I have had a few cars in my time. I have seen auto garages which do modifications on cars, dyno them and some even prep them for races. Fair and good. But they cost a lot. When I grew up, mods were mostly normal people stripping and cleaning engine parts. Toying with carb settings. Back then fitting a Webber carb shows how serious you really are. Then it grew up with putting aftermarket exhaust silencers. After a few years it involved air filters and wheels. Nowadays, its more electronic gadgets. And its not normal people anymore. Its specialist work. No doubt in my mind that they work. They were, however taking the fun out of it for the owners.
In March of 2011 at the age of 43, I had purchased my first brand new car. A two door hatchback from Malaysia. It is a 2011 Proton Satria Neo R3. I have never owned a new car. Most of the cars I had were pre-owned. They were a good 2 or 3 years old before I bought them. All of them were Malaysian national cars. The first was a re-badged Mitsubishi Lancer by the name of Saga. This was a red coloured 1988 1.5S model using Mitsubishi’s 4g15P, carburetor fed SOHC 4 door sedan. This was when I was an engineer at a Malaysia Shipyard and Engineering. Then, in 2003 I bought a re-badged Mitsubishi Cedia, locally called the Waja. This had a Mitsubishi 4G18P SOHC fuel injection.
The main reason for buying yet another Proton car was economic in nature. Although I am an engineer by education and profession, I had picked up an interest in Economy as a subject. I had bought a book entitled Making Globalization Work by Joseph E Stiglitz. In 2009, everybody was trying to make sense of the chaos. I apparently was enticed by this. One key note in this book was the acceptance that each country needs to protect its nascent industries. Each country need to be allowed to produce its own to product for its own people to consume.
A car is the by all means and purposes, a tool. Enabling movement from one place to the other. Its monetary value depreciates in time. Its maintenance is its key to longevity. But its lifespan is finite. It is this lifespan that I wish to record.
Initially, I had placed an order for the normal Proton Satria Neo CPS. This is a Lotus engineered DOHC engine which produced 125hp. In the midst of securing the loan I had a change of heart and decided that thet newly launched Satria Neo R3 would be the better choice. It had offered 145bhp and 160Nm in a package weighing 1200kg. This was by large the main reason why I wanted it.
Within moths of ownership, it had dawned on me that something is needed. I used to be an avid cyclist. A roadie. And owned a New Zealand branded Aluminium bicycle; an Avanti Monza. Compared to the bike, this car is an elephant. It is fat, gulps down hydrocarbons and farts bad when in disagreement. Something had to be done to make it lighter.