5 Cool Things at the 2015 Manila Auto Salon


We attended the first day of the 2015 Manila Auto Salon (MAS) to check out the latest trends in automotive customization and tuning. The annual custom car show is held at the SMX Convention Center in SM Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City and runs until Sunday, November 15, 2015.

To grossly gloss over the event in a single sentence, it was an SUV fest. This is reflective of both the upswell of interest in off-road tuning and the availability of parts for popular trucks and SUVs.

Thankfully, there were still lots of vehicles reflective of our current interest in “fast-and-furious”-type tuner cars. We are excited to apply our learnings from the show to our personal vehicles. Merely all the better to participate and appreciate the car hobby, you know.

It was hard to limit the notable displays at MAS to just five, but well, if you want to see the rest of what was in store, feel free to visit the show. It runs until Sunday, November 15, 2015. Read on for more to see a small sample of what interested us there.

Seiken Brake Fluid

Seiken Brake Fluid Range

If you shop at auto parts stores as much as we do, you would be familar with Seiken. Seiken is for us the top-of-mind brand for a good quality seal repair kit for brake parts. The Japanese brand also has a whole range of other brake parts that ensure OEM-standard performance for most locally-available vehicles in the PH.

It’s cool that they unveiled a range of brake fluid to our market. These come in a metal bottle for longer shelf life and storage stability. Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs water easily. Water in brake fluid makes it less tolerant of high temperature, a fact of life when one is using friction to stop a moving car. Therefore, from the packaging itself, Seiken is selling a superior product over more known brands in plastic containers

We’re piqued with the “R” fluid. Seiken states on their website that it “was developed especially for racing cars. It can keep the best brake performance for a long time.” The price per liter as we were made to understand makes it only practical for the deadly serious motorsports aspirant or exotic car owner. But still, an exciting product nonetheless. We’re yearning to try their DOT 4 rated fluid ourselves.

JDM 24K engine bay

EF B-series engine bay, plated gold


It may seem to be sacrilegious to gold-plate a Mugen valve cover and various other engine components under the bonnet of this trick Honda Civic EF hatchback. But hey, if you’re a fan of the Mclaren F1 supercar, you would know that gold is the best heat reflector in the world. So don’t call it gaudy. It’s a performance modification.


Mclaren MP4-12C Spider

Mclaren MP4-12C Spider

And speaking of Mclarens, we would never thought of seeing the famed Formula 1 car constructor’s road going creations in the flesh, like ever. At the Car Porn Racing display, they had a 12C Spider on hand, sporting gold-colored aftermarket wheels. They have other tarted-up exotica presented as well, but it is really the Mclaren that we are profusely gushing at.


Old School Rides

We’re not crazy fans of American metal, but we loved seeing a few old-school cars harking from the time that US-made vehicles littered the streets of the PI. Thus we were tickled by seeing these cars sharing space with lifted-up ‘Burb progeny

The flat-blacked ’32 Ford-looking creation was dubbed “Barumbado” by its creators. From our untrained eyes, the car is not exactly old. In fact, it seemed to be a custom built ride.

We didn’t know what the white 2-door coupe was, but it was displayed unrestored, interestingly enough. Probably would be a sweet car when it is done up in the months (years?) to come.


Suzuki Jimny custom off-road buggy

Suzuki Jimny Custom Buggy on Portal Axle


There were many hopped-up vehicles for off-roading present, but what takes the extreme, mud-soaked cake in terms of the level of customization is this Suzuki Jimny. A collaboration between 199 Off Road House and TS Tuning/Insane 4×4 Garage, this totally trick vehicle is deserving of a writeup in itself.

We are given to understand that this gonzo creation is powered by a Nissan diesel engine. Aside from being a hybrid in that sense, its signature piece is not the custom Baja-buggy chassis, ultra-long suspension travel, bead-lock wheels or the sheer level and talent of fabrication evident, but the installation of portal axles.

Front Portal axles of the custom Suzuki Jimny
Front Portal axles of the custom Suzuki Jimny

These special live axle assemblies with portal gears at both ends raise what is usually the lowest part of the underchassis – the differential – higher without a significant demerit to the car’s center of gravity unlike if the same clearance was derived from taller tires. We bet we’ll be seeing more portal axle setups in the future as the moneyed will definitely spend for this trick piece of work on their rigs.

We are most looking forward to the next Manila Auto Salon to be able to keep abreast on the goings-on at the local car scene. We were enjoyed by seeing familiar faces, legends in the car culture, as well as new people strutting their stuff and showing their wares. Next year can’t come soon enough.


The 2015 Manila Auto Salon runs till November 15, 2015 at the SMX Convention Center, SM MOA Complex, Pasay City. Tickets are available on site at Php 100 for adults. Admission is open to the public. For more information, check out their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/Manila-Auto-Salon-140847762680/

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