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The Royal Touch

POSTED BY Tony Yew ON 05 November 2015

Seven of the Sultan of Selangor’s collection of classic cars will be showcased at the four-day event

By TONY YEW

VERY few people have the chance to participate in a classic car rally. Even fewer have done it more than once. In Malaysia, most will know that the Sultan of Selangor, HRH Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, has been actively involved in motorsports, but few will know about his passion for vintage and classic cars.

Cars, Bikes & Trucks was given the opportunity to explore a section of the Selangor Sultanate’s collection of cars housed at the Royal Automobile Gallery in Istana Alam Shah, Klang, leading up to the NST-MAI Asean Autoshow 2015 to be held at the Mines International Exhibition & Convention Centre in Seri Kembangan, Selangor, from Nov 12 to 15.
Tuanku has given his consent for four of his vintage rally cars and three of his Jaguar cars to be put on display at the Autoshow.

As Raja Muda, Tuanku had already participated in a few classic car rallies, one of which include driving his MG J2 in 1987 in the Dickson Vintage Equator Run organised by the Malaysia Singapore Vintage Car Register (MSVCR) from Singapore to Kota Tinggi, Johor.

Fired up by that experience, Tuanku, a lifetime member of the MSVCR, continued rallying and entered the Louis Vuitton Vintage Equator Run in 1993 with his Ford Tudor (or Model B).
Alongside his childhood friend Datuk Richard Curtis, Tuanku then took on the Peking to Paris rally twice, the first time in 1997 with the same Ford Tudor, a 1932 model, that had by this time been given the nick name Humpty Dumpty.
According to his rally support team manager Datuk Zakaria Abd. Rahman, the name was given because the Ford broke down easily, yet was equally easy to fix and back into action.

Sultan Sharafuddin returned to action in the 100th anniversary Peking to Paris rally in 2007, but this time with the Chevrolet Fangio. Keeping in mind that the journey was in excess of 14,000km, they lugged an extra gearbox set along. Such was the competitive nature of Tuanku and Richard. The Chevy was named the Custard Tart, presumably from the custard colour that it dons. But tart? Many interesting conjectures abound but there’s no confirmation yet from the Sultan.

Tuanku would not be taken away from his passion for too long, and because the Selangor Constitution does not allow His Royal Highness to be away from his duties for more than 30 days at one time, his plans were always thwarted by his official functions.

So, it was perhaps a blessing in disguise that the Road to Mandalay 2015 was organised by the Endurance Rally Association, which took only 24 days from Singapore to Myanmar. Needless to say, Tuanku and Richard signed up in an instant, this time using one of Tuanku’s favourites, his Jaguar XK140 FHC (Fixed Head Coupe), named Jag the Ripper. It was befitting that this Jag would be his choice; afterall his first recorded run was also in an XK140 back in 1957.

Visitors to this year’s Asean Autoshow Classic Car exhibition will be able to view some of the cars that Tuanku used in his travels, alongside three of his other favourites, the Jaguar XK120, XK140 and XK150.
The Classic Car show will also feature 24 cars from MSVCR members in the Central Region.

. Take the opportunity to view the vintage collection belonging to members of the MSVCR at the NST-MAI Asean Autoshow from Nov 12 to 15 at the Mines International Exhibition & Convention Centre in Seri Kembangan, Selangor.

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