If someone told you that Bali has amazing car culture, would you believe them? Regardless of what you believe, the answer is yes, you should.
The Indonesian paradise has many automotive gems, especially those of the classic variety. There’s an annual event called the Bali Classic Car Show, and you can even take an island tour in a Volkswagen Safari. But what about modern car tuners? Stance cars? JDM?
I’ve lived in Bali for two years now, but up until recently had never seen or heard anything about a later-model modified car scene here. That’s understandable too, because not only are new cars ridiculously expensive to buy in Bali, the selection is extremely limited too. The majority of islanders drive either a Toyota Avanza or Agya, or a Honda Brio or Jazz, or similar.
But after months of searching and following groups on Instagram, a miracle happened: I found out about a car meet in Bali called Sunset Chaser. Bali’s first ever event of this kind.
I had no idea what to expect, mostly because it was a sudden announcement. The organizers weren’t even from Bali, they were from Bandung and Jogyakarta (other Indonesian cities), and planned the event just to see what the island had to offer.
When the day came, I set out to the meet location. I had a map, but it still wasn’t easy to find. Finally I made it to a huge, empty parking lot in the middle of nowhere – but no one else was there. I was confused and started to think I had the date wrong, but after double-checking the information it seemed like I was in the right place, on the right day, at the right time. So I waited.
After about an hour, a group of BMWs arrived. A little while later a few Mercedes drove into the parking lot. Before long there was a huge turnout of vehicles – more than anyone expected – ranging from lifted SUVs, to classics, to stance cars.
There were some truly amazingly builds too, including a Pandem-kitted BMW E28 on ITBs from BSS Garage.
I can’t stress enough just how expensive cars are here, let alone the parts to modify them. If they have to come from outside the country, you might as well forget it. But it just goes to show the dedication that people in Bali have to building cars, and everyone works really hard for what they can get, or in many cases, create themselves.
Sunset Chaser was everything I had hoped it would be. It was as much about the cars as it was the people, and everyone was very welcoming and inviting.
This event was the best thing that’s ever happened to Bali car enthusiasts, and it can really only help the scene here grow.
Bali might not be a huge island, but the modified car community – although largely hidden – is strong, and there’s a huge amount of pride. Not surprisingly, everyone can’t wait for the next event.
How To join the IATS program: We have always welcomed readers to contact us with examples of their work and believe that the best Speedhunter is always the person closest to the culture itself, right there on the street or local parking lot. If you think you have what it takes and would like to share your work with us then you should apply to become part of the IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER program. Read how to get involved here.Gallery