Hot cars and chicks at expo

Sunday became a show-off day for car enthusiasts gathered at the McKinley Hill, Bonifacio Global City for the 2009 Hot Rod Festival and Car Restoration Expo.

Everyone was not just allowed to get a closer look at all the cars on display - they were encouraged to have their photos taken, in some cases, even inside the car.

This is quite unusual for a car fair since most restored classic vehicles are cordoned off to avoid unwarranted fingerprints on immaculate paint jobs.

"What makes the Hot Rod festival different from other car shows is that, here, everyone is welcome to bring their own car to show off to their fellow car aficionados. It's a great way to reach out with people who share the same interests in cars as you," said Maan Leynes, operations manager for Outbox Media, which organized the car fest.

Over 700 cars were on display on March 15, definitely a huge jump from the 200 cars which were part of the first Hot Rod festival in 2008.

In this year's event, the Hot Rod fest also featured a car exchange and swap meet where old and antique parts from various carmakers were up for sale.

As hot chicks go where hot cars are, this year's festival featured 20 ladies in the Miss Hot Rod pageant.

To add a twist and a heart to spice up the car event, Outbox Media tapped Unang Hakbang Foundation, an organization that helps young men and women get a fresh start through a mentoring and tutorial program.

Famed car restoration expert, Alex Car Restoration Service, are taking in a few people from the foundation for a training in the art of car restoration.

As the Hot Rod tradition continues, Outbox Media managing director Roselle Taberna said a more exciting lineup of activities will be included in next year's event.

"A lot of this year's participants are asking to make the next festival a two- to three-day event. And we're thinking of putting together all the positive things we've learned from the first two festivals as well as adding a few new surprises for everyone," Taberna added.
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