Most things would weather through the years, but if one takes good care of them, they can last longer.
Akash Classics, the first full-fledged classic cars showroom in Ipoh, opened its doors to people from all walks of life on March 1 this year.
It is hard to miss when one drives by; the four-wheeled classic automobiles exhibited will surely make heads turn. At the moment, the space houses more than 25 classic cars including Rolls Royce, MG, Austin, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar.
Having lived through a fair bit of history, the fact that they are still in prime condition today simply shows that there are indeed passionate people who have a steely determination for preserving tokens of the past. One of them is Akashdeep Singh, the brainchild of the Akash Classics Malaysia showroom in Ipoh.
Parked right in front of the entrance is the 95-year-old Austin 7. This handsome pre-war lad has survived through the war and is the oldest resident in the showroom. Its slightly rustic appearance with fancy motorcycle tires makes it a feast for the eyes.
Its roof is made with leather not for creativity or style purposes, but because there was a shortage of metal to produce vehicles back in its day. As such, substituting with leather was a way to cut costs.
You would be even more fascinated to learn how the ‘ignition’ is started. (Visit Akash and he will tell you all about it!)
There is a difference between vintage, classics and antique cars.
Age really does tell you a lot about a car, so one way to tell them apart is by seeing how old they are.
When cars are 25 years old and above, they are classic cars. And when a car turns 45 years old and above, it is considered an antique. Meanwhile, the ones that were produced in the period of 1919 to 1930 are vintage.
A bit about the cars in Akash Classics
There was a convertible with a striking red body that had pop-up headlights, however Akash told us that the pop-up concept has ceased in the automotive industry. The widespread reasoning is that the design could be hazardous to the motorcyclists. Nevertheless, we must say that it is quite quirky for a car to have pop-up headlights!
Another retro-classic roadster, the TD2000 born after the postmodern era but has a vibe of the industrial revolution age, was once a big deal in our country. Its soft-top cover and wire wheels on the rims definitely leave an impression. Every wire can be taken out for cleaning or replacing if broken, while the second window is basically just vinyl with hook-and-loop fasteners.
According to a journal, retro-classic cars were created to honour the 1950s British entry-level sports car MG TD based on a modern Japanese drivetrain.
The Mercedes-Benz Fintail (W110) that bears a resemblance to the Batman automobile is also another enticing classic. There are no headrests in the car and the column gear is located at the back of the steering wheel while the hand brake is at the lower left side of the driver’s seat. The reason for this is because it has a bench seat feature which can fit six people at a time, hence the gear was placed behind the wheel for a more comfortable ride.
Fun fact: Aesthetics aside, the metal bars seen on the headrest of every vintage convertible are actually designed to prevent one’s head from getting smashed on the ground if there is an accident, especially when the vehicle is overturned.
How should a car be valued as a collectible?
When it is 100 percent original and in stock factory condition. The older the car is, the more value it holds. The car will depreciate even with just a slight modification. The key is to preserve and maintain whatever that’s left.
Akash said that being able to have his own classic cars showroom has been his biggest dream since he was a child. Now that the long-cherished dream has been achieved, he plans to turn his hometown into a place of interest for people, both locally and internationally.
“I first started in Bangsar but decided to shift my focus to Ipoh because I personally believe the city has plenty of potential and is unlike the stereotype, ‘a retirement cove’ that it has been labelled with. Doing so will encourage the young ones to stay instead of seeking for greener pastures.
“There’s a growing international market for classic cars. I have been in this passion-turned-business for about nine years now and have sold over 350 vehicles to several countries,” the 29-year-old said.
If you are looking for a nostalgic or vintage-vibed event theme, Akash Classics at Estate, 61, Jln Canning Estate, Taman Canning, 31400 Ipoh provides rental services at a reasonable price.
Fans of classic cars, you can also consider getting your first car with Akash Classics Malaysia and they also give restoration services such as engine overhaul. For showroom visits, please make an appointment at their Facebook page or contact them at 012-2392007.
Do note that Akash Classics only allow visits by appointment basis.
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