With my weekend schedule freed up due to the cancellation of the ICEMOD (Indonesia Car Enthusiast & Modifications) event, a new goal was set: hunting out Indonesian car culture.
There was no real plan for the day. Like most things in Indonesia, having the ability to go with the flow and follow hunches – sometimes in the form of a flurry of DMs to your Instagram inbox – is key.
Thus, the first stop bright and early was a well known shopping center near the Bumi Serpong Damai (BSD) district called Flavor Bliss.
Just as it happens in many other places around the world, Sunday mornings see enthusiasts meeting up for a coffee before heading out for a drive.
The turnout might have been small, but that just meant I could hear practically everyone’s story.
Cars that we take for granted – like the Toyota 86 – are ridiculously expensive in Indonesia thanks to the country’s stringent import taxes.
Even worse, if you’re able to afford a nice car, as soon as you roll out of the dealership there’s huge depreciation, as the government has already received its cut.
This Daihatsu Xenia was a good example of car customization in Indonesia. From the outside, it looks like the typical MPV used by families all across Indonesia.
However, once turned on, the cacophony of eight cylinders hints that this is anything but an average soccer mom van. At the request of a prominent Indonesian YouTuber, a 4.0L 1UZ-FE V8 engine was stuffed inside, requiring the firewall and I’m sure a host of other fabrication work to be done before the Xenia would accept its new heart.
On the subject of Toyotas, the Mark X is a very rare car in Indonesia. Only 500 were ever sent here, and at the time all of them were earmarked for taxi duty. But ultimately the taxi contract was cancelled, meaning dealers ended up with a whole lot of expensive cars to try and offload. This apparently led to some interesting ‘buy one get another entire car free’ scenarios.
With morning starting to give way to afternoon, it was time to follow up on the next lead for this day of hunting – a local drift exhibition.Skids For All
In a dusty lot not too far away from Flavor Bliss, tires were being destroyed as the Intersports AR Team showed off their drift skills, while also providing a taxi service for those who showed up to enjoy the day’s activities.
Having been fortunate enough to ride in a number of fully sorted (and highly un-sorted) drift cars, and knowing full well what to expect, I found it entertaining to watch individuals hop into the taxis with nervous excitement. And then, of course, proceed to have their minds absolutely blown, as their professional chauffeurs took them for a sideways ride around the short course.
After regaining some sense of direction, the participants had the opportunity to try out their drifting skills on one of two simulator setups. Drift sim units like this are always a hit with people of all ages; it would be cool to see this sort of thing at Japanese events.
A few meters away from the simulators was a small area designated for the handful of show cars present. In reality, it was more a display of some incredibly rare cars in Indonesia, including what is believed to be the first 2020 BMW 8 Series coupe in the country.
Regardless of where you are in the world, the sight of a famous tofu shop sticker on the side of a panda AE86 will always attract enthusiasts.
While I was checking out the Hachiroku, the familiar exhaust note of an RB engine caught my highly sensitive – and admittedly slightly biased – eardrums. While they’re extremely common back home in Japan, spotting a Skyline GT-R on the streets of Jakarta is pretty much unheard of.The Highly Expensive Unicorn
I really had no choice but to find out more about this particular example, which led to an impromptu shoot.
From the outside, everything points towards a ‘normal’ tuned R32 GT-R, which there are plenty of in Japan. So besides the rarity factor in Indonesia, what makes this example so special?
The owner has gone the extra mile by converting virtually everything they could to the Nismo equivalent. I’d hate to think how much it would have cost, especially with Nismo tax rising each and every year.
The engine itself is the real show-stopper here. This is no run-of-the-mill RB26DETT, but a Nismo Fine Spec Engine, Final Edition unit from Omori Factory. It’s basically a greatest hits RB26 using technology found in the Nür Spec and N1 racing engines. Only 200 were made, and this was number 109.
Not a bad way to end a rather spontaneous day of hunting if I do say so myself.