Fullerton Heritage On Parade

REGARDLESS of the progress science and technology have provided, humans still have a fondness to reflect on the past.

From kids and their dinosaurs to people and their victories, even symbols of unease are given monuments and days of remembrance.

Not surprising then that in celebrating the Fullerton building’s 90th anniversary, the festivities will include historical reflections, a special cocktail, art and a showcase of old cars.


Dr Ivor Thevathasan, Fullerton Concours d'Elegance
Dr Ivor Thevathasan, the Concours d’Elegance chief judge, pokes around under this old Mercedes’ bonnet.

Bring On The Old Ladies

The Fullerton Concours d’Elegance assembles 90 vintage, classic and supercars in a show competition that will take those attending back to a less complicated time when design was more about aesthetics than performance, coefficient of drag numbers or concerns about the welfare of the planet. Not that the current concerns are not important, but they didn’t factor so strongly back then.

In reliving this golden era, a short exhibition of cars and a short run will be organised by The Fullerton. A taste of what to expect was laid on, from a spread of local food and a short ride in vintage and classic cars. Some cars were much older than those in attendance.

There’s nothing like an afternoon dose of aromatherapy to make you appreciate the advent of technology.

Fullerton Concours d'Elegance, Austin Moke
Eric and Judy Tiong with their Austin Moke.

As the 1972 Austin Moke poked its way through the wrong end of buses and navigated the current of traffic along Shenton Way, I could only try and lean forward to avoid my shirt from sticking to my back in the humidity.

“At least without any doors and windows, there is all-round ventilation,” quips Eric Tiong as he firmly shifts the gears and on his. 1.1-litre buggy.

His wife Judy has evidently been bitten by the bug as she enthusiastically talks about the attention the red car gets.

Many parts of the car have been replaced by newer components, though it’s hard to tell since everything looks well worn.

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Fullerton Concours d'Elegance
One of a pair of The Fullerton’s Rolls-Royce cars.

Price Of Indulgence

Eric paid $20,000 for the Moke and added another $10,000 to get it into reasonable condition. He reckons he can still sell it for $40,000.

“There are only about a dozen around. I know someone selling one for $69,000,” Eric adds.

The main concern for anyone contemplating owning an old car is the availability of parts. “Between England and Japan there are close to a million Minis and there are still companies manufacturing parts,” he says as he guns the engine and zips past newer cars whose occupants stay cool in air-conditioned comfort while rubbernecking at the old world autos going by.

Dr Ivor Thevathasan, President of the Malaysia and Singapore Vintage Car Register and the chief judge at the Concours d’Elegance, describes the event as a “beauty contest for old cars”. Judges will be checking out the condition of the engine, the body and even the underside of the car, to determine the winners in a variety of categories.

While this initial event is largely a local affair, there will be some cars from the famed stable of the Sultan of Johor.

The Fullerton Heritage General Manager, Cav. Giovanni Viterale says the Concours d’Elegance will be an annual affair. With backing from the Singapore Tourism Board, it doesn’t hurt to keep attention on cars in Singapore.

While the Formula 1 races will continue for another spell, drawing attention to the fastest and latest in technology, the Concours d’Elegance looks at the history that resulted in today’s cars.

The Concours d’Elegance will take place from 29 June to 1 July 2018.

The programme of events includes gala dinners, live music performances, art and cultural exhibitions, family fun activities and charity car convoys.

For more information, visit www.fullertonconcours.com

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