rat-repellant spray all the way to a cold-air intake system was raffled off for the people who took the time to participate. 

Bartering is back: The How’s Your Project Car Pare? Swap Meet image

While we accept that a large portion of our automotive lives these days are spent talking shop/trash/etc on the internet, our aim is to ultimately inform others of the correct ways to build the car of your dreams with your own two hands. And with that, we will continue to host more events like these in the future. We hope to see you at the next one!