Journal: Chasing Endangered Automotive Species In Bali, Indonesia

Chasing Endangered Automotive Species In Bali, Indonesia

By Ted Gushue
September 7, 2016

Photography by Ted Gushue

As I mentioned in my piece on Saprol Vespa Repair in Bali, the tiny island nation is not exactly internationally renown for its car culture, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. I recently spent a week exploring the island and was pleased to find a thriving Volkswagen Thing scene, a pocket of Toyota FJ40s, and a smattering of other interesting four-wheeled friends.

Like many of Asias developing, and even developed nations, cars are taxed exponentially in Bali, making them a significant luxury good. Drivers can expect to pay upwards of 300% tax on everything they drive, a fact that I’ll be exploring more over the next few days in stories I’ve put together on the classic car scene in Bangkok. I’m simply fascinated by the passion it would take to overcome such hurdles to car ownership, unsurprisingly it leads to people being extremely proud of their automobiles.

Due to a significant language barrier, I wasn’t able to get as much from these chaps as I would have liked, but did manage to fire off a couple of shots along the way. Please enjoy and jump into the comments with any questions, I’ll do my best to answer.

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3 years ago

Im happy Petrolicious visit Indonesia. My suggestion, try Jakarta, Bandung, and Bali. Even the tax is monstrous, but some people manage to buy a really nice old car. You can find, Toyota FJ40 (or here in Indonesia people called in Toyota Hardtop), VW Beetle, VW type 2 (here people called VW Kombi), Holden, 80-90s Merc, and more.

Narifti Ahmad Farahan
Narifti Ahmad Farahan(@narifti_ahmad_farahan)
4 years ago

Try Jakarta if you visit Indonesia again
You can find some air cooled goodness on a certain place

Oscar May
Oscar May(@mroscarmay)
5 years ago

So nice to see finally Petrolicious comes to Indonesia. So glad to see you guys.

Anyway, if you ever come to jakarta just hit me up and we can look into some majestic classics arround here.

It’s quite hard to find something extremely desirable like Ferrari 512 or Porsche 911, since government has banned importing cars back in 1973 all the way to 1996, but there’s one or two thats slipped trough the radar ilegally. And that makes hunting classic cars in Indonesia is very interesting

François-Pierre Blain
François-Pierre Blain(@francoispierreblain)
5 years ago

Happy to read this story about Bali. I was there with my Thai wife (Who live in Bangkok ) last April. I found that truck sitting there in GWK (Garuda Wisnu Kencana) Uluwatu,Jimbaran. Maybe you can find it back, I took gps picture where to find it. Looking forward to read about Bangkok car, always wondering why they are so expensives 😉

Peter Lukáč
Peter Lukáč(@sleeper)
5 years ago

Theese Things are awesome!

Yu Jeen Chua
Yu Jeen Chua(@tectonicdynamite10008750)
5 years ago

Welcome to south east Asia Ted! Indeed owning n running classics here is a lab our of love in lieu of the challenges. For many years, the classic car environment was is the doldrums here with many classics being butchered and adapted unsympathetically. However, interest has taken a huge resurgence in the past few years. Likewise the quality of restorations has improved tremendously and you can now see rare classics on the road. Thanks to websites such as Petrolicious et all!