Me And My Car

Race car lover

Ms Jasline Pan paid $24,000 for the Toyota Celica GT-Four Carlos Sainz, which is one of 25 imported into Singapore.
Ms Jasline Pan paid $24,000 for the Toyota Celica GT-Four Carlos Sainz, which is one of 25 imported into Singapore.PHOTO: LIONEL SEAH

A retro limited-edition Toyota Celica GT-Four is Ms Jasline Pan's ride of choice

Private tutor Jasline Pan has an eclectic and high-octane taste in wheels.

The 34-year-old started as a biker during her university days, moving from a Yamaha Fino scooter to a KTM Duke "naked" bike.

Her cars were all performance biased cult models, including the Honda Integra Type S, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X SST and Subaru Impreza WRX STi.

"I like to try out different cars," she says.

Her current car is a 27-year-old Toyota Celica GT-Four Carlos Sainz - one of 25 imported into Singapore.

She paid $24,000 for it in 2016.

"I was prepared to spend time and money restoring it," she says, adding that she has spent $40,000 on it so far.

Two years on, it is now not only running well, but also repainted in bold rally livery - to replicate the winning 1993 Monte-Carlo Rally GT-Four.

"You won't believe it's a 27-year-old car," she beams. "It stands out and is a great conversation piece."

She has taken it to Malaysia at least a dozen times. "I don't race. But I enjoy long drives and meeting up with other car enthusiasts," she says.

Beyond Malaysia, she just made her longest road-trip last month. Together with a group of motoring friends, she convoyed to Phuket, Thailand - a round trip of about 3,000km.

She now has her sights on Bangkok "or beyond". The former teacher says she intends to keep the car and will renew its certificate of entitlement (COE) when it is due next year. "It's my passport to adventure," she says.

Her husband, Gerald, shares her automotive passion, but drives a far more sedate model - a trusty 1992 Toyota Corolla. The newly married couple met at a motoring event.

Despite her current automotive love, she says she still has a special place in her heart for her previous rides.

"The Integra was very comfortable to drive. I cried when I had to let it go when the COE expired," she says. "The Evo made me feel like a pro."

And what is her dream car? Without hesitation, she says it is the Nissan Skyline GT-R R32.

"I haven't seen any on sale," she notes. "And even if there was, it will be crazy expensive."

• The writer contributes to Torque, a motoring monthly published by SPH Magazines.

What's in the boot?

Ms Jasline Pan paid $24,000 for the Toyota Celica GT-Four Carlos Sainz, which is one of 25 imported into Singapore.
PHOTO: LIONEL SEAH

• A folding seat

• A tool bag

• A pail

• A steering lock

• Engine oil (because the Celica consumes plenty of oil)

• A shoe bag

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2018, with the headline 'Race car lover'. Print Edition | Subscribe