Making old wheels rock and roll again – The Star Online

PATIENCE plus passion are key when it comes to restoration of classic cars.

Fixing up an old beauty can cost an arm and a leg as there are not many mechanics with that golden touch to transform a rusty machine into a car that is capable associated with turning heads.

In spite of this, owners of classic models do not mind forking out money to own restored cars because of the value they fetch.

However , searching for a classic car is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

This is because most classic car owners are not willing to part with their old favourite even if the price will be right.

Arie Goh knows this well.

Mechanics (from left) Poon, Tang and Loi restoring and repairing an old Volkswagen. — THOMAS YONG/The Star Mechanics (from left) Poon, Tang and Loi restoring plus repairing a classic Volkswagen. — THOMAS YONG/The Star

He has been within the business associated with restoring old Volkswagens with regard to more than two decades.

He said he made the right decision of getting involved in the particular makeover of old vehicles after taking over his mother’s business at the age associated with 24.

Volkswagen owners from Malaysia and Singapore seek Goh’s expertise when they need to restore their vehicles.

The 46-year-old is probably one of the few experts in the country specialising in the restoration of the German marque.

“You have to have patience and passion when restoring old Volkswagens, ” he said when interviewed by StarMetro.

The particular family company, Syarikat Highway Motor Trading, started off as a spare parts dealership, which Goh’s mother Helen Tang founded in 1981 in Johor Baru.

In 1999, the company moved through Jalan Skudai Lama in order to its present premises in the Pulai light industrial area near Taman Impian Emas inside Skudai, Johor.

Goh took over the reins of business when their mother retired upon turning 64 in 2002.

“To date, we have restored more than 200 aged Volkswagen cars and many are still on the waiting list, ’’ he stated.

Flipping through the many photo albums in his office, one could only marvel at how rusty plus old Volkswagens were transformed into handsome vehicles.

Goh mentioned the laborious work behind fixing upward old cars was only possible because of his team of dedicated mechanics.

“They are usually my right-hand men and play a good important role in the particular makeover process, ” this individual said.

The mechanics are Loi Swee Keong, 37, Poon Jee Hin, 50, and 60-year-old Tang Yik Choy.

As a proud owner associated with four refurbished Volkswagens, Goh said he was attracted to the car’s “sexy” shape, sturdiness plus solid look.

When its production began in 1938, the public referred to the stylish little car as “Volkswagen” or “people’s car”.

In the particular same year, the New York Times referred to the Volkswagen as the Beetle and the name still lives upon.

Goh checking the interior of a Volkswagen at his workshop in the Pulai light industrial area in Johor Baru. He says getting an old Beetle is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Goh checking the particular interior of a Volkswagen at their workshop within the Pulai light industrial area in Johor Baru. He says getting a vintage Beetle is like looking regarding a needle in the haystack.

However, the curvy Volkswagen has earned itself nicknames within a few countries.

In France, it is fondly known because conccinelle which means ladybug while in Italy this is known as maggiolino.

In Bolivia, it is referred to as peta which means turtle and the Indonesians call it kodok which usually means frog.

Goh said it was more challenging in order to restore aged Volkswagens due to the fact most associated with the cars sent to the workshop had already seen their good days and were beyond repair.

“Regardless of how bad the vehicles are, I will not turn away my clients as many of them have personal attachment or even sentimental value to their vehicles. ”

He said this would take, on average, up to three months or more –depending on the condition – to recover a well used vehicle, with the cost starting from RM10, 000.

This individual explained that the long wait time was due to the unavailability associated with spare parts, which were imported from Mexico by a distributor in Singapore.

“But clients usually do not thoughts the lengthy wait since long as they are assured of their cars being renewed to roadworthy condition, ” said Goh.

His customers, between the ages of 20 and 80, comprise professionals, businessmen, retired civil servants and owners of luxury continental vehicles or super bikes.

He or she said Vw owners would usually drive their classics on special occasions or when attending events organised by the Volkswagen Club in Malaysia or Singapore.

The emergence of brought in Japanese cars in the 1970s sidelined the particular popularity of Volkswagens that have been either abandoned and left to rot or sold as scrap metal.

“Some of the abandoned vehicles, especially in villages, were even turned into chicken coops or even dog kennels and for storing tools, ’’ said Goh.

Nevertheless , there has been a sudden surge of interest intended for the classic car among professionals plus youths inside Malaysia and Singapore in the last two years.

Goh said the districts of Batu Pahat plus Kluang in Johor had been among the best places to go in search associated with Volkswagens.

He said the particular old Beetles were divided into 3 categories – those manufactured between 1957 and 1965, 1966 in order to 1970 and 1971 to 1976 – after which the production stopped.

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