Motor Extravaganza – Galleria Mall
For someone who tries to keep up to date with whats happening in the local car “scene”, I must admit that this show threw me a bit by surprise. I hadn’t heard anything of it up until a few days before, and even after becoming more well-informed, there were still a few doubts. I mean, a write up somewhere promised a spectacle that would be reminiscent of car gatherings from Fast And Furious: Tokyo Drift – you know, underground car park, loud music, flashing lights… the whole lot. Deciding that it wouldn’t hurt to go check it out, I hopped in the car and headed south to Amanzimtoti.
Before I get any further though, I had decided to approach this show a bit differently (from a photography perspective). All too often I would get sucked into the same trap of using a standard lens to shoot events like this. Why not mix it up a bit and only take one lens along? It could either be a good idea, or a horribly stupid one. Electing to use the fixed 50mm f1.8 for this, it would regardless be a lesson in getting creative…
But back to the main event. From the outside of the shopping centre, it looked as if not much was happening. But once inside the parking, it was clear to see that a huge crowd had congregated in the far corner of the car park. Which was impressive, considering that this event hadn’t been marketed that much – to me, at least.
Nearing the activity, I heard the distinct snarl of a supercar behind me. A quick glance behind me confirmed my suspicions: rolling towards me was a jet black Lamborghini Gallardo. I’ve always been a fan of the “baby” Lambo, and believe it hasn’t ever really aged that much over it’s decade long production. I let the Gallardo rumble past, and followed the taillights and tailpipes to a far corner of the carpark, where the owner backed up and placed his car on display.
While a car of this nature instantly attracted a large crowd, I was able to nudge my way through and catch this quick photo of the exposed engine bay. Its such a simple sight, doing a very good job at hiding the massive amount of power underneath. Pure Italian perfection.
Weaning myself away from the Gallardo, I started to take a walk around the hundreds of other cars on display. While I’m all for customizing your car, some of the modifications are becoming a bit…dubious. We’ve all spent hours modifying cars in various generations of Need For Speed games, but these modifications were generally limited to the exterior. Interior modifications are certainly much more specific, as is the case in point in the photo below. Yes, that is a fully stocked and functioning bar that works out the back of the car. Disregarding the crazy lighting, I can’t imagine the police being very impressed when you roll through a roadblock with this on display. But then again, different strokes for different blokes.
While it may look similar, this bottom photo is actually from an entirely different car. But the sound system are alcohol are still ever-present…
The whole #StanceNation movement is an interesting one. There always only ever seem to be two very opposing sides: you either love it, or hate it. While I agree that some cars shouldn’t be stanced (such as the Subaru Impreza), it hasn’t deterred the majority of modified Honda owners from slamming their cars low to the floor. These dropped cars have become so popular that there was even a sort of limbo bar set up at this event, to see who’s car was the lowest. While I understand this isn’t really a competition, it’s still a unique touch regarding how shows are adapting these days. Who would have ever though there would literally be a bar to drive under to see how low your car is? The bar isn’t being raised here… it’s being lowered.
Amongst the endlessly modified Japanese and German cars, there was one that stood out from the crowd for me. And it comes from the land of the free. America. Or more specifically, American muscle. Finished in a shade of off-green, a 1966 Ford Mustang Notchback Coupe was occupying one of the end parking bays. It was almost like being in a bit of a time warp, since this car was in showroom condition. Even more surprisingly was the fact that the paint was untouched. The owner had just imported this particular model all the way from California, and only needed to do a few engine tweaks and refreshments to get the 289 small block V8 running along smoothly again. It’s quite remarkable how a 49 year old engine can still purr along after all these years. Chances are, it’ll keep purring for the next 49 years and many more.
The VW Beetle is an interesting choice for customization. Already having been around for close to 25 years before the Mustang rolled off the production line, the Beetle carries a certain type of classic cool to it. And, given the placement of the engine (in the rear), why not mix up the modification a bit and modify the front trunk area instead? This is clearly what went through this owners mind, as his immaculate Beetle sports a rather interesting front arrangement, consisting of a large amount of equipment you’d expect to find in the rear. While I’m not such a fan of the stickerbomb look, I have to commend whoever owns this bug on their good work.
Rounding up my tour around the car park, I spotted more remnants of American muscle occupying a rather large space towards the far end. Parked side by side were two imposing figures, revealed in the shape of the Chevrolet Camaro SS. While the cars were from slightly different generations, they both sported a striking blue finish with double white stripes reaching back over the car. While the Camaro is still a great muscle car in its own right, you still wouldn’t be able to pry me away from a ’67 Mustang Fastback.
And with that, I had completed a full lap of the show circuit, and managed to take a few photos with only the fixed 50mm. While it was an interesting challenge, I think next time I’ll be taking along all my lenses with, since there were a few occasions were the 50mm just couldn’t cut it. But it’s fine, because with the amount of shows and events coming up, there will be plenty of time for more experimentation.