Breakfast Meet, Swap and Drive with S.A.V.E

Breakfast Meet, Swap and Drive with S.A.V.E

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
31 Jul 2015

Go to breakfast with your mates, have a few laughs, get into someone else’s car and drive off in a convoy of similar cars.

Sounds like fun? It sure is. Many car enthusiasts share their interest with other likeminded individuals, and get together fairly frequently for meetups and mass drives.

This time, we feature the S.A.V.E, or Singapore Aircooled VW Enthusiasts*. The aptly named group are a bunch of people who love classic Volkswagen cars, and are trying to prevent those cars from becoming recycled into the new generation of Beetles.

40 cars showed up for the event, with around a 100 odd members, friends and family there to soak in the atmosphere. The plan was to have an informal breakfast, talk about everything VW and go for a mass drive. The group drove from Nicoll Highway to Orchard Boulevard, and then on through Orchard Road and into Marina Bay for an SG50 themed Satay by the Bay lunch. The event was held last Sunday, making for clear weekend roads and an enjoyable drive despite some rain.

As it is with all motoring enthusiast events, much time was spend getting to know one another, having lots of laughs and most importantly, talking cars. Members engaged each other’s technical knowhow about their Air-cooled VWs, some of which are likely recognisable to your grandad, and exchanged various bits of car parts and accessories.
Wonder what the classic VW scene is like? There used to be a large following of around 200 Air-cooled VWs on our roads 10 years ago. However, due to certain legislative quota figures, recent figures have dropped to about 150 or so. Enthusiasts are still importing these lovely classics under the classic car scheme these days, which should see an increase in the number of them on the roads.

Said Kenneth Yeo of S.A.V.E, “The scene was pretty active in the 90s. Then many cars changed hands and it got quiet. However, many sub groups still existed among close friends. As of 2014, we've tried to revive the meet ups and the numbers have been more than encouraging. We will probably try to do this every 3 to 6 months. Last October, around 30 of us drove into Malaysia for Volksjohore. These drives are lot of fun for us and we hope our attendees think so too!”

VW classic car collectors come from all walks of life, including high professionals like pilots and doctors all the way to students and army boys. Every demographic is well represented and is very welcome in the inclusive community that is S.A.V.E. Kenneth also told us that up to as much as 90% of collectors actually use their VWs as daily drivers, and they don’t cost much to maintain as compared to other vintage cars.

How much exactly is it to maintain an Air-cooled VW then, we asked. A good 60’s road going model may cost $60,000, and 70's models around $10,000 - $20,000 less. This depends on the originality of the car and how well it has been maintained. Kombis and Ghias which are rarer cost much more. “Maintenance doesn't cost very much; lower than a modern Japanese car” says Kenneth, and with 22 million VWs built since the 1940s of which 2 million are still on the road worldwide, parts are easy to source for and owners are really spoilt for choice.

*S.A.V.E. is a facebook group which started getting active last year, and to date have about 250 members. Their overall database is close to 300, including some enthusiasts from Malaysia. The group and events are not just limited to owners, but are open to anyone who enjoys vintage VWs. S.A.V.E. is not a formal club, and there are no fees to partake in their activities. It is simply an enthusiast group run by a bunch of VW nuts with some spare time on their hands.

Credits: Story by Alvan Sio; Photos by S.A.V.E.

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