Jun 30, 2014

City To The Stars | Hillrunners of the Infamous Genting Highlands

If anybody would remember those retro car movies of hot rods, they would always have that place where the climatic 'Last Big Race' would happen. Some would be in a setting like the Los Angeles river.  Some would be in the canyon where they have a fictional 'Dead Man's Curve'. Kuala Lumpur is no exception to this. Situated just 30 minutes from the city centre is the world famous Genting Highlands resort and theme park. Known to be a weekend getaway from the city and a gambling paradise, it is also known to be the place where drivers test out their cornering skills (and balls).

 The infamous route to Genting Highlands is a steep and treacherous climb and descent. There were even rumours that the specifications never obeyed the laws enforced by the public works department, yet city dwellers and adrenaline junkies still flock to the resort just for the drive up. Even after numerous upgrades, the road still claims lives mostly involving tourist buses descending from the resort. But there were also stories of spirited drivers losing their lives. The most recent one involving a Honda Integra DC5.

 Despite the numerous deaths and mishaps, it is still a popular destination for spirited drivers to just drive their cars for the fun of it. I personally have been and driven all the way to the top and back but the nervous anticipation is still present since one would know the risks involved. Under the cover of darkness on a Saturday night, we followed one group on their drive up. Rides varying from Proton Satrias, Honda Civic Hatchbacks, all the way to high powered machines like Honda S2000s, Nissan Skyline GTRs and the car I was riding in, a Mazda RX7 FD3S.

  Even though it was only a fun drive, but one can sense the precision and concentration involved at the pace they are going. The group mostly driven their cars grip style and go for the best cornering line as possible yet they still have to slalom due to the heavy Saturday night traffic.

 When asked around, they are all joy riders. But all of them have different backgrounds. Some are just the weekend warrior, some are the young boys that are thrill seekers, some are even professional drivers. The society would and might as well judge these as a group of hipster racers yet these people who judge would and never will understand the true essence of driving. Of course, it's much better than just talking smack on social media and magazine forewords to say the least.

   But after all, at the end of the day (or night) they all came out just to have fun and to actually enjoy their cars. Besides, that's why people produce and buy sport cars in the first place. Meant to be driven, not just for show boating. The night with these hillrunners draws to a close with some late supper and a final blast down the Karak highway. Even though this route has claimed many lives but if treated with respect, to whoever that visits, this route will promise you a great drive. People come and go, but streets are forever. Peace!

Jun 20, 2014

Art Of Speed 2014 | Photo Coverage

Old is gold. A few weeks back, I had the chance to attend the Art Of Speed show at Citta Mall, Ara Damansara. The event showcases classic and retro rides with many types of customizations from rockabilly, rat rods, pinstripes to bosozoku, kyusha, lowrider bikes and of course a chance to see Malaysia's RWB Porsche. This year they brought a star-studded cast out including Hiro 'Wildman' Ishii of Mooneyes Japan, Yoshiya Watanabe of Rocky Auto, and Dino Dalle Carbonareof Speedhunters. Here it is two days of coverage. Enjoy!

Since you have been through all the photos, here is a bonus. Art Of Speed: The After Meet

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Art Of Speed | The After Meet from Mat Canyon on Vimeo.