Car Porn Racing, Manila

I remember growing up in the Philippines. It was different. We didn’t own a car. We rode the jeepneys and cabs to get to places. I envied those who could just turn their ignition and drive wherever they may please. At least that’s what they showed on TV, because really, I would not have known what it was like.

I only dreamed of what it was like to own a car of your own and modify it. I watched E90 Toyota Corolla’s, EG6 Honda Civic’s, and the likes pass the jeepney that I rode on, whilst covering my nose to prevent inhaling the strong polluted air that the country has to offer.

So what does that story have to do with what I’m posting now? Well, I recently flew out to the Philippines for some family matters I had to take care of and while doing so, I ate some of the food that I miss, met up with the whole family, and caught up with old friends. One of them is named Ian King.

Who is Ian King?

If the banner above is something familiar to you, then I need no explanation, if not, then let me somehow explain what it is. It’s one of the most popular company brands in the Philippines. Victoria Court’s iconic motif stands out among billboards and building facades across Manila. The black and white silhouette of a 1920’s era woman silencing its onlookers with a single finger has been synonymous as a location for lovers’ trysts and sneaky getaways for nearly two decades. (Read more about the King brothers).

So, let’s go back to Ian. He is the grandson of the owner and founder of Victoria Court, but that is not how I know him. I met him almost a decade ago through a Filipino drifting forum and had the chance to do a photoshoot with one of his cars back when drifting first launched in the Philippines. I know him as a car enthusiast and nothing has changed, he still loves cars. He has brought Nakai-san to the Philippines and currently owns “Victoria”, the FIRST RWB in the country.

That wouldn’t be possible if there was nowhere for Nakai-san to work. Prior to that engagement, Ian has built a place for him and his friends to hang out and work on their cars. It has then got bigger and has now turned into a full on car shop. Car Porn Racing was then born.

So while eating my Pisbol (fishball) and drinking my Taho (silken tofu with brown sugar syrup, drink in the Philippines) I contacted Ian to arrange a meeting to see how he has been. We haven’t seen each other for a very long time. He agreed to meet up at his shop. I have seen Car Porn Racing on Facebook and the cars that they work on. I got excited. I was looking forward to the day that we set up.

That morning, my alarm started blaring out and wondered why. ITS THE DAY! Car Porn Racing field trip day!

I didn’t bring a camera with me but thank goodness I have friends that still care, I was able to borrow a Nikon D300 from Johann Lim. He mostly does portrait sessions, hence the reason I got an 85mm prime and a wide lens.

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The morning started hot, as usual, it was in the low 90’s with max humidity. Thank goodness for a working full blasted A/C. The drive wasn’t easy, potholes and traffic made it even worse. We entered a some sort of village that consisted of an abandoned military base. The warehouse was no different from what I am used to seeing on a normal post. I then knew that we were in the right spot when one of the warehouses wasn’t painted your stock military tan/brown/off white color, but rather this warehouse was painted camouflage blue. If that wasn’t enough to slap me in the face, there were modified cars parked outside. And if that wasn’t enough, the sign with the humping cars, that says Car Porn Racing, will probably give it away.

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I was greeted by Ian, his friends, and his friendly staff, and they all welcomed me with open arms. They showed me around the shop and explained what they do. This place started as a “hangout” spot but is now a full blown car shop with multiple workers that specializes on different things.

First thing that captured my eye: Victoria, I wanted her… to do a photoshoot that is. But sadly, she was going through a heart surgery at the time, an LS1 engine swap. Akira, another RWB, owned by Pablo Valdez was also getting work done. Feature can be found here. Akira, on the other hand is not going under that deep of a knife-cut, but still enough to put her out of commission.

Continuing on to my tour, I saw a lot of Ian’s toys. Project after project that is different in perspective but all had the same intent: to go fast. Also, in his shop are customers cars. They can either be there for a full overhaul or just need modifying to how they drop the car. Car Porn Racing is a distributor for Airrex and AccuAir. This is a smart choice for people who want a lowered car in the Philippines yet also want to have the ability to raise their car when driving around town. One thing you have to understand about the roads in this country: potholes and cracks on the roads seems like it’s a mandatory item to slow down fast drivers, like they engineered roads to look like how they are. The roads that are finely paved have speed bumps taller than your three year old kid. Seriously. You might have to pay extra to touch a button to raise your car but this is definitely worth saving up for, that is if you want the under carriage of your car left un bruised.

One other thing that I noticed was the love for V8’s. It seems like after the Formula D craze, finding power from a stock V8 has also bled out to other countries as a much cheaper alternative for getting power. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sound the 8 cylinder engines make, but my love for Japanese inline 6 still stands. I would still choose a JZ engine over a muscle growl.

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My morning shoot turned almost into a whole day event, I ended up staying longer than anticipated. Ian, his friends, and the staff took a break for lunch. I noticed that despite of Ian’s economic standing, he treated everybody as equal. People were treated like people.  Regardless of how much they make, they all ate on the same table and everyone ate the same food. I loved it. Humility at it’s finest. 

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I had a talk with Ian on his plans and things that he’s doing for the industry and his vision is big. Bigger than what I could’ve imagined. From then on, it made me happy. I imagined myself as a child once more, if this is the kind of car that the next generation of kids will see while riding jeepneys, then I believe, the Philippines auto industry will be turning out for the good of enthusiasts.

Car Porn Racing
Warehouse 11, MDC Road, Veterans Center
Taguig, Philippines 1631
+63 918 907 4123

Ian King’s Instagram

 

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