Indonesia Is A Customized Automotive Paradise

Following the 2023 IMX present in Jakarta, my most up-to-date Indonesian journey continued with a brief flight over to Yogyakarta to take a look at Kustomfest for the third yr operating.

Jogja because the locals name it, is a much more chilled out countryside city. It’s an actual change of tempo from Indonesia’s bustling capital metropolis.


Whereas Jogja is a well-liked vacationer vacation spot for its cultural heritage, it additionally has a fast-growing {custom} automotive and bike scene, which is exactly what Kustomfest goals to advertise and rejoice.

There’s an entire new trade evolving out of this automotive ardour, and the native authorities is true behind it, supporting Kustomfest and serving to small companies develop. It truly is the polar reverse of many different international locations, the place car modification is discouraged by fixed rule and regulation modifications.


Attending to Kustomfest 2023 good and early on the primary day meant no crowds and all of the area I might hope for to shoot an extended lens. One of many first vehicles to catch my eye was this S30 Datsun 240Z sitting on a set of basic Watanabe RS wheels.


Kustomfest all the time has a theme, and this yr it was ‘Retro Future’, which aimed to advertise the preservation of automotive gems of yesteryear, and the way Indonesia’s aftermarket trade is pivotal to that.


Just a few builds had been chosen to focus on the theme, together with this very cool Chevy 3100 pickup.


Dropped to the bottom it regarded menacing, however it’s the work that’s gone into the rear that actually stood out to me.


A tube body was custom-designed and fabricated to deal with the rear finish and all of the elements that permit the air suspension setup to do its factor. That is what clear execution seems to be like.


The classic automotive scene in Indonesia is so diverse, and even contains home fashions from Australia.


This Speedster was exhausting to overlook due to its Janis Joplin-inspired wrap. Nevertheless it’s what you can’t see that truly makes it so particular. Beneath all of it is a VW Beetle base.


Speaking to its builder from Bandung, the concept behind the automotive was to create one thing that everybody can afford. It’s not an impersonation, however extra a celebration of the Porsche Speedster.


On the topic of customised Beetles, I believed this rat rod was fairly cool. The modified physique is draped over a {custom} chassis, with a Toyota straight-six up entrance powering the rear wheels.


Kustomfest 2023 had a number of outdated American vehicles, together with a transformed ambulance that’s been changed into a Halloween-themed hearse.


The IMX present that I attended the weekend prior had a small sales space at Kustomfest to advertise the 2024 occasion, and the organisers introduced alongside this Liberty Stroll Silhouette S15 for individuals in Jogja to take a look at.


I actually look ahead to seeing much more Japanese vehicles at Kustomfest subsequent yr.


This W109 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 3.5 actually piqued my curiosity. I’m a large fan of those ’70s-era tanks.


They appear so rattling good slammed over a set of good wheels. It’s the easiest way to focus on the clear and easy look the large sedans have.


Subsequent to the Mercedes was was this curious Land Rover-based {custom} off-roader.


Powered by a V8 and that includes uncovered headers within the boxed-out fenders, it has an actual army really feel about it and appears like nothing I’ve seen earlier than.


The organiser of Kustomfest introduced out a couple of of the Retro 3 Wheelers that his firm builds in Jogja. These are a tackle the Morgan three-wheeler, however with extra space due to a front-wheel drive format. I actually wished to take this factor out for a drive, however time was not on my aspect this yr. I’ve since realized that he’s at the moment engaged on a rear-wheel drive mannequin, so if I make it again to Kustomfest subsequent yr, I’ll characteristic each.


Identical to in earlier years, I was requested to choose one automotive for the Kustomfest ‘Speedhunters Alternative’ award, and for 2023 this tiny little Honda Life 360 received my vote.


The automotive instantly stood out for its total execution and a spotlight to element.


Each inside and out.


A staple of Kustomfest is the ‘Fortunate Draw’ the place each show-goer has an opportunity to take residence a {custom} automotive or bike. This yr a Toyota Crown ute was up for grabs, and all of the invited worldwide visitors received to signal the roof. Sure, me included, one thing I nonetheless discover fairly bizarre.


Supercharged Mini, anybody?


Whereas vehicles are all the time my greatest focus when overlaying this occasion, there isn’t any hiding from the truth that bikes are on the heart of {custom} tradition in Indonesia. Bikes are the popular type of transport for therefore many, so it makes whole sense. The present was crammed to the brim with many one-off creations, and even included the odd bicycle.


And together with bikes, Indonesians prefer to social gathering exhausting. Simply exterior the exhibition corridor, Kustomfest units up an enormous stage the place an enormous live performance was held on the Saturday night time of the occasion.


Accompanying me from Japan was the Mooneyes crew, who all the time make it out for the present. As ever, Wildman was busy pin-striping all kinds of issues that followers dropped at him, together with die-casts.

Stay tattooing is a well-liked Kustomfest pastime, too. It’s all the time mesmerising to observe these artists at work, however on the identical it’s exhausting to not really feel the ache.


I don’t assume I’ll ever tire of attending this occasion, and the very best factor of all is seeing the steady progress of the scene and abilities that native automotive builders proceed to showcase. I additionally tip my hat to the native authorities ministers and royal members of the family that visited the present this yr to place their weight behind the rising trade. Evidently, I’m already trying ahead to returning to Indonesia and Kustomfest in 2024.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: dino_dalle_carbonare