Pathum Thani, Thailand - The “Pathum Style Car Show” has just wrapped up its fourth edition with an action-packed spectacular that saw car clubs scattered across Bangkok heading to Pathum Thani Speedway to show off their best and brightest.
This car show is very in your face, it’s for the boldest and brightest cars, for owners that burst with self confidence in terms of upgrading and uprating their rides. Owners that go their own way, individuals with individual styles.
Of the many modified car extravaganzas that fill up at Pathum Thani Speedway’s vast apron each year this one has a real underground vibe to it. It’s hardcore and all a bit old school. It’s “Fast & Furious” from the very early days before rampant commercialisation and the chase for box office takings tore the gritty, edgy, beating heart out of the franchise.
It’s a sea of highly customised and tuned up cars, pickups and vans, there are bulging turbos, tapering air intakes, protruding intercoolers and signature blue “NOS” canisters everywhere.
This is a show beyond almost anything, the cars are more than just tuned – this is contemporary automotive art at its most edgy.
The show runs – as the organisers’ say – from “Midday to Midnight” and from the stroke of noon the cars started to roll in to Pathum Thani, which is just under 50km north of Bangkok’s city centre, with the clubs forming up in clusters across the vast apron under a blazing hot sun.
And all shapes and sizes were on show. Anything goes here so there really was something for just about everyone at “Pathum Style Car Show 2020”.
It’s an impossible task to pick the craziest car at this show, which is unashamedly dedicated to crazy cars, but one that really did stand out was an Isuzu D-Max that’s been reinterpreted by Pathum Thani garage, Kit Racing. This D-Max 1.9 diesel with a big turbo wedged under the bonnet has been further transformed thanks to a new cartoon dragon-style front nose that spews smoke from its toothy mouth as well as in vertical plumes from the rear of the bonnet.
It’s been lowered and now sits on ultra-wide-apart 24-inch off road terrain wheels and tyres that are almost completely proud of the new wheel arches while the rear deck is home to a trio of plumbed in nitrous oxide canisters mounted in rocket launcher style.
The whole truck is wrapped in an eye-catching camouflage. It’s much more than just weird and wonderful, it’s an absolute monster of a truck and the crowd gawping over its details never thinned out all night.
While on the subject of off-road pickups, Ford’s enormous F-150 Raptor is a total rarity in this country, so to find four of them at the show was quadruple impressive, even more so as none were in production trim but rather they had jacked up ride heights and had been upgraded with all manner of heavy-duty off-road accessories.
And back to the crazy end of the spectrum. A matte black Datsun 120Y that had been built up in traditional Japanese “Bosozoku” style with a massive slatted wooden board front splitter that jutted far out, and similar extravagant skirt effect treatment all round.
Add in a pair of “bamboo spear” exhausts thrusting their way into the sky at rakish angles, a big “sharks mouth” plastered down each side, a roof mounted gun and a plastic lizard lashed to the middle of bonnet – and this 120Y was barely recognisable from its production days and really could be the ride that any extrovert Japanese gangster could have been proud to use to cruise around the mean back streets of Tokyo.
Car clubs heeded the call and turned up in their dozens which meant the whole apron was packed out. It’s hard to pick out any one club but the “Almera Gang” set up a long row of almost identically kitted versions of the B-segment Nissan sedan in a dazzling array of colours with big, sharp messages emblazoned on the boot spoilers.
There were plenty of stanced cars and dozens of diesel pickups while a row of music vans were plumbed into a DJ booth in order to provide thumping sounds. Staying on the music front there were a couple of pickups with speaker-packed decks that unfolded outwards and they were then lifted vertically with hydraulic jacks to provide – quite literally – walls of speakers.
Retro was well catered for and in particular a group of early pickups, mostly Datsuns, stood out for their customisation, big bulging wheels and tuning touches that showed the love and care showered on them by their respective owners. Sticking with retro there was a rare Ford Escort Mk1 van in pale blue, with a wide track, sequential transmission and of course equipped with a Japanese engine. At the more contemporary end of the automobile scale there was a Lamborghini Aventador and a BMW Z4.
This show features a lot of girls – and there were a lot as usual. The bikini car wash was a huge draw with photographers as was a traditional Thai game which involves throwing a ball to hit a target which in turn dunks a pretty girl into a drum of water.
The event’s dynamic action unfolded on drag strip which really hotted up as the night wore on. At the Pathum Style Car Show the ¼ mile is all about fun and everyone was able to queue for a run – all shapes and sizes of cars departing down the strip.
Prince Lubricants were the event’s title sponsors this year and the organisers did a very good job as usual to put on an excellent and very well attended event.