Traditionally, June 12th is celebrated nationwide as the day that the Philippines claimed independence from foreign rule. But June 12, 2010 showed that many Filipinos are NOT really free from foreign control, specifically from their passion towards American classic and muscle cars.
Dubbed as the “1st Independence Day Classic and Muscle Car Show” and held at the old parking grounds of the Ortigas Home Depot in Pasig City, the show prompted classic American car owners to dust the cobwebs off, drive and display their treasured automobiles alongside contemporary models. There were the occasional hot rods, tribute cars, and modern luxury barges but everyone had their fill of American cars in addition to a wonderful day of camaraderie with fellow classic and muscle car enthusiasts.
The loyalists of General Motors (GM) enjoyed seeing preserved and roadworthy classics like a 1950 Chevrolet convertible, 1952 Buick Special sedan, 1952 Cadillac Fleetwood limousine and 1955 Chevy Bel-Air. A 1933 Chevy roadster hot rod added spice to the collection of classic GM automobiles. A 1963 Lincoln Continental convertible, like the one in the “Inspector Gadget” movie, added class and pride for the Ford Motor Company (FoMoCo) fans.
Chevrolet Camaro fans found plenty of F-bodies to ogle at while Ford aficionados found plenty of Mustangs, including Eleanor clones, to admire, which shows that Filipinos prefer American pony cars more than large luxury barges. Sports car enthusiasts, on the other hand, gravitated towards the Corvettes on display.
Several examples of American muscle cars made new converts out of car lovers who were present during the show. A lime green 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda 440 blurred the distinction between pony car and muscle car while a yellow 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass Rallye 350 showed that not all muscle cars need big block engine power to become a collectible. There were several Pontiac Firebirds and Chevrolet Impalas of various vintage as well as El Caminos, Dodge Chargers, and other powerful American muscle.
Presented by Caltex with Techron and Pepsi, and held in cooperation with Grand Prix Hotels, Wave 89.1 Diecast Club of the Philippines (DCPH), Hot Wheels, Ambi Pur, Chrome Dazzler and Ortigas Home Depot, the classic and muscle car show ended its day with a wild bikini open contest inside the Foamy Brews bar and restaurant. It was as if the car-loving men inside the bar declared their independence from their daily concerns, no matter how fleetingly.