A Custom Car Haven: Indonesia’s Automotive Paradise

    The 2023 IMX show in Jakarta had just ended, and my adventure in Indonesia continued with a short flight to Yogyakarta for Kustomfest. This was my third year attending the event, and I was excited to see what the custom car and bike scene had in store.

    Yogyakarta, or Jogja as the locals call it, is a charming countryside town that offers a stark contrast to the bustling capital city of Indonesia. While it is a popular tourist destination known for its cultural heritage, Jogja also boasts a fast-growing custom car and bike scene, which Kustomfest aims to highlight and celebrate.

    The event had a “Retro Future” theme this year, showcasing the preservation of classic automotive gems and the pivotal role of Indonesia’s aftermarket industry. The diversity of the vintage car scene in the country was evident, with domestic models from Australia making an appearance alongside American classics.

    One of the standout cars at Kustomfest was a S30 Datsun 240Z sitting on classic Watanabe RS wheels. This meticulously restored vehicle caught my attention early in the show. Another notable build was a custom Chevy 3100 pickup that exuded a retro-futuristic vibe. The attention to detail and clean execution in these builds was impressive.

    The show also featured unique creations, such as a VW Beetle-based Speedster wrapped in a Janis Joplin-inspired design. Its builder aimed to create an affordable tribute to the Porsche Speedster, and the result was a truly unique and eye-catching vehicle.

    The Kustomfest experience was not limited to cars, as motorcycles played a significant role in the event. The customization culture in Indonesia heavily revolves around bikes, which are the preferred means of transportation for many. The show had an abundance of one-off motorcycle creations, showcasing the creativity and craftsmanship of local builders.

    Outside the exhibition hall, Kustomfest set up a massive stage for a concert, allowing attendees to enjoy live performances in a lively atmosphere. The festival atmosphere was in full swing, with people enjoying the music and festivities.

    In addition to the cars and motorcycles on display, Kustomfest also offered various activities such as live tattooing and pin-striping. These artistic endeavors added to the vibrant and creative atmosphere of the event.

    I had the honor of selecting the “Speedhunters Choice” award, and my vote went to a Honda Life 360. This tiny car stood out for its attention to detail and overall execution. It was a testament to the passion and skill of the Indonesian custom car community.

    Overall, Kustomfest showcased the continuous growth of the custom car and bike scene in Indonesia. The support from the local government and the royal family was evident, further cementing the country’s commitment to fostering this industry. I left the event already looking forward to attending Kustomfest again in 2024 and experiencing the further evolution of the Indonesian custom car culture.

    (Note: This article has been reformatted for clarity and flow. The original article can be found on the Speedhunters website.)

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