Classic Cars in Taiping

Badge of Star Engineering Co Ltd., Wolverhampton

British cars used to be commonplace on Malaya’s roads and at the time of Independence in 1957 more cars were imported from Britain than all other countries put together.

By the 1970’s however British car sales to Malaysia were in free fall due to the general decline of the British motor industry and the rising popularity of Japanese models. The launch of Malaysia’s first home-grown car, the Proton, in 1985 and the increased tariff on imported cars was a further blow.

These days British cars are something of a rarity in Malaysia. No British cars featured in the top 50 selling models in Malaysia (2011 statistics) though, to be fair, luxury brands such as Range Rover and Jaguar have made a strong comeback in recent years.

So while in Taiping recently it was a rare treat to see seven old British cars in one day (admittedly four of them were in a museum). Here they are, mostly in excellent condition:

Triumph 1300 from the late 1960's.
Triumph 1300 from the late 1960’s?
Spitfire MKIV from around 1963?
Spitfire MKIV from around 1963? The mustang bonnet decoration was presumably not part of the original specs.
Austin 1100/1300 range.
This Austin 1100 or 1300 appears to have found a new life as temporary recycling storage.
Rolls Royce Phantom VI (1972).
This Rolls Royce Phantom VI (1972) is on display at Perak Museum.
Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III (1964)
Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III (1964). This model was nicknamed ‘Chinese Eyes’ – probably not a term which Rolls Royce would use these days.
Alvis TD21 Tourer (1960)
My favourite of the bunch, the Alvis TD21 Tourer (1960).
Star Motor 1920's
This vintage model was manufactured by The Star Engineering Co. Ltd., Wolverhampton, probably in the 1920’s. The company went into receivership in 1932.