CARS & KOPI – SPRING 2018

With our last Cars & Kopi meet held almost half a year ago (due to a number of reasons), i guess most automotive enthusiast were eagerly waiting for the first meet up of the year and boy did it deliver. With great weather and a short work week coming up, for better or worse, it was quite possibly the biggest gathering we’ve ever had.

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We even had a special guest appearance of the new Rolls Royce Phantom Extended Wheelbase courtesy of Rolls Royce Singapore. We thought it was fun to park the biggest car of the meet next to the smallest, so here it is!

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I think the mini might just fit inside the cabin of the Rolls.

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Mr Big.

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If i remember correctly, this one brolly retails for £1,500, so best not to lose it. Maybe, best not to even use it.

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I’ve never looked at these things up close before, so it was nice to take in the details while i had the chance.

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Carpet so plush i could rub my face on it. But i probably wouldn’t be able to afford the cleaning fees.

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In keeping with the “British” theme for now. Don’t you love how quickly the Mclaren visual language has evolved over just a few short years? Going from rather safe designs like these to the absolutely stunning 720S.

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Not a fan of these things but i get why so many like ’em. I think they are now called Crossovers.

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Is there a term for a gang of Minis?

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And is the plural form of Lotus “Lotuses” or “Loti”?

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While this Mark IV Ford Cortina looked like it needed a dose of TLC, it had no trouble finding itself a ginger fan.

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Hey! No touching!!!

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Acting all nonchalant.

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Maybe our feline friend was trying to get to this fuzzy thing inside.

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Did you know Singapore now has one of the highest number of Aston Martins sold Worldwide? More than even Japan. Food for thought.

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There were quite a few lovely Beetles scattered around too.

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The more i look at them the more i like ’em. So much customisation potential!

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Perhaps one day i should pay a visit to the Flat 4 shop in Japan.

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Some local wildlife also participated in our meet.

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P-cars were as always out in force supporting our little event.

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Beautiful Midnight blue metallic 993.

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Turns out the owner of this lovely 930 lives just down the street from my apartment!

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Don’t you wish you hadn’t missed the affordable air-cooled 911 boat?

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Now, the well-kept good old stuff can cost almost just as much as the latest from Stuttgart.

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I guess you can call this really striking colour “eclectic”. Quite the acquired taste.

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A more modern Porsche that doesn’t need a flashy paint job to be polarising. The latest wagon variant does look rather sweet though.

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Neighbours from Stuttgart but years apart. A classic Mercedes-Benz W110 Fintail.

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W124 Coupe. I remember when these things were brand new!

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Too Legit to quit. Quite possibly the bossiest looking W140 on our local shores.

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Over to the cars from Bavaria, we start off with this lovely Alpine Weiss E36 Coupe. Best factory wheels for the E36? I should think so.

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Bavarian sandwich?

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Another Alpine Weiss car, this time a lovely E34 sitting on a set of interesting SSRs.

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GTS. Limited Edition.

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From a neighbouring region of Bavaria, we have a beautiful Alpina B3 Bi-Turbo Touring. The ultimate grocery getter? Much better than any S̶U̶V̶ Crossover in my opinion.

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Over from Ingolstadt, we have this rather new RS3. This or an M2? I know which one i’d go for.

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Rounding off the German contingent are a pair of VWs both coincidentally sitting next to Hondas. Which leads us to once again another very strong showing of JDM metal our meet.

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Let’s begin with an Accord Euro R. These were somewhat misunderstood when they were first launched being less hardcore than the “real” Type-R machines but i think they have carved their own little niche now. Blending together a mix of daily usability and driver engagement, clean ones are becoming quite sought after.

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I’ve always wanted an FD2R and with prices seemingly reaching a more attainable level, maybe one day that will come to fruition?

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While i’ve seen plenty of these in Japan, over here in Singapore, EK9 Civics are a lot harder to come by. So far, i think i’ve only see 2 or 3 around.

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This one was obviously not 100% stock but it was tastefully modded. Nice Craft Square mirrors and if you look closely…

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There’s a little Civic Type-R sitting inside as well! I’ve always wondered how the plastic bits on those models could ever withstand sitting inside a car that’s parked out in the open. I always thought they would have melted away or at least warped under the intense heat.

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Type R badge, this one’s for real reals not for play play.

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Walking around the grounds i had to do a double take when i casually strolled by this red Civic. Doubling back, the badging on the boot piqued my curiosity. Now, i know EK9 Civics are rare in Singapore, but then i think this red car is on a totally different level altogether.

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Ladies and Gents, may i present to you the Mugen RR. Limited edition, 300 Worldwide. All sold out in 10 minutes with punters reselling barely driven ones for twice their original selling price. This is one of the Honda unicorns but strangely, few people seemed to have noticed it.

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If you squint hard enough, it looks like this is build #200.

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I was getting some looks from people who seemed puzzled at why i was taking so many pictures of this car. If they only knew.

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I can only wonder how owners of cars like these feel about using their machines. Should one keep their mileages low in order to preserve their monetary value or should they just enjoy their drive like how it was intended. Regardless, it’s a good problem to have, and a problem i will probably not ever face in the near future.

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Here we have a Mark 3 Supra. These might be plentiful if you are viewing it outside of Singapore, but for us, it’s the only one we have left.

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The last time i saw this, it was looking quite sad sitting outside a workshop. It’s good to see it out and running once again.

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Hopefully meets like ours will inspire a younger generation of automotive enthusiast to reach for their dreams. The same way we were inspired one way or another when we were younger.

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Another look at the stunning Daruma Celica.

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More vintage JDM goodness with this KE30 Corolla.

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You’d be hard pressed to find friendly motifs like these on a new car since they all just want to look angry all the time.

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Not many people know this but i’ve always wanted an S-chassis Nissan. Ever since the S13 came out. Make mine a purple S13 Sileighty please, they just look so quirky.

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Clean S13s though are notoriously difficult to come by in Singapore, but with the earliest cars hitting the age of 35 in just 5 years and with global interest in them significantly lower than the GTRs, perhaps a used classic import might be a possibility in the future.

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Kouki rear lights. Do you prefer the Zenki version?

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Our fowl-weathered friend suddenly decided to appear for a brief moment before he decided to cross the street. For reasons unknown.

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Dori-spec S14. For real, the owner takes his car onto the tracks for drift events ever so often.

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Visually though, i think Nissan really hit the sweet spot with the final iteration of the S-chassis. The beautifully styled S15 Silvia.

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Will this badge ever return? We can all dream but the sad truth is that with Nissan not even giving the well received IDx Concept the go-ahead nor having any plans to replace the 370Z, our much beloved Silvias have been retired for good. Shame.

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Speaking of Nissans, it was at this point that i heard a faint mechanical bark and turning around, i saw this coming in.

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Welcome to Singapore, Hakosuka Skyline! If you look closely, there’s an EVO III just behind.

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To be honest, she’s been here for a while now. With the current Worldwide interest in old school JDM cars in full swing now, it was only a matter of time before one of these reached our shores.

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Okay, it’s not exactly a GTR (it’s a GTX), but does it really matter? Its a Box Skyline, its super cool, super good looking and its here in Singapore, in our little meet for people to enjoy. A real GTR will also be so valuable that owners will probably just keep them locked away too.

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Hako’s turbocharged posse.

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With space in front rather limited at this point, the JDM legends crew parked up out back.

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Hmm… we seem to be missing a couple of generations.

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There they are.

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Pretty scary (and sadly) how rapidly prices of vintage Japanese metal have shot up in recent years. With GTR32s now legal for import into the USA, values can only continue rising.

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I know most of you would rather take the R32 or R34 over the middle child, but it was R33 that really did it for me. Being my go-to hero car in Gran Turismo and all other obscure Japanese racing games. If i could, i would buy one in Japan and just keep it there for the holidays since prices for the San-San are still somewhat reasonable. For now.

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Speaking of hero video game cars, was this your choice of vehicle in Sega Rally? Being the Euro-whore that i am, i usually go for the Lancia. But these Celicas sure looked cool.

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How do you like your EVO? Original recipe or extra spicy?

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With the onslaught of Crossovers showing no signs of backing down, automotive rivalries we grew up with have now been relegated to the history pages (of the internets).

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With the Evolution now discontinued, its up to Subaru to keep the WRX flame alive for those who enjoy Rally-Bred machinery.

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Is Miata really the answer for everything?

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Quite a selection of white cars this time.

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Sexy red dressed Italian.

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Like the air-cooled Porsches, i remember a time when no one wanted a Mondial due to their rather strange looks. I hear they drive really well though.

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That children, is a manual shifter. That’s how we used to change gears!

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Say what you want about the aesthetics but with a V8 engine that’s pretty much the same as those in their more curvaceous 2-seater sisters, i challenge you to find fault with the Mondial’s vocals. This was a time when Ferrari engines sang a beautifully unique metallic tune free from modern day emission and noise regulations. If you’ve picked up one back when no one wanted it, lucky you!

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A curious looking Volvo sitting next to a curiously lowered Forester.

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V70R. Fast turbo brick wagons are best wagons. Gotta love those headlight wipers.

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Cars & Kopi, where you can happily appreciate a Rolls Royce Phantom and a Made in China Wuling Journey.

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With an engine in the middle sending power out to the rear wheels, the owner(s) actually take this little van racing! Showing you don’t need big money or big power to enjoy a little bit of motorsport excitement. They might have had the least power, but i’m sure they had the most fun!

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Motley crew.

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And with that, i thank you for staying with me on my coverage of 2018’s first Cars & Kopi! Sorry if i didn’t catch your car, believe me when i say that this time, the turnout was more than i could ever expect and with such an assortment of cars parked up, it was quite a challenge documenting everything.

Oh yes, before i sign off, there is one more thing i’d like to address. That big elephant in the room. With our meet growing so much over the years, it is inevitable that we will have to try and address this. Behaviour. I know the space we use is public and to be honest, we have no absolute power over anyone with regards to this but i plead with you, if you know anyone or if you yourself are guilty of it, please do not do anything that will put the future of car meets in jeopardy. I’m talking to you, Mr Rev-my-engine-as-loud-as-i-can and you, Mr Look-at-me-driving-quickly-through-and-out-of-the-meet. There is a time and place for such antics and it’s not in the vicinity of people having their weekend breakfast a few feet away. We don’t need to know how fast your car can go in a public carpark.

This is the ONLY space we have to hold a gathering like this and if such bad driving behaviour continues into the next round, i’m afraid we might have to stop doing it (or at least, we will go back to making it a more hush hush affair). I do not want to be called up for questioning by the Popo when things inevitably go wrong. I have been attending and putting together car meets for over 10 years, and i think Cars & Kopi is something really unique in our local landscape, it’s a meet where a Rolls Royce can park up next to a mini, a meet where a Made in China Wuling can be appreciated as much as a hand-crafted LFA, and a meet where car people can just come together and celebrate our little automotive culture. Please don’t ruin it for the majority of people who just love cars.

There are other car meets out there that pander to this sort of behaviour but this is not one of them, if you feel that we are throwing cold water on you or your friends, or if you feel we are being pansies, you are free to choose to not attend any of the future meets.

I’m sorry it had to come to this, but it really has to be said. Drive safe.

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