This festival proves that Hong Kong is an underappreciated petrolhead's heaven
Say you're a petrolhead, and you're looking to go to somewhere vaguely car-related, you'd go to the States, the UK, Japan, Sweden, Australia, Germany, France, Italy or Switzerland. The last place you'd think of going to is Hong Kong. It might have a very pretty skyline, but the city is cramped, the roads are too narrow and the skyscrapers are everywhere.
However, not until I visited this festival in Hong Kong last Sunday had I realised that Hong Kong is such an amazing place for petrolheads. This is a festival co-organised by the Motoring Museum and nearly all car clubs in Hong Kong, so the variety of cars here is absurd. It proves that our playground may be small, but we have the diversity of cars that any other places lack. Here are the highlights of the car show. You may be very surprised.
When I came out of the pedestrian tunnel, I was astounded, because greeting me, were a row of stunning JDM show cars. The first one is this stunning Silvia S13 Convertible finished in black. What's more impressive is that there are no fences, there are no ropes to stop you have a good poke around. People are self-disciplined and they know where to stop walking, as things should be.
The combination of a convertible and no fences would mean I can take lovely interior pictures, like this one, where extensive use of red is used on the majority of the interior, the seats, the shift boot, the door cards and even the glove box.
What mustn't be left out is that fitment. Wow.
Yes I heard you scream, this is the car that's right beside the convertible Silvia, the tofu delivery AE86. It's not exactly a replica of the Initial D AE86 as the owner has put on some different wheels and a window banner to add some personal touches. Plus, there isn't the famous sticker on it.
Next to the modified JDM section we have a couple of Porsches. But the one that's sticking out among the Cayman GT4 and the 911 Turbo S is the ex-Nurburgring record holder - GT2RS. This is one of the few right-hand-drive GT2RS in Hong Kong and it's very special, unlike any other old 911, which looks exactly the same, because it's got a wing on the back.
We then go from the modern world to the 1970s, a time when small cars were everywhere, like this BMW 2002. Not a 2002 turbo, nor a tii version, just an honest 2002 that makes you smile.
Beside the BMW 2002 is the Jaguar E-Type which has seen better days. This is a Series 2 (I believe) and the old cat's has got a few rust spots here and there, but no matter, as it's a JAGGGGGGGGGG.
Somewhere to the left of the Jaguar E-Type sits a smiling Austin Healey Sprite, which is very happy. Oh and there's a mint condition BMW 3L CSi.
Behind the happy car, we have a Fiat X1/9, which is Hammond's choice for left-field classic cars (as you shall see in the upcoming episode of the Grand Tour). Probably not as popular as any other cars in the festival but a special car nonetheless. And just look at that green. Yum.
There are also a couple of old Citroens on display there, a 2CV and a DS estate, which is very expensive I believe, and incredibly rare.
Hong Kong may not be the Detroit of China, but we do have some muscle cars enthusiasts here, who bought this lovely Mustang from the USA and swapped the steering wheel to the other side of the car, because you aren't supposed to drive a left hand drive car on the road here in Hong Kong. That is dedication right there.
Back to some more modern cars, we have a mint Renault Clio Phase 1 which happens to be for sale...
We also have an area for the Lotus owners club in Hong Kong, which showcases a sea of Lotuses, from the classic Elan, all the way to the newest Exige with a supercharger.
I also found this mint condition kouki Silvia S14, which happens to be one of the last original cars on Earth. And judging by how the car world is going right now, this one's going to be the next JDM icon that fetches as much as that red Supra (click here for the story of the half-a-million-dollar Supra).
Also, as you will see, we have a sea of MX-5s. We have the NA on the far end, all the way to the newest ND MX-5 with its absolutely gorgeous Soul Red paint.
To finish the day off, we have what's called the 'ABC Club' of Hong Kong, 'ABC' meaning the trio of kei sports cars: Autozam AZ-1, Honda Beat and the Suzuki Cappuccino (more on them here).
In the middle of the section, they placed two engines which were from the three cars (because the Autozam shared its engine with the Suzuki). The E07A was from the Honda Beat and on the right we have the F6A which has a turbocharger on it. And yes those two Autozam AZ-1 were extremely rare because they are the genuine Mazdaspeed versions of the AZ-1.
What also strikes me is that I never realised how small the AZ-1 is until I got the chance to see one. And my goodness it's one of the smallest interiors I've ever seen. It's small, it's funky and I absolutely love it!
The owner of one of the Honda Beats also very kindly left the bonnet of the Beat open so we can have a poke around.
And if you're wondering, that's all the luggage space you have. You can probably fit a pencil in there somewhere. But you definitely can't fit a golf club in there. Sorry golfers!
The parking area outside the show is very cramped and interesting too. I found this lightly modified yellow Silvia S15 out there.
There's also a right-hand-drive converted E30 M3...
And to finish things off, a tastefully modified Datsun 240Z. Yum.
There you have it, Hong Kong may be small, may not be as famous as other petrolheads' heaven, but like Hammond's Fiat X1/9, it's a jewel waiting to be discovered.