The Coolest Car I’ve Ever Seen

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Featured Writer Leslie Branch shares her views on The Coolest Car she’s Ever Seen. Take it away Leslie…

2011 Scion tC Tuner Challenge Winner by Shawn Baker

The Coolest Car I’ve Ever Seen

Believe it or not, the coolest car I’ve ever seen is the 2011 Toyota Scion TC. This car is available in a variety of colors, including a light, smoke gray, ebony, as well as a a darker shade of gray called, appropriately enough, magnetic gray. One of the best things about this car is it’s decidedly at variance with the conventional, “box type” Scions that Toyota unveiled close to 10 years ago. Its shape has been refined to resemble a sleek sports car. In fact, at just above or just under $20,000, the TC is just about the cheapest two-door coupe that is available. Depending on how good a customer’s credit score is, this vehicle can be financed (either as a lease or as a purchase) for approximately $250 a month. It’s not easy to find a brand new car that only costs $250 a month. Although it takes conventional unleaded fuel, there’s plenty of info to learn about diesel vehicles at


What’s great about the Scion TC is it comes loaded with several valuable accessories that transforms typical driving experiences into decidedly pleasurable ones. It comes with a panoramic glass moon roof with both power tilting and power sliding, which can be used to soak the sun’s rays or the moon’s shine—depending on one’s own personal preference. The stereo system is designed to handle just about anyone’s musical needs or wants, as it comes with a 300 watt AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA player that’s augmented by eight speakers (including a sub-woofer that has plenty of bass). There are also ports to connect auxiliary players through both USB as well as for conventional iPod adaptors. Backseat passengers have their very own roof window as well, which also leads into another point that despite the fact that this vehicle is a coupe, it has a backseat that is fairly roomy.


Those who might want to test drive this vehicle will be surprised at how much more spacious it actually is on the inside, as opposed to how moderate-sized this vehicle looks on the inside. In fact, the trunk of the TC raises up like a hatch, and there’s more copious space to store an assortment of items. Furthermore, the back seats can also be pushed down to allow for more room to fit stuff in. It’s actually possible to load up one’s entire belongings (for a bachelor or a bachelorette) and move everything but for the heavy furniture—beds, futons, etc..—and have a good time while doing it. Also, the bucket seats in the front of the car have a type of muscle memory where even if you adjust them by moving the up or back, they’ll still remember their original position if one wants them to. Those interested in learning more about cars have plenty of options for an automotive education.

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Question on Durability of ROTA Wheels?

Photos copyright of their respective owners

Before I begin, let me just say that it took me several days to come up with this 2,705-word article. But I’m pretty sure this is something that would “make a difference” to the automotive industry. So I’m pretty happy that it was worth my time. Here goes…

Driftworks S15 Rota Wheels Custom Pinoy Rides pic1
Yeah, I know. There are many wheel whores out there who can talk all day about anything and everything to do about wheels (a.k.a. rims, mags, or magwheels). When wheel whores start to talk in their language, you start hearing words like offset, diameter, PCD, and all that. As they start to get more involved in the conversation, it starts to drift into talks about engineering, design, weight, and even metallurgy. More often than not, the conversation eventually goes to Forged versus Cast wheels. Once the topic dwells on that, you can almost be 100% sure that they will start talking about the “Durability of ROTA Wheels”.

Why does the conversation lead specifically to talking about ROTA Wheels? Why not any other brand? Well, let’s just say that ROTA is to wheels as Manny Pacquiao is to boxing. They’re both made in the Philippines, famous worldwide, and known to perform in their respective fields. And along with being famous comes a huge fanbase, as well as the distinctive crowd of haters. So after posting this up, I’ll probably put my flame suit on because it’s a given that you ROTA haters out there will be flaming on me in full force.

What is it that these ROTA haters are so angry about? The argument in all of the many different forums are always the same – they question the durability of ROTA Wheels.

Let’s make a deal. Before you start digging up some random photos of broken wheels (which are more often than not the same photos posted over and over again), and using it as an “I told you so” argument to counter this post, please back it up with proper data, as well as history behind the broken wheel incident first. Otherwise, your argument is of no value. We good?

I, on the other hand, will be talking about facts. Here goes…

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Introducing: The 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Hi, I’m Philip Aragones, and as an introduction to myself here in, let me introduce you to the 2013 Hyundai Genesis.

CustomPinoyRides rode to Clark, Pampanga to get a taste of what this beast had to offer. With 345 horsepower under its hood, 39 more than its predecessor, this sleek ride is certainly no slouch. The prominent frontal design elements seen in the Tucson and the Veloster are now seen in the new Genesis Coupe, and it doesn’t disappoint.

2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Custom Pinoy Rides Philip Aragones pic1

Read on to see the rest of the gallery…

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February 2012 Car Photography Club Photo Contest Best in Theme Winner: Michael Kalbo

Lotus Evora photography by Michael Kalbo
Camera: Nikon D300s
Lens: 24-70 f2.8 @ f4.5 & 1/10th sec, ISO200
View bigger at

As agreed by the Car Photography Club members, beginning the month of February, we will now have a “People’s Choice award” (annouced in the previous post), as well as a “Best in Theme award”.

Our judges for the “Best in Theme” award are myself, THE aSTIG, founder of Custom Pinoy Rides as well as the Car Photography Club; multi-award-winning photographer Jundio Salvador; and Patrick Lauder, whose work you’ve probably already seen in various websites and magazines such as Import Tuner, Honda Tuning, Modified Magazine, EuroTuner, Canibeat, and more.

We judges are proud to announce the winner of the February 2012 Car Photography Club “Best in Theme” award winner – let’s all put our hands together for Michael Kalbo! His Lotus Evora photo stood out in the eyes of the judges. Here’s what we had to say about it:

Jundio Salvador says:
“My choice is Michael Kalbo. His entry stands out due to his processing and lighting technique. Floor horizon is perfectly aligned on 1/3, highlights, shadows and midtones are very accented by variable lighting, color red is localized by the high dynamic effect, subject (which shows only the the facade vista)-gives a feeling of mystery on the whole car itself.”

THE aSTIG says:
“Michael Kalbo wins it because the thought process he has done to make that shot looks like it had been executed well. It was obviously a planned shoot, and the effort done in terms of lighting alone is outstanding. He has managed to achieve the right ratio between background/ambient light and the light used to illuminate the car. It looks to me as if he had used a light meter to get the ratio for the lights as well as the camera settings just right so as for the background light to not burn into the subject. The result is a high-key HDR effect that looks like it could go into a magazine advert or brochure. Nicely done.”

Patrick Lauder says:
“Clean Lighting, simple and straight to the point.”

We look forward to seeing more of your awesome photos. Congratulations!

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February 2012 Car Photography Club Photo Contest People’s Choice Award Winner: Jay Cee

Ferrari Puma Custom Pinoy Rides Car Photography Club Manila Auto Salon
Puma Ferrari Booth @ Manila Auto Salon 2011
Camera: Canon Kiss X4 with Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Post Processing: Adobe Photoshop color adjustment, sharpening, noise reduction and vignette.

Our winner of the Car Photography Club February 2012 Photo Contest “People’s Choice Award” goes to Jay Cee, raking in 45% out of the 542 people who voted. Join us in congratulating Jay Cee for this great achievement. (Jay Cee also won the January contest with his Toyota FJ Rock Crawler photo at Mt. Pinatubo). Looking forward to seeing more awesome photos in our future contests!

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TrackHos “The Mile” – Who says the Philippines is 3rd World?

TrachHos The Mile Custom Pinoy Rides
“The Mile” is a one-day celebration of speed which was held at Subic Bay International Airport, organized by the TrackHos car club. At the same time, it was also a charitable event, where all proceeds went to the Philippine Red Cross to help the victims of the recent Typhoon Sendong.

Though this was meant to be an event for all types of “fast and high-horsepower cars”, from tuner cars to performance cars to high-end exotics, since the bulk of the Civic/Subaru/Evo crowd was caught up in the Manila Auto Salon, which happened on the same weekend, it was only the high-end cars that were able to make it, plus maybe a handful of heavily-modified Honda Civics.

So it turned out that “The Mile” was so far the most epic gathering of some of the country’s most ultra-high-end exotic cars to date. From Audi R8s to Ford GTs to a plethora of Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Porsches, Nissan GTRs, and more, you’d start to wonder why the Philippines is called a third-world country!

And what better place to unleash all that pent-up horsepower, than for the club to find the longset, straightest, flattest road around? The answer – a runway. Specifically, Subic Bay International Airport. No wonder even the top motoring shows in the world such as BBC Top Gear use runways for testing the most powerful cars. You can go flat-out and be one with your machine without having to risk public safety! How awesome is that?

So, without further ado, sit back, relax, and check out the TrackHos “The Mile” video by 88storey Films and Central Digital Lab. Make sure you put it on full HD, full screen, and turn up the volume. Coz you’ll be in for an exciting and enjoyable ride…

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Ford Club Philippines 10-Year Anniversary (Part 2)

Ford Club Philippines 10-Year Anniversary Custom Pinoy Rides pic1
In Part 1 of this series, we’ve shown you some awesome cars, as well as hilarious moments. I also promised to show you some of the babes in Part 2!

Here in Part 2, we’ll show you not only the alluring models during the event, but a whole lot more of the action! Such as the invasion of the old schoolers, the arrival of the biggest and baddest truck, and many more!

Read on to see the rest of the gallery. Check it out!

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Spyker C8 spyder

Spyker C8 by Michael KALBO Simon
Spyker Cars isn’t as well known as other car manufacturers out there, but that doesn’t mean they don’t produce amazing machines. The Spyker Company has a long history, starting in 1898 with Jacobus and Hendrik-Jan Spijker brothers coach builders from Amsterdam, they later went on to produce air planes during WWI and in 1999 Victor Muller and Maarten de Bruijn revived the company to what it is today.

This particular model is the C8 Spyder. It’s a hand built aluminum chasis/body that weights 1.2tons and has a 4.2 Audi V8 that sits just inches behind the driver producing 400bhp and sends the car from 0-60 in 4.3sec. The interior, which I think is the best part about this car, is covered in hand crafted goodness. All the leather trimmings are hand stitched, the dash is hand turned aluminum, with bezels that reminds you of its history as an aircraft manufacturer. Right in the middle is an exposed gear linkage system.

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Cast Your Votes: Car Photography Club February 2012 Photo Contest “People’s Choice Award”

It’s time to cast your votes for who will win the Car Photography Club February 2012 Photo Contest “People’s Choice Award”!

Cast Your Votes: Car Photography Club February 2012 Photo Contest “People’s Choice Award”
1. Iori Suzuki
2. Roberto Minosa
3. Coy Bulanhagui
4. Raffy David
5. Michael Kalbo
6. Rean Angelo Reyes Velasco
7. Jet Rabe
8. Ian Magbanua
9. Carlos Benitez
10. Mads Dreier
11. Jing Gines
12. Jay Cee
13. Karl Ivan San Luis
14. Jefferson V. Livara
15. Arvin Lim

Results – get your free poll

Starting in February, we will have 2 categores: (1) People’s Choice Award, where the winner will be selected via most number of votes from this poll; and (2) Best in Theme, which will be chosen by Judges from the Car Photography Club. Both winners will be announced here soon. So watch out for it!

In the meantime, cast your votes for the “February People’s Choice Award”! Poll will close on the 9th of March, 2012 at 11:59pm (Manila Time).

Cast your votes now! Here are the entries:

The Theme: Since February is the month of hearts, our theme for February is RED. Choose who you think deserves to win!

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Ford Club Philippines 10-Year Anniversary (Part 1)

Ford Club Philippines 10-Year Anniversary Part 1 Custom Pinoy Rides pic1
Last February 25, 2012, Ford Club Philippines celebrated their 10-Year Anniversary with an event entitled One FORD. One CLUB. One DECADE. What better way to celebrate it than to throw a massive party! This gathering of awesome cars and their dedicated owners was held at Bonifacio Global City. And Custom Pinoy Rides was there to shoot them all bwahaha! I mean, take photos of them.

We had a blast shooting more than 180 cars in a span of about 12 hours. We’ve got some cool Ford cars of just about every genre, as well as shots of the lovely models. Check out the photos below…

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