I must've gone to at least 15 of those 19 years the Transport Show has been around. And today I found myself there again.
I'm not 100% sure, but the earlier years seemed to be more exciting. There were far more people and a whole lot more excitement as a result of. Then again it may have been because I was younger and more naive, or that Trans Sport really was the only worthwhile car show around at the time. But I definitely have far better memories of Trans Sport in its earlier years, or at least better than what I saw this morning.
At any rate, this is what I found interesting. Let's start of course, with the cars.
I have a soft spot for all VWs, my dad having worked for Philippine VW and so we had all sorts of different variants at any given time. We never had a Kharmann Ghia though, and this one looked fresh.
The '61 356 was also nice, although I'm curious about the colored bumpers. Were those standard at the time?
Here's another nice dub.
Above is a mini with a wagon and a similarly coloured underbone bike that's detailed to an insane level. Wagon isn't to spec of course, and is possibly just a chopped donor Mini. There was another yellow Mini in pickup form that was restored to original along with an advertisement of it at the time. I liked that better (so why didn't I take a pic of it??)
Above is a verrry nice Toyota 4d 'Sprinter', again restored to an obsessive compulsive level.
I wonder if those early engines had enough hp to handle aircon compressors, or if a/c came standard at all? I remember sweating a lot when we had to ride these things.
Another nice restore is this MGB GT and another red one beside it. I love the racing stripe and black mini lites.
And finally the star of the show as far as restores or old originals is concerned is the 1942 Packard Series 180 Limousine, which looks like a loaner from the National Historical Commission.
It is one whale of a car for sure and is pretty Presidential.
Ok now let's talk about the stuff that stood out, either for a good reason or not.
In the 'what the hell is this' category, we have this unfortunate thing.
First of all, it's a bug, with all the accompanying dated performance and there's no getting around that. So to spend all that money trying to make it look like some kinda sporty something is money gone to waste imho.
I mean, it's even got the orig drum brakes for chrissake.
Right beside it however, is a marvel. At first glance it looks like any other ordinary 5 series and you might wonder like I did what it was doing at a carshow.
Upon closer inspection you will find an easy to miss illustration board with a bunch of 'before' photos, and then you'll understand. Because it used to look like this:
Wow, right? Here's a closer look:
There's a good story in there somewhere. The detail I'm particularly interested in is overall cost of the restoration vis a vis buying, say, a later model 5 series or a better conditioned same year model. Then again the point of this display is to show off the shop's abilities so cost considerations might have been thrown to the wind.
They really should have invested in better pictures of the resto. That illustration board isn't giving the car the 'wow' factor it deserves.
Finally the most impressive thing I saw on this show is this:
It isn't the Benz itself. Rather its the thin 'foil' wrapped around it, giving it both a layer of protection and a unique look at the same time.
I watched a documentary about this on a German tv show and I've been hooked onto the idea ever since. I always wondered who would bring the technology to Manila and here they are, Foilacarmanila.com.
The idea is fantastic. Imagine selling your car after years of use with the original paint still looking factory new because its been protected by that film. Also, if you're tired how your car looks, a visit to their shop will fix that asap!
There are 2 reasons why I think the service is expensive though. 1.) I was standing in front of their booth for a whole 2 minutes waiting for a salesperson to approach and talk to me about it, and I got zero. The fact I don't look like I can afford it surely had something to do with that. And 2.) their website almost exclusively shows high end and exotic cars getting the foil treatment, which is as good as a 'rich people only' sign as it can get. The German documentary I mentioned also showed a rich clientele of footballers as well, so I get its not for me.
If its anything as expensive as a high end paint job I think it would be worth the price. And it's also a matter of time before prices eventually settle. I mean, it's really just stickers and labor after all. Surely pricing can be adjusted at some point if the demand is strong enough.
On the negative side however, is Premiere Max's display.
A whole section of the show was cordoned off for Premiere Max, a condom brand it turned out. Nowhere on their section did it say that they were selling condoms. I thought it was either a calendar or the girls were to promote the cars.
Now I totally get using sex as a way to sell your products. Also I am a strong RH Bill Supporter, and I support condom use all the way.
My problem with this is that it's way over the top. Please don't get me wrong I'm as red blooded as any other guy, but this was open to the public. I saw a lot of dads with kids in tow, probably wanting to introduce their passion for cars to their kids by bringing them here. Videos of hosed down, very scantily clad females doing highly suggestive gyrations are GREAT, and I'll be the last to tell them to stop. Just at the right time and place.
And so that's that.
I told you the show wasn't all that, and so it is.
Trans Sport Show's mission on it's FB page says it wants "To provide a venue for car enthusiasts with a highly experiential and entertaining atmosphere and to continue the tradition of automotive restoration excellence and heritage which began in TRANSHOW".
From that I gather they cater to two markets 1.) auto restorers and 2.) performance guys and auto pimpers.
For an auto restoration show I give them a 6 out of 10. Pres. Laurel's car was great and any vintage show would love to have that. But other than that there wasn't anything else you could say to be a classic. There were nicely restored to original VWs, Fords, MGs and a Porsche, but you can argue they were just nice old cars. There were no marquee brands like an older Ferrari, Bentley or Lamborghini, a Jaguar or even a nice old Benz. And believe me there are a lot in this country.
For performance guys and auto pimpers, I give them a 7 out of 10. The foil I mentioned above was nice and new. There were also a lot of paint shops, audio pimpers and after market engine chip marketers, performance brakes and suspension dealers, any of which can make your trip worthwhile if you're into that sort of thing. If you want your engine to look like this (and I know a lot who do), there's someone there that can do that for you.
For a car enthusiast, I can live without this year's show, as it really isn't much. For everyone else though, it can be a nice place to go to escape the heat on a summer day.
Not so sure if you'd like to bring the kids however.