Apr 20, 2017

Visiting Malaysia’s Premier Classic Car Dealer Jags Classic

In order to escape the cold and grey February days in Germany, I’ve decided to travel around Southeast Asia. As with every trip that I go on, I couldn’t have missed the chance to visit places and meet people related to classic cars. This time, I had the opportunity to meet the team of Jags Classic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a family business founded by Mr. Jag in 1966. The name Jag actually came from the initials of its founder’s name – Joseph A. Gomes. It gets even more appropriate when you consider his strong affinity for Jaguar vehicles.

Jag first started selling cars over 50 years ago, almost right after high school. Initially, he worked in the Malaysian Borneo Motors, dealing with cars manufactured by Toyota. But deep down, he’s always been the most passionate about classic cars. Before long, he began trading them out of his home, fuelled by an undying enthusiasm. He proved successful with this venture and nowadays the business is run by his son Oliver and the grandsons Jordan and Joshua.

When I visited Jags Classic, it was obviously with one main objective in mind: taking pictures of their wonderful cars! Olivier, that greeted me on my arrival, agreed that taking pictures inside of the shop would be a bit tricky due to the limited space – instead, he suggested to go outside and turned out to be an amazing host, telling me I could photograph as many cars as I could and invited me to the storage as well. Obviously, the cars we’re talking are gems such as a 328 GTB, a 911 3.2 Carrera and a 911 RWB Evocation, so I just couldn’t contain my excitement and gratitude.

My next host to show me around in this motor empire was Joshua, who later on was kind enough to give a little interview which you can read below. Together, we cruised around the Jags Classic Shop, searching for the breathtaking scenarios you can now see in the pictures. He also accompanied me to the storage. The first car that I fell in love with there was a Ferrari F355 Berlinetta, straight from its very first owner. The car has only 5,700 original miles clocked with a full-service history. Joshua says that is one of the best F355 he ever laid eyes upon and indeed driven.

The second storage car that I decided to photograph was a very beautiful Triumph TR3, black with red intense interior a Triumph TR3, actually manufactured in 1957, coincidentally also the Malaysia’s year of independence! They call independence ‘Merdeka’ in their native language Malay, hence they also nickname the Triumph ‘Merdeka’.

After we’ve left the storage, we came back to the showroom to pick up the Ferrari 328 GTB – one from the last batch 1989 RHD GTB with ABS, the most desirable model. This 328 was previously owned and taken good care of by an elderly guy who decided it was finally time to let it go.

The  Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera – one of my favourites so far, was previously owned by a die-hard Porsche enthusiast and well driven yet at the same time well taken care of! Not a garage queen which is what I appreciate!

The blue Porsche 911 RWB Evocation was fully done up as an Evocation of a 993 RWB by its previous owner, the car also exhibits a stroker kit bumping it from a 3.6 to a 3.8 and a fully custom ceramic coated exhaust.

The Mercedes-Benz 300SL 1989 –  Joshua and Olivier actually know the previous two owners. They actually sold it to the current owner who is now reselling it. According to their story: “The current owner had been looking for this car for a long while but only wanted a good last batch ’89 vehicle. We had kept him on hold until we found the best one possible. The moment it arrived in our, showroom, we called him but he was on his way to a neighbouring state (already over an hour away). But afraid the car might be snapped up and also excited to see it, he immediately turned right back and made it to our showroom just before they closed to finally clinch the car he’d been dreaming of for ages.”

During my visit, I also got the chance to ask the team some questions to learn more about Jags Classics and the classic car scene in Malaysia in general:

Alex: How has the market for classic cars developed in Malaysia? Do you see many differences when you compare the current situation to the times when you started out?

Joshua: The classic car market in Malaysia is definitely booming. More and more people are beginning to appreciate the value of these vehicles –  be it from a financial, emotional or purely FUN standpoint!

Alex: Most people interested in buying classic cars tend to be a bit older – do you also encounter young people in your store?

Joshua: Whilst it’s true that clients tend to lean toward the older spectrum, we do indeed get quite a few younger buyers as well! It’s probably linked to the growing awareness amongst the general populace about the benefits of owning classic cars. Classic cars also very much carry a ‘cool’ factor these days.

Alex: Currently, your main focus is classic cars. Do you have any plans to also include some new cars in your store?

Joshua: We already do stock certain newer cars even at present. However, our focus will always be on classic cars.

Alex: What car has been the most popular among your customers? Do you often receive requests for a particular car?

Joshua: Historically, many of the more usable and daily drive-able ones such as Mercedes 107 SL’s. Recently though, there’s been an incredible interest in the air-cooled 911’s owing to the skyrocketing value.

Alex: Which was the most original car that you have ever had in Jags Classics?

Joshua: Very difficult to answer this question, there have been many!

Alex: Has there even been a car at Jags Classics that you fell in love with and wanted to keep for yourself?

Joshua: Honestly, almost every car! We fall in love with so many cars being car nuts ourselves that we’d have to close shop if we kept them all!

Alex: Do you know the history of new arrivals at Jags Classics? For example, where has it been shipped from?

Joshua: Most definitely. Most of our vehicles are sourced locally by us and the history is part of the beautiful story. Cars that are shipped in from overseas, we source ourselves as well.

Alex: Do you have any unique stories related to some particular cars in the history of your store?

Joshua: Some of the best stories have been nostalgia related. Many instances of clients having grown up with a car their dad or grandad used to have and later sold. Years later, these same kids now come back grown up to relive precious memories. There are not many things that can quite evoke the same emotions than the right classic car can.

More about Jags Classic www.jagsclassic.com

Jags Classic

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