GALLERY: Go Behind The Scenes On Our 1975 Alfa Romeo 2000 GT Veloce Film Shoot In Thailand
This time we’ve hauled the cameras and tripods to Thailand to spend an afternoon chatting about the soul of old Italian cars with a man from Malaysia. Southeast Asia is certainly not the first place you’d look to find a vintage Alfa Romeo, but Chong Song Ong is living the sweet life anyway. Driving a beautifully restored 1975 Alfa Romeo 2000 GT Veloce for ten years and counting, his infatuation with the Italian automaker has rubbed off.
Indeed many of the friends he’s made through this car are also Alfisti. They might not be as plentiful as they are closer to Milan, but the enthusiasm for the marque recognizes no borders. If you are interested in something, you’ll find a way to make it happen regardless of circumstance. When Chong first moved north from his home in Malaysia to Thailand, it wasn’t until his second year of residency in the country that he even laid an eye on an Alfa. “I love the Alfa because it’s unique,” he says, and while that’s not an uncommon sentiment by any means, it holds more merit when you factor in the map.
Soon after seeing that first one in Thailand, he got together with a photographer friend to talk about cars, about that car in particular. He drew it, sketched it on a page for he had no photos of this fleeting Alfa appearance. His friend was pretty optimistic about the situation though, and he told Chong that he could find him something like that within a week.
So the phone rings a few days later, and the promise is proven to be upheld. The question became not “Can you find one?”, but “What have you found?” It turned out he’d found a good candidate for ownership, and Chong purchased his first Alfa Romeo, a ’75 GTV.
As you’d expect from an elderly Alfa living in a quite humid climate, the car wasn’t perfect. He wanted to do a full restoration, but again, Thailand isn’t really known for wrenching on Alfas. He found a specialist though, and was thoroughly impressed by what the man could do. Well-versed in the cars, he did the work correctly, with the right parts, and nailed the details that some would have left behind in the process of “just another restoration.”
The car came out of the garage looking like 1975 all over again, and so happy he was to have his car returned to him in such a state, Chong decided to take it on a drive to Malaysia. Clocking in just under 1,000 miles (mille miglia tribute unintentional), it’s not the world’s longest road trip but it was still a veritable test of the vintage car’s second life. It performed faultlessly, and when he showed his Alfa off to his friends back in Malaysia, one was moved enough by the car to find his own.
His best friend, a man named William, had asked him the blunt but serious question: “Hey, could you make me one?” Chong said it would take about two years, but if he could wait be patient he knew the right guy for the build. William said that wouldn’t be an issue, and so the two friends drove to Thailand to find a car together.
Whether getting old friends into new-old cars, or meeting new friends to share his Alfa enthusiasm with, Chong Ong Song is Driving Tastefully®.