This brand new year, in this new era where we’d love new stuff.for all, there are still a number of people who would go for all things retro, vintage, classic or old school. Simply because it is trendy or maybe just the right thing to do. To give life to the old.
In this case, we are talking about car restoration. But mind you, restoration projects has a few directions. Some would go to the way of the purist where everything shall be restored just like in its glory days when it first came out of the production line. Perfecting every bit, in all ways deemed possible. While some would make it better by restoring it into something else but up to date in terms of technology, performance and looks. Either way it is going to be good, both for the car and owner.
Talking about this awesome Mercedes owner, Fariqe Hairuman, if you don’t know him yet, is the only Malaysian that has been racing in many well known touring car races such as the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC and I grew up following this series because I like the idea of seeing production cars going around on the track), the Asian Touring Car Championship (ATCC), Japan’s Super Taikyu and of course our very own Merdeka Millennium 12 Hour Endurance Race and he has brought back a souvenir from the BTCC in the form of this glorious looking Mercedes here. You want to guess what it is? If not read on.
This car is used to bring his family for outings or even to fetch loads of foodstuff for his steamboat restaurant, the car is actually a sleeper. On the outside in a glance, the Mercedes looks like a standard-looking ride, the kind that we usually see our uncles driving to family visits. But looking closer, you would notice that the wheels are not the average stock wheel from Mercedes. In fact, the wheels alone gives his ride the look of a stanced rural German mafia ride.
The wheels have a lot of history, on his Proton Impian touring car that is. To commemorate his awesome performance on the podium throughout the BTCC seasons over the years, he kept the wheels and plonked it onto the Mercedes. And behold it is the racing pedigree of all wheels, the OZ Racing Superturismo.
The seventeen inches of this rolling stock on all four corners fits in nicely with the Merc’s overall look and the drop is just right without getting too much scraping on the arches. And boy does it glide handsomely on this, on both sides of the rev counter. Nonetheless, this silver arrow turns most heads, from the young to the old, from the boys and girls and even from the new street racing cars genre. This is to the factor that the ride doesn’t sound like it should. The engine sounds like no other Mercedes would sound in the first place.
Inside, the car has a heart that could endure revs after revs, (that’s taikyu if you must know, it means endurance) it is an engine from Nissan. Yes you’ve guessed it, its Nissan’s most tuneable engine, the RB25. Although he wouldn’t disclose the amount of horses that shoots this silver arrow, we know that the mods are imminent but he is going to keep it to a minimum. Yeah right.
So he’s got the wheels, he’s got the chassis straight and paired with the strong engine, life has been smoky sweet vapour when all he wanted to do is find any reason to create smoke by burning some rubber doughnuts. Meaning he is ready to smoke any boy racer at the green lights, but if there is a challenge of need-to-teach-a-lesson session, he knows the car is up to it, even when there are groceries on board.
Acting like a true racer where all things go fast, Fariqe slows down by spending some quality time at his steamboat place in Johor. And if you think you can outrun his Mercedes, wait till he brings out his other car. Winner buys dinner, and of course at his Lagi Best Steamboat Restaurant. Oh, its pretty good for all you can eat place. Do check it out if you are in town.
words: Jeo pix: Hazwan Najims, Jeo & DICE