Top Gear Philippines

Remember how the interstate bypassed Radiator Springs in the movie Cars? That sort of thing happens here, too. Finding a set of steel rims can be a bit of a hassle, but it all depends on where you are located. If you recall from one of my older posts, the Galant was running but I didn't have any wheels to slap on it. There were times that I was tempted to approach people with rims that will fit my wagon (PCD 114.3), but I was a little too embarrassed. C'mon, all of the steelies that I liked were mounted on cars that obviously saw daily use. While driving down to Manila from Baguio I spotted these shops along the highway. It's strange how I never noticed them before, considering I used to drive this route every month.

There be treasure here, matey. Arrr!
There be treasure here, matey. Arrr!
This is RC Wheel Supply in the town of Urdaneta in Pangasinan. As you can see, this shop has potential for some serious finds.
These would fit an old-schooler nicely.
These would fit an old-schooler nicely.
The thing is, you wouldn't know what stocks are hiding there unless you stop and get down. It was in a shop like this that I managed to score myself a really great set of wheels. There is a story about how this happened that I will save for a different post. The thing is, the shop where I found my 'dream' wheels is located closer to Manila, a little past Tarlac City. If you take the new SCTEX, you will miss this area completely. Sure, the roads are much nicer, there isn't any traffic, and travel time is vastly reduced, but you will miss out on some pretty cool surplus shops. That's why I remembered the movie Cars. There are so many shops along the road (that you will miss if you take SCTEX) that might have what you are looking for (tires, wheels, parts), and if you are lucky they will be dirt cheap. Go with some enthusiast friends and it would make for an awesome road trip.
You know what I'm eyeing.
You know what I'm eyeing.
So, there's a tip for you readers right there. If you need a set of wheels and have the time, head on over to Tarlac and use the old route. Another tip is to get your bargaining skills on. Those rims at the top? Just for kicks I asked how much they cost. They're P25,000, including the worn tires. That's way too much, especially if you know your stuff. It also didn't help that I was driving a brand-new pickup as a test unit at that time. Proper presentation is key to getting a good bargain. What do you guys think? Does fate play a hand in getting a good deal or is it all in your hands? Feel free to leave a comment. I can't wait to share how I scored my set of old-school wheels. Until the next post!
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Paulo Rafael Subido
Editor in Chief
Top Gear Philippines' editor in chief is a driving addict, but with a taste for old-school metal. He loves spending the day in the talyer, working on his cars as a form of relaxation.
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