Tuesday, March 24, 2009
After one of my birthday dinners last week, NS dropped by my apartment for a chat and a smoke (her form of reward - she deserves it).
Unfortunately the whole Bangsar area was having a power outage - blackout.
Her remarks when she entered my dark apartment was:
"All I can see in the dark are those transparent chairs."
It's funny though.
All she can see in the dark was the transparent chairs by Philippe Starck is called Ghost Chair.
I felt like a rebel.
But it tasted a lot better.
It is so true when they say
if it tastes good, it's bad for you.
And I also managed to get my 8 hours of sleep last night (miraculously).
When I woke up, I felt like it was a tad too long?
May be I should try it over the weekend, longer than 8 hours.
But than again, I am a morning person.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Actually I didn’t sleep that well last night. Excited with a bit of nervousness. Not sure which one is more between the 2.
I set an alarm on both phones.
I woke up at 6.30am.
It was still dark.
I took a bucket of water and a piece of soft towel, went to the parking lot and gave the Fiat a “sponge bath” for the big day. I felt like it smiled back at me once I completed the tender loving care.
Less than 5 minutes on an empty Sunday morning road of Jalan Duta, already I got a honk and a thumb up from a Subaru driver (Was it a Forrester? Not sure).
What a good start I thought.
At the Concours
The fact that my Fiat 600D was selected or qualified to participate in the competition - is already a big achievement in the community full of eccentric enthusiasts.
David reminded me more than twice- To be selected is actually a BIG deal already you know!
Twice he elaborated:
It’s like a beauty pageant. Only the pretty ones are selected.
Like the Oscars lah. You know those films that didn’t win but having Oscar nominated IS a bloody big deal!
With a little investment in terms of cash and time, and dedication, it finally paid off and more – when the MC announced (with the presence of the Mayor of KL – his speech sucked, by the way) The 3rd Runner up for the Modern Classic 2 category, the winner is Fiat 600D model 1966, owner Encik M H.
I felt numb for a split second. I couldn’t believe my ears. I rushed to the stage almost knocked down a video camera on a tripod.
And most of all,
To win the 3rd Runner Up in its category (an this is my very 1st attempt) is just
I am actually ecstatic because not only this is my first attempt, but also the 3rd, 2nd and 1st place were basically awarded to 3 distinct cars in the little community.
3rd place went to a rare Volksvagen coupe, owned by an uncle from JB. He has sevreral other classic cars and motobikes.
2nd place went to a Merc 250 (1968) owned by the famous Malaysia Rally driver, no other than Karamjit Singh.
1st place went to this exotic and rare Corvette CI (1962). Pic below:
The FIAT 600D had won the heart of the judges
But more importantly,
Fiat won the people’s hearts.
It a bigger deal to me.
I wish I could record the conversations and videotape the images in their faces when they saw my car. They all lightened up all of a sudden. It's like they have been jolted by a spark of a memories from the past.
A blast perhaps?
In comparison - when people saw the Ferraris , the Jags, the Rolls or the Benzs, they would have this expression in their face like:
Wow! It’s a Ferrari!
Wow! It’s a Jag!
But when they see my car, they didn’t say
Wow! FIAT 600D – wallawwey!
They would say:
Look, Pak Long had this car before,
Hey this was the car my teacher used to drive me to school,
Oh my! My father used to drive this car,
I learned how to drive with this car!.
I used to drive this car in the 60’s every weekend commuting between KL and Penang when I was in the service
This was my first car
And then only they mention “FIAT 600D”.
It was very visible and I saw about 90 percent of the people who smiled when they saw the car. Their faces showed the good old time just being replayed in their minds and it normally involved their close family members.
Silently I was touched.
Seconds of flashbacks of happy times carved smiles in many faces from different ages and economic demographics.
The ONLY IF story.
I had the pleasure meeting several enthusiasts. All of them are older than me (huhu!). One of them is Mr. Lim who used to drive a Fiat 600D in the 60’s.
He commuted KL – Penang every weekend, then.
In excellent comand of English “I had a the same car before. I commuted weekly between KL and Penang. Had so much fun on the trunk roads, burning rubber and screeching the wheels. My Fiat could get 60 miles per gallon. I consumed about a quarter of a tank to drive from KL to Penang then.”
THEN - is actually when a double-storey house on Jalan Limau Purut (off Jalan Maarof) Bangsar was going for Ringgit 16,000. The bungalow, believe it or not, Ringgit 32,000.
Such a senior and proper gentlemen.
He pointed to me, commenting on the position of my signal lights - in his humble opinion - not quite well placed in the restoration process.
Rather than saying (the way I would have):
“It should be on the mudguard above the wheel”,
“It should be at the apex of the wheel arch”.
British education at it’s finest, I thought.
It was quite sad when he said:
“I wish I had more money then, and could keep the car… I really regret it. And by the way, you have done the car very well.” He expressed in satisfaction - as if I have achieved his dream for him.
I can see the nostalgic eyes in his expression.
He is an old Chinese uncle. In the 60’s, he was in the "service". His last post in the government was Chief Editor of Post Production of Televisyen Malaysia.
He expressed his concern about the deterioration of the quality among government servants, the abuse of political power, the racial integration, education system etc etc.
I agreed with him and depressed at the same time, so I asked him:
“Uncle, you have survived so many year, since before Merdeka. As far as I feel (being 40 years old and a bit, compared to Uncle Lim who more than 20years advantage – or disadvantages? – of living in Malaysia), this is the lowest point of Malaysia as far as I can remember. Do you feel the same way, despite the fact that you have been living here a lot longer than I have?”
He answer was (not at all to my surprise):
Thanks to me! After that we were both depressed.
Nite Nite Fiat!
It has been a GREAT day!
p/s: If Bu was still around, he would be very proud of me! For sure!
A Concours d'Elegance
(from French meaning a competition of elegance) dates back to 17th Century French aristocracy, who paraded horse-drawn carriages in the parks of Paris during Summer weekends and holidays. Over time, carriages became horseless and the gatherings became a competition among automobile owners to be judged on the appearance of their automobiles. These commonly are held at automobile shows or after racing competitions. Notable Concours d'Elegances include Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance, Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance and Louis Vuitton Classic in midtown Manhattan. Concours exist for motorcycles as well, the only current one is the Legend Of The Motorcycle Concours d'Elegance.
Numerous local organizations sponsor 'Concours' events; traditionally vehicle judging at a Concours d'Elegance is much more demanding than that of a neighborhood or general automobile show. Trained judges examine the vehicle thoroughly and in its entirety. They rate each and every component. Only those vehicles that are judged perfect (or very nearly so) in every way, are considered eligible for trophy class.
Often the competitiveness of a Concours d'Elegance forces restoration of a vehicle to surpass 'mint' condition. Mint condition would be the state of the vehicle when it originally left the factory. Concours-quality cars often are given upholstery, paint, chrome (or nickel) plating, and mechanical restoration far exceeding that of the car when new.
Concours d'Elegance competitions also are run for classic cars. Here, the emphasis is as much on originality as the condition, although this also is very important. The general aim is to present a vehicle that is in the same, or better, condition than it was in when it left the production line. Unless original, modifications are not allowed, and components must be suitable for the year and model of the automobile. Even components or features fitted to automobiles of the same type, but in a different production year or trim level, are not allowed. Original-equipment-accessories from the manufacturers own range are allowed and some competitions allow after-market equipment and accessories, provided they are of the correct period. On top of this, automobiles must be presented in flawless visual condition, as with other Concours-grade cars.
Often Concours d'Elegance quality automobiles are not driven, except for short distances from their trailers to the show fields. They are not intended to be used as daily drivers and often, are not seen outside of museums or private collections. Even after driving only the short distance to the show field, the car is 'staged'—errant bits of dirt or pebbles removed from the tire treads, bits of grass or mud wiped from the under-carriage. The vehicle is maintained constantly and dusted frequently to keep an absolutely flawless appearance while on display.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Since I have the pictures of the FIAT since day ONE. I mean the day I saw it, not the day I took possession of the car, David suggested me to make an album out of the collection of pictures, oretty much the pictorial documentation of the restoration progress - the process that took almost 18 months.
Most of choratchoret frequent flyers must have seen most of the pics ads I posted them before.
Longer than pragnancy, but may be almost equally as passionate and emotional.. hehehe
This is how it looks like.
I will proudly show this album to the panel of judges on this SUNDAY.
I was quite reluctant to celebrate my birthday this year.
Not that I am not happy with what ever God has given me. In fact I am very happy with what ever He has blessed me with.
TFF and Red Planet organize a small dinner at a cafe, I have always wanted to go, but didn't manage to.
Last night we went there and I love the place, the setting, the food and of course the company of my close buddies.
Birthdays come and go.
Next year it will appear again at my door step.
As always, I have always been very happy on my birthday.
My Facebook was flooded with wonderful birthday wishes. The same goes with my sms, phone calls and blackberry.
I could really feel the love surrounding me after getting messages from family and friends.
Since schooling I always excited about my birthdays.
I even got anonymous birthday cards and presents in my desk. Now that was quite a pleasant surprise.
Not so much of the prezzies, but the wishes from people close to me.
One thing I miss most though.
Everything has gone online nowadays.
I miss getting birthday cards from my siblings when I was in high school. Even though they (snail mails, what do you expect?) some time arrived a tad too early / late, but the thrill of opening an envelope and reading the card and personal message inside with the signature is something I really cherish until today.
Nothing compared to hand written messages.
Till today, I still write personal messages on cards with my own handwriting using my favorite pen.
Thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes.
It has been FANTASTICO!
A Abas am still thinking of the beautiful albums produced & photos taken by M for hair kunst. congrats M.
that means a lot to me.
Thank you for your kind words, Pujangga!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
I spent one whole morning with David last Saturday. He passionately brief me with the progress of the final preparations. I can tell he is so crazy about my car. He explained certain parts of the progress more than one time.
He's been obsessed and this was not the first time.
I have to say he has done an excellent job and I don't know of anyone else can do such a good job.
I personally told him, which I meant wholeheartedly, if we win this competition, ALL the credits go to him.
He humbly declined my sincere offer.
These set of rims is one of the last to arrived. I think David got it from Klang. He restored it nicely with new silver paint job and smoothen the surface so that the internal part of the rims do not puncture into the tubes in high pressure.
I had a couple of flats recently.
He also modified the rims with clips to ensure the chrome hubcap can stick firmly rather than turn into a flying saucer when I hit a bump on the road later.
The chrome hubs are treasure hidden in one of Jalan Ipoh old shops. Manufactured in the 60's yet when David found them, they were still in the boxed packed in the 60's unused.
I remember, when David proudly unwrapped the hubs, both of our faces were gleaming with joys. We look like two people looking at and handful of pink diamonds.
the wheel looks like this:
As promised, David has also attended to a list of my "complaints". Small items but affect the evaluation points on the "judgment day".
It's good that they fixed them. At least they don't irritate me when I drive later, like all the
door handles and windows winders
David has also change the switch to the original ones. It's physically small, but being original parts are at most important in this game.
Don't ask me where he got it.
He will polish the plastic dashboard so that the original white color will come out. It will brighten the look of the interior. It the the dashboard where the speedometer is the jewel of the cockpit crown.
He also has replace the signal switch. Again, I don't know where he got it from but it's an original.
The air filter cap retains water quite regularly. There is some rust and now it has been sandpapered for re chroming.
It's going to be shiny once completed. It will definitely gives the sparkles to the engine compartment.
I don't know why I took this shot. There is nothing to be done here. I just like the angle, I think.
Minor touch up on the door to engine compartment
I like these angles on this Fiat. I have shot the same angles scores of time and when i look at them I feel at peace.
One of the mechanics switch on the lights of the spraying room. The car looks as if it is just rolling out of a factory in Milano, Italia!
That's the whole idea!
I know this sound a bit crazy, but to me, this is
Saturday, March 14, 2009
And I had the pleasure to photograph her for my client recently.
Despite her beauty, her height and her catwalk achievement, she is very humble, down to earth and very easy to work with.
These are what I delivered to my client (one of which is used in print advertisement in GLAM and HELLO magazines) :
hair extension by Hairdreams
hairstyling by Bambang Soteto of Hairkunst
wardrobe assembled by Jovian Mandagie
makeup by Khir
digital touch-up by ARIZONA
photogrphy by M H Photography
In 2000, Tengku Azura became the first Malaysian model to grace Christian Dior’s fashion campaign for the Asia Pacific, an honour that would open doors to the statuesque model had she decided to pursue her dreams abroad. Tengku Azura said life as a model, with parties and long nights, is way behind her.
“I have become a simple person now. Most of the time, I’m without make-up. I’m homely, believe it or not. I think motherhood has helped me change into a better person.”
She spends her free time with her boys. Their favourite activities are jogging in the park and playing badminton. “I’m not a gym person. I prefer walking and running outdoors,” she said. “I try to be my sons’ friend, but as a mother, I need to also discipline them. My emphasis is on education. I will put them through school until they get their degrees and after that, they can do whatever they want. Education gives them something to fall back on in case things don’t work out.
” The Model of the Year for 2003 Malaysia International Fashion Awards and 2008 Stylo KL Fashion Festival will retire soon.
Tengku Azura on:
Designer clothes: “Just because they are expensive doesn’t mean they are perfectly made. Some clothes’ sleeves don’t stay on the shoulders. Some fray around the stitches. Some are uncomfortable. But clothes by Gucci, Dior, Versace and Chanel are always a pleasure to wear.”
Love or money: “Love. Will and always be. I look for love above everything else. Money can’t buy me love. I may have suffered two broken marriages but I have not given up looking for love.”
Friends: “Modelling can be a fierce and superficial industry, since everyone is only looking after themselves, but I have made some loyal friends over the years, including former model Irene Santiago. I think in a competitive environment, you tend to group together with people like you and form a lasting friendship.”
Beauty tips: “Sleep. Never sleep with your make-up on, no matter how tired you are at night. Take your vitamins. If you wake up with puffy eyes, immediately use a hydrating eye cream. Use lip balm every day. Love yourself and the body that God has given you.”
Fashion: “Invest in a good pair of jeans. A perfect pair (which is not necessarily expensive) makes you look relaxed and cool. Buy loads of tank tops. Not only are they perfect for our weather, you can layer them up with shirts and cardigans.”
What Tengku Azura carries in her bag:
1. Barry Paris’s Audrey Hepburn. “To read while waiting. I love Hepburn’s classic look.”
2. Eulactol Cream for Very Dry Skin. “Some people never leave home without their credit card. I never leave home without my hand lotion.”
3. Bean Fans Jeffy notebook. “Where I write down my appointments and thoughts.”
4. Kiehl’s Lip Balm # 1. “Instantly softens my lips.”
5. Lip Fusion Lip Gloss in Bare. “It’s bare and I like its barely-there look on my lips.”
6. M.A.C Studio Fix and Mineralize Skinfinish Natural. “They are my must-have touch-up tools.”
7. Chanel Blush in Canyon. “The light shimmer adds glow to my face.”
8. Carmex Cream for Cold Sores. “Great for very dry and chapped lips.”
9. YSL Lip Gloss and Lip Colour. “It’s cute and compact.”
When the owner of Torino Auto - the people who have been restoring my Fiat, also the sole distributor of Fiat in Malaysia - saw the progress of my car, he also interested to restore his own FIAT 600D.
The problem is, he doesn't even have a Fiat 600D to begin with. So, he got his boys to look around and this is the best they could find in the country. This one hailed from the state of Perlis Indera Kayangan.
The condition is very bad.
I think if they want to put this car back into it original glory, it needs at least RM35K and a lot of time to do major bodywork and sourcing for parts.
Another bad thing about this piece is, there are several major parts which are NOT original, like the seats. The original seats of this car is actually reclineable - which I have. The task of getting the original seat, to my opinion, is next to impossible.
Even the resourceful David has a lot of doubt in putting the back into its original state.
Oh well, I wish them luck.
I learn something though.
First, I was lucky to pick up my Fiat which was in a better condition - even though the restoration work was quite challenging but not impossible.
Second, if I were to restore another car, I have to really choose the ones with maximum original parts and minimum repairs required.
Beautiful car, but it takes too much to put together.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Details must be as shown in the Vehicle Registration Document (may be subject to scrutiny) :
Year of Manufacture (up to 1983 only) : 1966
Make of Historic Car : FIAT
Model of Historic Car : 600D Series :
Registration No : PF 8440
Engine No : 2336529
Chassis No : 2105420
Body Type, e.g. Convertible, Saloon : SALOON
I attach 3 recent colour photographs of car: 1. Front/Side. 2. Engine. 3. Interior/Instruments.
I declare that the above details are true.
I have emailed the above to teh organizer of Kuala Lumpur Vintage & Classic Car Concours 2009.
Hopefuly my car will be selected