MANILA: The Philippine automotive industry began its journey from 1898 to 1946 during the American Colonial Period. In that period the country saw many US-manufactured cars being imported into the country. However, it was not until the 1960s that affordable cars started being shipped from brands like Volkswagen and Mitsubishi. Presently, Brands like Toyota, Honda, Ford, Mazda, Nissan and Hyundai are able to sell around 200,000 cars on an average. Due to the increase in the number of middle class families in Philippines, the figures are expected to increase in the coming years.
The Vintage Car Club of the Philippines (VCCP) is a local group of private car owners which felt privileged to gather some of the best vintage cars in the Philippines. This group successfully hosted a showcase of vintage cars on September 13 and 14 at the Esplanade Sea Side Park of the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City. The entry to the show was free of cost and it promoted various activities like bazaars and a mini car show that showcased vintage cars from the different eras of country’s automotive history. The organizers revealed that the occasion is a platform to promote the colorful tapestry of classic cars in the country which have been featured in local films such as “Asiong Salonga”, “Boy Golden” and “Rosario”.
Richard Brassier roadster is one of the historic and oldest vintage cars which was imported to the country by the trading firm Estrella del Norte in 1904. It used a 2-cylinder engine which produced maximum power of only 9 horsepower. Richard Brassier was a French automaker that produced automobiles from 1902 to 1930. Today, this car is displayed at the Mind Museum in Taguig, on loan from Pilipinas Shell.
A 1928 Ford Model A Tudor sedan followed the 1904 Richard-Brasier. It was driven under its own power by its proud owners, Romy and Julie Lupena, the 1928 Ford is the oldest running original car in the country. The Owner of the car still manages to drive it every Sunday and takes it to various auto shows. He also got its current registration. Romy kept the car as it used to be, He never intended to modify it in any way maintaining its original 4-cylinder engine, 6-volt electrical system and mechanically-actuated drum brakes.
Along With the old Ford and the Brassier, the Vintage Car Club of the Philippines also represented a more modern 1970 Volkswagen Beetle. The proud owner of this 1970 vintage car, Romy de Ramos proudly drove his yellow Beetle in the parade with VW club president Doy Bondoc. Like the old Ford, the Beetle was restored to its original state and can be seen around the streets of Metro Manila. But the VW Club has older and more historic cars in its roster, this 1970 Beetle is likewise significant as it represents the aspects of vintage vehicle currently available in the country.