Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The cars of the 2015 Manila Auto Salon

Even before I became a motoring journalist, I've been attending car shows for years being the Typical Guy that I am. As a matter of fact, I was at the very first Trans Sport Show - the country's longest-running car show which is organized by the same group behind the Manila Auto Salon - which was held at the parking area of the then-new Shangri-La Mall way back in either 1992 or 1993, if I remember correctly. Anyway, since Tradeshow International boss Sophie Delos Santos invited me to the 2015 Manila Auto Salon's ribbon-cutting ceremony last November 12, I just had to be there.

The Manila Auto Salon is patterned after the Tokyo Auto Salon, which showcases the latest aftermarket modifications and products in Japan annually, so it's pretty much the same for the local counterpart as the country's top tuners and mod shops displayed their newest creations.

As I walked around the expansive halls of the SMX Mall of Asia Convention Center, which has been the venue of Tradeshow International's events for years now,  I noticed that the most popular vehicle to mod this year is the Toyota FJ Cruiser, with no less than six models on display - and that's a very conservative estimate - and one even belonging to fellow motoring scribe Botchi Santos. As a matter of fact, roughly half the vehicles on display were either SUVs or pickup trucks. In truth, this doesn't even accurately reflect vehicle sales in the Philippines as industry sources peg that nearly 70% of vehicles sold in the country are light commercial vehicles, which is the category where SUVs and pickups fall under, and not cars.

I'm a car guy though so what I was really there for were the cars, bannered by last year's Best in Show winner, the Liberty Walk-kitted Nissan GT-R.

The most noticeable--and arguably the most popular--car on display was Car Porn Racing's C6 Chevrolet Corvette which was first modified to look like the current C7 model and then fitted with an extra-wide body kit. Designed in collaboration with digital automotive rendering artist Jon Sibal, the Corvette was given the name Black Manta by Car Porn Racing boss Ian King - a name that truly fits the vehicle down to the matte black paint.

Anyway, check out some of the cars that were on display at the 2015 Manila Auto Salon.

Photos taken with Fujifilm FinePix XP80

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