Monday, December 14, 2015

Overland Drive from Malaysia to Sri Lanka via Thailand, Myanmar & India in a Classic Car

Y.Bhg. Dato’ Abdul Khani Daud, Deputy Director General (Advertising & Digital),
Tourism Malaysia flagging off the classic car. photo: PelanconganKini

KUALA LUMPUR: MY Classic Cars is an entity which retails classic cars and organizes classic car related events such as concourses, display shows, gymkhana, sprint, casual drives and overland drives to keep the fellowship of classic car owners intact and to encourage owners to keep their cars in good running order and to bring the out as often as possible. This initiative for this overland drive kick started with the Proprietor of MY Classic Cars, Mr. Rukshan Munesinghe in late 2014 after building a strong bond with The Classic Car Club of Ceylon (CCCC) in Sri Lanka after attending with a group of 10 Malaysians for their classic car event in May 2014. Over a conversation Rukshan thought it would be a historic event if a drive from Malaysia to Sri Lanka can we realized. In the past he has organized drives to Hua Hin (2010), Phuket (2013) and Krabi (2014)

The idea materialised and preparations were on its way since early this year to get the car, a 1971 Ford Capri 1300GT, owned by Rukshan, prepared for this historic drive. The car engine was fully rebuilt along with a new coat of paint and the interior was done up too. No other party has done such a drive and what more in a classic car. The expedition participants are two individuals, Mr. Rukshan Munesinghe and Mr. Manivannan A/L Manikumaran who will embark on 14th December 2015. The mission statement of this expedition is “To drive across 5 nations, fostering friendship beyond national borders while promoting Malaysia through the love of classic cars. They will be promoting Malaysia and flying the Malaysian flag throughout the expedition and handing over tourism Malaysia promotion materials along the journey.

The journey takes off from Putrajaya towards the Bukit Kayu Hitam border of Malaysia and Thailand. Onwards they will drive to Bangkok followed by the Northern route up to the Mae Sor - Myawaddy border of Thailand and Myanmar. From Myawaddy the journey continues to Yangon which is an estimated 700KM from the Myawaddy border along some rough terrain. In Myanmar the journey continues towards Naypyidaw, Monywa, Kalay and finally to the Moreh – Tamu border of India within 5 days. The journey in India will be the longest where a total distance of close to 5000KM will be covered stating from the Assam district all the way to Chennai, south of India. There will be many obstacles in regards to the terrain and traffic in India. They hope to get to Chennai within 2 weeks with an average 350KM distance of driving per day. Upon reaching Chennai they will ship the car from Chennai Port to Colombo. They will fly to Colombo to receive the car and continue to do a round island drive to complete the expedition with and anticipated close to 11000KM total distance covered before shipping the car back to Malaysia.

The President of CCCC Mr. Romesh Paul and its members has since been assisting in making preparations to receive the MY Classic Cars team when they arrive in Colombo Port, where the expeditions last leg with takeoff on round island drive before ending in Colombo. Along the way a strong bond was built with the Classic Car Club of Myanmar with their Secretary General Mr. Zaw Phyo Linn who will host the overlanders at Yangon scheduled on 18th of December. In Thailand fellow classic car owners will be waiting at Bangkok to receive them and in India similarly classic car owners will be waiting at their districts to welcome the two.

Tourism Ministry of Malaysia via YBhg. Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin, Deputy Director General (International Promotion) has supported this initiative and rendered their assistance in many ways to see that this expedition will be a success. This includes letter of support, informing all the Tourism offices in the 4 countries of their initiative, assistance for visa and vehicle entry permit approvals for Myanmar, India and Sri Lanka. YBhg Dato’ Abdul Khani Daud, Deputy Director General (Advertising & Digital), Tourism Malaysia and his team flag off the two gentlemen on Monday 14th of December from the office of the Tourism Ministry.
Mr. Rukshan Munesinghe and Mr. Manivannan A/L Manikumaran
with Tourism Malaysia's officers. photo: PelanconganKini

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