‘60s Shelby Cobra wins 2018 Trans Sport Show

DRIVEN - Atty. Karen V. Jimeno - The Philippine Star
â60s Shelby Cobra wins 2018 Trans Sport Show
This restored 1960s Shelby Cobra won Best of Show-Nostalgic award during the 2018 Trans Sport Show held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay.

In this era where everything is instant and self-gratification comes easily, owning a car requires a few simple steps of deciding what car you want and simply buying it.  But there are people who defy this “instant and easy” culture and choose to go through the long, meticulous process of building their own car.

“Built, not bought. That’s the appeal of restoring vintage cars,” says the owner of a 1960s Shelby Cobra that won the 2018 Reserve Best of Show Nostalgic during the 27th Trans Sport Show held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay last month.

Since its introduction as a car enthusiasts’ show in 1992, the Trans Sport Show (TSS) is the longest running motoring event in the Philippines. More than typical car shows, TSS provides a venue for experiencing and celebrating the tradition of automotive restoration and heritage.

Winning the Best of Show Nostalgic Award at the TSS is no easy feat. The Shelby Cobra took several months in the making, and the assistance of a whole team led by Alex Car Restoration. 

The restoration started with the owner buying just the shell of the Shelby Cobra. Then the parts and bolts had to be researched and ordered (often from overseas) to restore the Shelby as closest to its original condition. A 302 crate engine V8 was installed in the restored Shelby, similar to the Ford V8 engine which powered the Shelbys produced in the 1960s. The restored Shelby includes vintage wood and aluminum steering wheels, vintage FFR electronic gauges, original style assembly headlamps, authentic chrome-on brass vintage windscreen and authentic stainless handle gear shifter. The restored Shelby includes creative modifications such as a vintage-looking tool bag customized by Fino Leatherware. 

Again, I asked, why would someone go through all this trouble when you can pick from a variety of modern sports cars that could be delivered immediately?

“I have always been fascinated with the pedigree and history of cars, especially American cars,” said the vintage car enthusiast. Apart from enjoying the process of rebuilding vehicles, other vintage car enthusiasts say there’s also a sense of pride in driving a car that is the product of their hard work. Others like the idea of having a car that is unique and not mass-produced in today’s world.

While the Shelby Cobra emerged as the only winner for Best of Show Nostalgic in the 2018 TSS, the wide variety of restored cars on display at the 2018 TSS and the emergence of groups that do weekend drives with their vintage cars indicate a growing number of vintage car enthusiasts in the Philippines. 

Today’s modern world fosters mass production and instantly available products as the common norm. Against this backdrop, the appeal of cars that are “built, not bought” seems paradoxical — but makes beautiful sense.



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