Aurick Go / Jenna Genio, Kelvin Go, Jose Altoveros | February 23, 2017 12:53
Manila's local car culture mashed into one evening meet
When it comes to modifying and personalizing our cars, we often look towards other countries that have created a certain look or style. Be it Japan, Europe, or the United States, likely we’ve found plenty of inspiration from all over the world to build our cars the way we want to build them. Thanks to the internet, we have a pretty sizeable window to look through for the right parts, paint, or even a whole car to base our builds upon.
As much as it’s great to take inspiration from internationally famous shops or cars, wouldn’t it be nice to see what your fellow countrymen are building? Perhaps aside from looking towards great builds abroad we should ask: Are there any builds worth following here in Manila? One way to find out what everyone else is doing with their cars is to attend meets – and meets organized by Stance Pilipinas/Manila Fitted (SPMF) often bring out some interesting machines.
While SPMF would have regular bi-monthly meets, this particular evening was made a bit more special thanks to some visiting guests from the United States. One of these guests in particular is Mark Arcenal, founder of Fatlace, the Slammed Society series of events, and a huge proponent of the latest trends and styles the world over. Upon announcing the fact that Slammed Society will co-host SPMF for this upcoming meet, it seemed to go without saying what everyone ought to do for that evening. Bring your best Bakal, or so they say.
True enough, come the cool wednesday evening of January 18th, some interesting cars rolled into the rather large Circuit Makati carpark. Some cars could be seen as staples or regulars to these meets, but while the cars seem familiar there’s likely to be a couple new changes to them as well.
Perhaps one of the most awaited cars for the evening was this GX Cressida. While this car has long since been known as a low-slung and clean white sedan at the meets, it now bears a full Retro Falken livery to fully live up to its Kaido Racer style.
One of the newer cars to the meet is probably this red Honda Prelude. Wide fenders and stretched wheels weren’t exactly meant for this car to begin with, so it’s clear to see there’s been a lot of fabrication work involved to get this look out of it.
Having long since been absent from meets, it’s very refreshing to see our good friends from Sushi Machine make an appearance. Alongside their famed TA22 Celica, they’ve brought out an E21 BMW 3-series bearing the signature Sushi treatment. It’s safe to say they’ve been hard at work behind the scenes despite their absence.
Tagging along with the folks from Sushi, this silver TA22 Celica had more to offer beneath its pristine factory bodylines. If its deep rumble pulling up to the carpark was anything to go by, it’s something rather menacing. Apparently a Toyota 1UZ-FE V8 from a Lexus LS400 was shoehorned into the 70’s retro coupe. Likely making short of 300 horsepower to the wheels, the V8 may well have turned the Celica into something quite lively!
With a meet as large as this, you can count on folks with sports cars from the 90’s to make an appearance. The guys from Drive Hard Crew found a cozy spot to line their cars up at the end of the lot, and so I promptly joined them with my RX-7 later on in the evening.
You can’t talk about Manila’s cream of the crop without mentioning Car Porn Racing. Known for V8 swaps and locally representing various international brands – not to mention a wild creation of their own – it’s easy to have an idea of what kind of cars they’ll bring to the table. For this evening, we’ve been graced by the presence of RWB #7, Tubero, and a Liberty Walk GT-R with plenty of other goods the shop has thrown at it.
As iconic the AE86 has become thanks to that kid delivering tofu, it becomes quite predictable to see one in panda two-tone. Thankfully this particular AE86 coupe brought by PR Autotype broke away from the norm by going with a bright light blue paintjob. The car appears to be well detailed – all the way down to the bits in the engine bay too.
While it’s easy to shrug off photos of some really low cars parked at a carpark, we often forget just how difficult it is to drive these cars. This particular group of cars drove all the way from Batangas just to attend the meet. Talk about dedication!
This meet hosted by SPMF and Slammed Society managed to mix properly built cars together with a laid-back atmosphere for all to enjoy. Best of all, not only is it an indication of how much the fitment scene has grown in the country, it has also managed to attract other disciplines and other kinds of builds despite their differences. The car community in Manila, while small compared to other countries, certainly makes it up with its close-knit ties.