Top Gear Philippines

Car judging is one of the unexpected experiences I encountered in my work as a motoring journalist. For the past few years I've been a judge at the Bumper to Bumper series organized by the group of Jonathan Chio and Andy Adan. From its early years at the former Silver City events place in Tiendesitas, to the huge events now held in larger venues it has grown to be one of the biggest car events of the year.

At first I did the judging gig because Top Gear is usually a media partner, there was free food, and Jonathan always asks so nicely. But after some time I began to appreciate seeing what the car nuts are up to for that year. I got to see the trends, the newest accessories, the most radical body kits, the gorgeous girls, and some cars that make me want to ask the owner "what the hell were you thinking?"

This year the sixth annual event was held at The Fort Strip, and I dropped by again to judge some cars and to see what you guys are cooking. This year Bumper to Bumper is a monster happening of metal, people, babes, and gigawatts of music blaring from custom-built subwoofer enclosures.

If you missed this year's show, here are some of the more memorable sights during the colorful event.

1. Girls are starting to participate more during car shows. I have to say, this AE92 Corolla isn't that bad; the black glossy hood calms down the effect of the pink bumper and body. And she kept the stickers to a bare minimum.

2. The van looked interesting, but my camera got distracted.

3. I noticed cars with decals are growing in popularity every year. Whereas before they featured the uninteresting anime characters (to me anyway), the designs and taste are getting better. This X-Trail with the Neon Genesis Evangelion decals looks great. That windshield looks impractical though, I suppose this is a dedicated show car.

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4. A Toyota Hilux with dragon decals and scissor doors. Now why didn't I think of that.

5. It's surprising to see a Toyota Will here because I thought this was a Japan-only model. I didn't even know it was made in left-hand drive flavor. I peeked at the dashboard (sorry my amateur photography skills couldn't take a proper snapshot) and it didn't seem like a right-hand drive conversion.

6. I'd love to drive this on EDSA and ram hardheaded taxis aside.

7. "Miss do you want to be a Traffic Stopper?"

8. The only things we want modified and upgraded in car shows are the cars.

9. Car shows tend to be Honda gatherings because of the sheer number of modified Honda cars in attendance. As a result, it's getting more difficult for a Honda owner to stand out. However the owner of this black Honda Jazz managed to make his car be noticed.

10. Old Ford Mustangs are among the most common classic cars restored and displayed during cars show. But I never get tired of them. Their nostalgic appeal and muscular stance will always be a draw for any car guy.

11. There's a growing appreciation for old school cars, especially beloved Japanese classics like this.

12. This box-type Mitsubishi Lancer may not be period correct, but its dark rims complement the beautiful white paint job perfectly. And that's the kind of presentation that wins car shows.

13. Miss Bumper to Bumper 2010.

14. A car that needs no introduction. This is an R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec. It may be a few years old but it's still a serious street machine to reckon with. I actually don't see a lot of these in car shows. I'd remember if I did.

15. I rarely see pimped Isuzus in car shows. Or anywhere for that matter. Isuzu is a brand known for its workhorse vehicles, but one enterprising owner saw more in his Fuego and decided to lower it and install low profile tires. I just had to take a picture.

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16. The decal and body kit combination of this Toyota Yaris is what aftermarket modification is all about.

Too bad the owner's taste in interior mods is deplorable.

Dinzo Tabamo
Executive Editor
Dinzo has been fascinated with cars since he was 12 years old, when he picked up a car magazine in his cousin's bedroom. It is a passion that never waned.
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