Car Club

Thai Cul­ture is rep­re­sent­ing the SEA re­gion with style.

Top Gear (Philippines) - - Contents -

Afew months back, we fea­tured a Toy­ota Vios with an in­ter­est­ing setup in our Show-Off. Un­like most Ja­panese cars laden with JDM ac­ces­sories and stick­ers, it has a setup that was in­spired by a to­tally dif­fer­ent cul­ture. In fact, our fea­tured car club this month is ded­i­cated to that same au­to­mo­tive cul­ture, which orig­i­nates from a coun­try lo­cated 2,261km from ours.

Thai Cul­ture is made up of car nuts whose rides and bikes have been set up with Thai­land’s af­ter­mar­ket scene in mind. Our ASEAN neigh­bor is known for be­ing the home of the Bangkok In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor Show and sev­eral ma­jor man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties, but also of note is that its car mar­ket is very sim­i­lar to ours: What gets launched in Thai­land will most likely land on our shores as well.

This club is not ded­i­cated to a spe­cific brand or model—as long as your car or mo­tor­cy­cle fits the “Thai look,” you’re welcome to join the group. Founders Do­minic Gar­cia (who owns the pre­vi­ously fea­tured Vios) and Si­mon Va­len­cia add that as­pir­ing mem­bers need to have at­ti­tude and road dis­ci­pline—they screen the ap­pli­cants care­fully and ac­cept only those who are ma­ture enough to dis­tin­guish be­tween right and wrong prac­tices on the road. These peo­ple will be rep­re­sent­ing the group, af­ter all. Es­tab­lished in 2016, Thai Cul­ture now has around

140 mem­bers. To ac­com­mo­date the grow­ing num­ber of mem­bers, the club con­ducts reg­u­lar gath­er­ings in both north­ern and south­ern ar­eas of Metro Manila.

Not only do the mem­bers get group dis­counts for Thai-sourced car parts, they have also gained friends from Thai­land. Even­tu­ally, they also want to have a meetup with their Thai pals. This in­ter­na­tional con­nec­tion shows that a com­mon pas­sion can bridge lin­guis­tic and cul­tural dif­fer­ences. It en­riches our lo­cal car scene, too. We’ve al­ways been heav­ily in­spired by JDM and Euro­pean trends; it’s about time we ap­pre­ci­ate the aes­thet­ics of cars from the land of the tuk­tuk and tom yum soup.

JOIN THE CLUB Look up Thai Cul­ture on Face­book and drop them a mes­sage. Let the founders know that you love Thai-in­spired cars as much as pad thai.

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