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Impressive showcase of vintage and classic cars

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KUALA LUMPUR: OVER 80 vintage and classic cars participated in the 3rd Malaysian International Vintage and Classic Car Concours at the Asia Klasika -- A Historic Automobile Festival 2012 recently.

Organised by Historic Motoring Ventures (M) Sdn Bhd, the concours was held at the Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre.

Thousands of vintage and classic car owners and enthusiasts gathered for the love of yesteryear automobiles.

Traditionally, the festival incorporates automotive anniversary celebrations within the concours.

This year, the concours celebrates 60 years of the Mercedes-Benz SL Series, 50 years of MGB, and 40 years of the BMW M Series.

The highlight of the festival was the special display of cars from the Royal Johor Automobile Collection, courtesy of Asia Klasika's royal patron and the nation's foremost car connoisseur, the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar.

He made a grand entrance with his brand new Mercedes-Benz SLS Roadster, followed by an entourage of his 10 other cars.

Among the royal cars were the 1938 special-bodied Lagonda, 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, 1960 300SL Roadster and 1978 BMW M1.

Also on show were several of the sultan's rare Aston Martin cars which are similar to the models used in classic James Bond movies.

The Lagonda was a crowd favourite, as it was the only one of its kind in the world.

Concours entrants from Malaysia and Singapore showcased their rare European, North American and Japanese models.

With a stellar line-up of international and local concours judges, the competition for the over 20 awards was keenly contested.

It was a double celebration this year for Sinnasamy Maniam, who took home the coveted Asia Klasika Best of Show award and the Best MGB of Show award for his immaculately restored 1965 MGB. Entrants also vied for the Sultan's Cup for the first time this year, with the sultan selecting his car of choice

A 1975 Mercedes-Benz 600 belonging to Datuk Jaya J.B. Tan won the heart of the Sultan. The car's restorer, Ong Kheng Liat, received a trophy on behalf of its owner.

"We've always believed in celebrating the heritage of cars, and Asia Klasika provides a common platform for the car manufacturer, collector and enthusiast to congregate and appreciate the design and engineering of yesteryear automobiles," shared show's curator, Andrew Suresh, of Historic Motoring Ventures (M) Sdn Bhd.

"This year we showcased the sultan's cars, which are internationally acclaimed, for the first time," said Suresh.

Asia Klasika 2012 also set a precedent in unveiling a new car -- the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster.

In conjunction with the unveiling, all six generations of the Mercedes-Benz SL line was displayed.

The supporting car manufacturers -- Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, BMW Group Malaysia and Aston Martin Kuala Lumpur -- also took the opportunity to showcase their new models at the festival.

The concours was categorised according to the anniversaries of Mercedes-Benz SL and MGB.

All other makes and models competed in the Open Class division which featured the Vintage (pre-1940), Classic I (1941-1960), Classic II (1961-1975) and Modern Classic (1976-1987) categories.

Visitors to the festival were entertained with products and services of event partners such as Oto.my, Rewind magazine, the Malaysia and Singapore Vintage Car Register, MG Club Malaysia, Asia Classic Car Challenge, and American Accent.

The Setapak High School bagpipers kept the crowd entertained with their superb performances. The weekend saw a record turnout of 60,000 visitors.

The sultan’s 1938 special-bodied Lagonda.

Winners of the Asia Klasika event.

Ebhanazar Santhiadas’s 1930 Austin 7.

Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar with Andrew Suresh, Curator of Historic Motoring Ventures signing a participant’s book.

Three of the five generations of Mercedes-Benz SL.


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