In conjunction with the upcoming first Summernats event to be held in Malaysia – we were cordially invited by the organisers, JPM Motorsports and Mr. JP Chin himself to have the opportunity to experience the cars that will be making an appearance on the day. True to the theme of the event, they brought out a part of their American V8 Muscles collection for some of the selected medias to drive out.
It was held at the JPM Museo in Kota Damansara, which houses one of the largest private collection of exotics and classics in Malaysia. Right out of the doorstep and into the open roads, we were amongst the lucky few to get first hand experience to drive these big block Muscles in Malaysia.
The selected few were given a choice to choose 1 of 4 of these cars from JP Chin’s own collection to drive out for the experience. Highly recognisable due to its familiar paint job, a car once starred in the petrolhead’s blockbuster film – Gone In 60 Seconds, the Shelby GT500 ‘Eleanor’ certainly made everyone’s list. Alongside was the Ford F-100 pickup truck which also starred in the action movie, The Expendables with Stallone at the wheel (although this had a different paint job and modification), a 1960s Chevy Impala which is probably one of the ultimate cruiser and a late 30s Chevy Coupe which sparked the interest of many automotive medias.
We stepped right into the Ford F-100 pick-up and set ourselves for a laid back, chilled out driving experience. This is really what American V8s are made for, CRUISING! They’re big and lazy with a lot of torque to tickle your fancy on the open roads and scare pedestrians with its deep growl.
It was a short little drive within the vicinity of the JP ‘Museo’. It wasn’t a drive for us to test out the car to its limits, but it was to give us an idea and experience of what it would be like to drive an American V8 Muscle. As these cars go – they’re much better showstoppers than driving machines but driving it around and having everyone around looking at you does make one feel absolutely special!
Either that… or it was the chick at the back of the pickup which we ‘picked-up’ before driving out… These things certainly make for a great chick magnet!
Jokes aside however – it’s all in the experience. There aren’t that many examples of these American cars here in Malaysia, be it even in such pristine conditions such as the ones that will be appearing at Summernats this year. We have seen the car culture here growing, be it in Motorsports, Custom and even Street appearing in different genres like JDMs, Euros and Supercars. But what we don’t see here often enough are these cars from the West.
And most importantly – for those enthusiasts that has yet to come across these beasts, there is no other greater opportunity to see them in the flesh than at Summernats this year which will be held during the Merdeka weekend, from 29 to 31 August at Sepang International Circuit.
For those who are unfamiliar with Summernats – it is an annual auto festival that was the brainchild of renowned car enthusiasts, Chic Henry who kicked off the first event of its kind in 1988 in Australia. 26 years later, Summernats (or Summer Nationals) is regarded as the biggest event in Australia and it was also voted as Australia’s Favourite Event in 2013 and 2014, attracting a total of 103,437 spectators.
Summernats Malaysia is set to emulate this high octane show in what will also be the Summernats brand’s first ever foray outside of Australia. Summernats Malaysia will however, diversify its attraction to welcome the world of custom motorcycles and superbikes, in addition to taking on a more family-oriented weekend of spectators.
“This marks a new milestone for JPM Motorsport. We see this exciting even, as another step towards realising our vision and mission which is: to make motorsports accessible to enthusiasts by creating opportunities and proper platforms, and to build an active and dynamic motorsports lifestyle community through various events, and ultimately, by doing so, becoming a leader through active participation and unique conceptualisation of all motorsport related activities.”
It is a family friendly day out, in conjunction with the MMER race this year in SIC. Watch out our space for more updates at the end of this month on the MMER and Summernats event. For more information on Summernats Malaysia 2014 and its activities, visit http://www.summernats.com.my.
Words & Photos: Qhalis Najmi