Pathum Thani, Thailand - Thailand’s car show year has got off to a flying start with “Nexzter Connection The Under Up X 3” which took place in Pathum Thani last Saturday afternoon and evening. The extravaganza stuck to its tried and tested blueprint featuring row after row of modified and tuned cars from leading car clubs and garages around Bangkok along with plenty of dynamic entertainment including drift battles, drag racing, live music and of course race queen contests.
This was the third edition of “Nexzter Connection The Under Up” and it came exactly a year after the previous running of the event. It’s a high-octane way to get Bangkok’s busy year of mega-size car shows up and running and the Pathum Thani Speedway, with its vast apron as well as ready-made drift track and drag strip, was packed to the seams by the time the sun set on a hot, dry day and proceedings started to crank up into the night.
The car clubs and groups started rolling into Pathum Thani, which is 35 km directly north of Bangkok’s city centre, from 1100 in the morning and the designated Car Club Zone was soon filling out.
There were endless rows of pristine, highly modified cars from clubs including Skyline Club TH, RX-8 TH Club, RX-7 Club, SLK Society, FD Mania TH, Siam Lotus, Club Celica TH, 86 & BRZ TH Club, Liberate, Z4 Club TH, Audi TT Club TH, We Love JDM, Evasive, Import 9, Van TH, FC Midnight and Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet Club.
Amongst the clubs’ diverse ranks there was a particularly impressive turn out from Mazda’s RX-7 and RX-8 and they certainly grabbed a lot of attention while bookending the rotary screamers there was a long line up of latest generation Honda Civics with many featuring scissor doors.
Liberty Walk’s insane looking retro racing liveried Lamborghini Aventador took up pride of place to one side of the main stage and the line-up of contemporary supercars included many of the latest offerings from McLaren, Ferrari and Lamborghini.
Liberty Walk’s presence didn’t rest there as a metallic red wrapped Nissan GT-R R35 stood out of the crowd with ease. And while on the subject of the muscular “Godzilla”, a brand-new red-plated “50th Anniversary” GT-R R35 in signature blue with white bonnet stripes was also on show.
A little further down the sporty price scale there were plenty of current generation Ford Mustangs including one in “U.S. Highway Patrol” specification with bull bars, LED roof lights, widened track and arch extensions, rear wing, tailgate window louvres and a string of other bold mods to give it even more presence.
That extravagant kit was from Kratiam Service and the company also showed off its punchy styling makeovers across two generations of Lamborghini’s V10 sportscar, namely a Gallardo and its successor the Huracán, as well as a kitted up new Camaro and another Mustang that was rather more sports-focused than the police version, but equally as brash.
Garage Unique (which we recently featured on 9tro) turned up with an array of bespoke kitted cars from an array of brands that included Honda, Ford, BMW, Toyota and Subaru and its line-up took up pride of place in front of the main stage. Cars that are as bold as brass, garage Unique certainly don’t go about creating styling for shy drivers. To pick out of that coterie, well maybe the two superb BMW Z4s, one in canary yellow the other in a black and white with grey and red strips racing style livery.
The garage zone also included Jica Tuning, Drive to Drift, Heng Garage, Master Craft, S9 Silver’s, ATL, Wrap Style and Dang Carcare. Title partner Nexzter also had its own line up with its racing Toyota 86 and Mazda RX-7 being the picks.
Retro wise 300 Garage had an immaculate widebody kitted Datsun 240 Z on its booth, there was a beautiful condition first-generation Nissan Skyline GT-R, a moody and modified black Mitsubishi GTO with its intercooler thrust out front and from away across the pond a classic Mustang coupé lurking in amongst a while gaggle of its contemporary brethren. But this isn’t a show that’s too focused on retro so it was a case of quality over quantity.
Michelin arrived with a spacious two-tier booth focused around simulator games which proved highly popular all day. A real standout though amongst the tyres and a trio of motorbikes on the booth was a beautiful Ferrari Portofino which belongs to former “Thailand Super Series – Super Car” champion Saran Sereethoranakul.
Well “stand out” might just be the wrong choice of words to use, the convertible’s factory “Blu Pozzi” paint finish blended the Portofino into its surroundings to such an extent that the carmaker from Maranello could very easily re code it as “Michelin Blue”.
The top-level racing connection didn’t end there either as B-Quik Racing’s famous Porsche 997 GT3 Cup, which has previously won Thailand’s most prestigious race, the Bangsaen Grand Prix, an unrivalled eight times on the trot in the hands of Hong Kong’s Darryl O’Young, was also on show not too far from the Michelin booth.
Now enjoying a well-earned retirement, the black-and-yellow racecar still likes to stretch its legs from time to time and it enjoyed its first ever taste of drag racing as reigning Thailand Super Series - Super Car GT3 champion Sandy Stuvik took it for a spin down the drag strip late in the evening.
Swiftly moving onto the raucous drag zone there were three rounds split by further sessions reserved for event sponsors that ran from late afternoon until approaching midnight.
The highlight was a locally well-known and utterly stunning Porsche 550 Spyder replica dragster which is intriguingly powered by a 13B rotary engine. The exhaust tailpipe juts angrily out of the rear, it’s ultra-lightweight with its carbon bodywork stretched out over a lithe tubular spaceframe chassis, the car has more than 250 horsepower on tap and it’s raucous, blisteringly fast and a whole lot of fun to see in action. Built by Oyster Volkswagen it also pays homage to James Dean’s “Little Bastard”, with the legendary caption tweaked to reflect its powerplant origins and now reads “Roter Bastard”.
Amongst its rivals over the quarter mile was a striking widebody kitted and modified Lotus Elise while another attractive contender from Hethel to light up the drag strip was an Exige in powerful “V6 Cup R” specification. While on the subject of the Lotus brand, there were several more Elises on display, as well as a jet black Evora, next to the drag strip. Oddity of the night on the drag strip though went to a Toyota Alphard minvan complete with plenty of passengers!
The “Nexzter Battle Drift Project by Underground Drift” was a big pull with the spectators too and qualifying got underway bright and breezy at 0900 and the action went on into the late night with big crowds watching everything unfold on Pathum Thani’s purpose-built drift circuit. There was a good turnout by drifters too with plenty of well-known names slugging it out for honours.
Activities on the main stage were headlined by Joey Boy, a veteran of the local music scene who is often referred to as the “Godfather of Thai Hip Hop”. Also, in the music mix were DJ Botcash, DJ View, DJ Beatz and MC Mizz Ramon. Finally, it pretty much goes without say really that the “Car Club Girl” contest, also held on the main stage, was very popular with the crowds.