Walking into an old Malaysian airport hangar filled to the brim with cars of all makes, types and generations, it was only ever going to be a matter of minutes before something odd stopped me in my tracks.
And it happened not once but twice at the Drive4Paul memorial charity event a couple of weekends back.
First up was a 1972 Nova Sterling, a Volkswagen floorpan-based kit car with some eccentric, futuristic styling that included a unique pop-top roof. This particular example has been further modified by its owner and is now a truly one-of-a-kind creation.
In order to bring the car into the 21st century, new design elements were added. The Sterling’s signature roof has been replaced with a custom carbon fiber targa top, and the composite material now features heavily around the interior, too. Inside, you’ll also find a half roll-cage and custom seats.
The changes have resulted in a car that resembles a supercar from the front, and a dune buggy from the rear as the original VW motor now hangs exposed for all to see.
I’m not sure if the owner of this one intends to eventually replace the engine with something a little more powerful, but it would surely be interesting to see this unique creation in action at speed.
An engine swap is already something that’s taken place in this 1951 Morris Minor.
The owner’s idea was to convert his old family car into a Malaysian-style monster, and he enlisted the help of Param Garage to bring the vision to life. Although the Minor retains most of its original styling cues, custom fenders have opened up a lot of extra room for the large wheel and tire combo.
Originally, the idea was to fit a large-displacement engine, but ultimately a ported Mazda 12A found its way into the British chassis. Although it doesn’t have the rumble of a big V8, the distinctive rotary brap brap certainly turns heads.
Though my time with both cars was short-lived, I think you’ll understand why I had to take a closer look at both of these uniquely-Malaysian creations.