The only thing that would get me to a car show these days are not the shinny new models that will go on sale in 2016 or the horrendous mods to existing models but the prospect of catching a glimpse of some vintage beauties.

Thankfully, it was loaded with classics from a bygone era at the Asean Auto Show 2015 at the MINES Convention Centre today. Many of the cars on show were instantly recognisable from the days I was growing up in small town Ipoh in the early 70’s. Especially, the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Austin A35, Morris Minor and Mercedes Benz 180D, the latter of which believe it or not was a hugely popular automobile amongst taxi drivers at the time. Seeing these lovingly restored cars at the show sent me down memory lane.

Before the advent of computers and CAD software, cars were modelled by hand with clay. Designers had so much freedom with shapes and curves which are evident when you compare these vintage masterpieces against their modern day equivalents. Today, fuel efficiency and aerodynamics dictate car designs and thus all you see on the roads are ugly egg shaped automobiles that look alike no matter the manufacturer and lack character of any kind.

Of course no car show would be complete without “eye candy”. The female promoters at any show are often the main draw of the event. None of the photographers were remotely even interested in the cars on display, I guess I don’t blame them. The ladies were certainly more interesting subjects to shoot than the dull and drab cars on display at the pavilions.

Modern Mercs and Beemers are starting to look like they came from the same factory, not to mention the forgettable Toyotas, Hondas and Madzas at the show. Proton’s upcoming 4×4 looks visually interesting enough, it’s just a matter of seeing if it’ll hold up against the competition in the build quality department.

My favourite cars at the show were the Jaguars. Quintessentially British with nightmarish reliability issues but gorgeous sweeping curves never to be replicated ever again. The Mk II and XK120 stood out among its brethren while the E-Type’s bullet design still boggles the mind even today. I had a great Saturday out at the show as there was just too much to feast the eyes on.

It was pure cargasm.

The Roving Photographer


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