Photos: Vince Carlo Photography
Muang Thong Thani province in Thailand plays host to some of the largest automotive exhibitions in ASEAN. This comes as no surprise as the Impact Challenger Hall is the world’s largest column-free hall, spanning no less than 140,000 square metres.
The Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS – an exhibition that focuses primarily on new car launches) was held here in the first quarter of 2017, and now we’re here entering the third quarter with the Bangkok International Auto Salon, arguably ASEAN’s largest modified car exhibition. Although this exhibition takes up Hall 3 of Impact Challenger (⅓ of BIMS 2017’s sprawling space), it is still a massive arena for exhibitors to take advantage.
Highlights for this year include car meetups just beside the exhibition space. Clubs representing the AE86, 86 & BRZ Thailand, Rocket Bunny Thailand, Addzest, Brio Mania, Bangkok Loop and AE Thailand added plenty of local flavour and slant, with countless variations of Hachiroku identified with unique modifications.
Heavily modified cars were also out in full force – examples like a SR20DET-powered Suzuki Jimmy, Top Secret’s VR32 GT-R and Pandora HKS Technical Factory’s S660 amplified the JDM glamour during the five-day event. Definitely one of the highlights of this niche bunch goes to the NA Maoukai RE Amemiya Kakyuatsutuika Super 8 wide body!
Japanese firms with Thai presence were also beefing up their flagships with tasty modifications. Honda showcased the Modulo version of their hatchback, while Nissan unveiled a Black Edition of the Navara pickup. Mazda made a tempting effort to attract consumers by displaying cars that took part in the Thailand Super Series, while Toyota exhibited TRD versions of the Hllux and Altis.
Toyota went a step further to showcase the Sienta’s functionality too, with tents and structures attached to the roof rack to mimic an adventurous day out with the family.
Core activities also included non-automotive highlights, such as performances by The Goyemon Girls, a concert by Misaki Nito, car wash sessions by FHM Girl Next Door 2017 finalists, A-Class Japan models and of course, by Nikki – one of the most famous “pretties” in Thailand. You could identify waves of photographers and videographers attending these sessions, which explains the event timetable that never fail to include these activities year-on-year.
The sheer energy you will experience from these events goes far beyond the products on display. Fringe activities, countless F&B around the Challenger Hall and the regional display of various cultures helps us to understand the appeal of large-scale exhibitions. We highly encourage you to visit next year’s installation – it could alter your overall perception of vehicle modifications!
[For more information, visit @bangkokinternationalautosalon on Facebook]