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This Former UV Express Proves That Any Car Has Mod Potential

One man's love affair with his dad's everyman classic
by Ash Mahinay | Sep 13, 2018
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Do only "cool" cars deserve to be modified? We disagree. As long as you keep it classy—no blinking tail lights!—any car can serve as a base for creating something special. Our favorite example of that at the moment is Raymund Glenn's 1996 Toyota Tamaraw FX GL. At first glance, we actually thought his car was a retro Land Cruiser 70 and Raymund said that actually "Yun yung look na hinabol ko, since yun yung pinaka malapit na bodytype."

Here's big brother for comparisonPhoto by Wikipedia
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We are all familiar with Toyota's workhorse and it's cool to see one get kitted out like this, but what makes his Tamaraw a really memorable build though is the history behind the car. He didn't just pick this up as a cheap chassis to tinker around with—it's actually been his dream ride as he grew up!

How did you acquire your Tamaraw?

South boys knowPhoto by Raymund Glenn
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It was handed to me by my dad in 2013, nung na phase out yung mga old model na UV express. It was bought brand new in February 1996 from Toyota Cubao and from then to 2013 yellow plate siya.

Did your dad actually operate it himself?

Yup. Siya lang yung nag-drive kasi ayaw niya na malaspag masyado. Karamihan kase ng nakikipasada walang ingat sa unit, basta maka-pamasada lang.

So it wasn't a total beater when you inherited it then

The Tamaraw in the early daysPhoto by Raymund Glenn
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Yes, the engine was still in good condition, though swapped na siya nung nakuha ko. Stock from '96 to '04 then from then til now surplus na 2CT (turbodiesel) yung nakakabit. Nagpalit lang kase underpowered and malakas sa fuel consumption. It had its oil change every 5,000km, timing belt every 50,000 km basta regular yung maintenance. Paint lang issue niya because di maiwasan yung sagian lalo na pag PUV. And yung seats din medyo laspag kasi sakay baba. Pero suspension okay siya, even the original carpet is still intact and fresh kase binalutan pa ng plastic ulit ni dad bago niya pinangbyahe. The interior and exterior was kept clean every day, di natutulog si dad na hindi malinis yung sasakyanminsan ako inuutusan kaya napalapit sakin yung FX namin.

Was it your first car?

Nope. My first car was a 1979 Mitsubishi Galant Lambda. It's the third technically, second was a 1980 Lancer Boxtype SL. Laging nasisira and yung Lambda medyo malakas sa gas kaya binigay sakin yung FX.

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How did you feel when you got the FX?

Overjoyed, syempre. Bata pa ko nagiisip na ko kung anong gagawin sa kanya pag naging private na siya. Kung anong mods gagawin, kulay, mags. The usual stuff.

It was actually your dream car all along.

Yes it is, and if my misis approves and may extra parking space, I'll get another one.

How many "stages" have you gone through with it?

"S T A N C E"Photo by Raymund Glenn
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Four pa lang ata: Clean stock look, rugged banged-up look, lowered, then lifted.

Is it your daily driver? Do you work on it yourself?

It's my daily. Halos kahit san pwede dalhin, matipid pa sa diesel. Na sa 806370km na siya–more than siguro kase more than a year ko siya ginamit na sira speedo cable so the odometer didn't move. Yung mga basic work, yes. Pag di na kaya, or if I did the "destroy it yourself" thing, I seek help. 

And you take it to your day job which is...

I'm an agriculturist by profession, a government employee.

Is your Tamaraw a "money pit" like a lot of other resto/mod projects? Or is it actually cheap to work on because it's old and a common chassis?

Sa case ko, oo, money pit siyaKung kagaya ko na palaging ang nasa isip is to outdo yung previous build, like other makes and models, magastos talaga siya. Pero if okay ka na sa stock look, kumbaga regular maintenance lang talaga, oks na, cheap to work on siya.

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What was the budget like to get it looking as it is right now for example?

It looks great from behind tooPhoto by Raymund Glenn

Kunware from stock look, gagastos ka ng P35k for paint and minor repairs, About P15k for the lift, new set of rims of the same spec would be P3800 each times four tires of the same spec and brand would be around P8000 each. Di na kasama yung ibang accessories and in car entertainment.

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Is it a challenge to work on modding such an old car?

In case you're wondering: "TofuGarage is my FB page. I used to do detailing, buy and sell car parts, etc. Ngayon trying hard car meme page na lang siya, ha ha!"Photo by Raymund Glenn

Pag luma kasi dapat uunahin muna yung mga moving parts natin eh. Sa engine dapat mag simula. Mahirap pag discontinued or old engine na like on my Lambda. Then saka isunod yung suspension, steering and brakes. Yung iba kasi rekta sa looks. Papinta agad, mags, they don't pay attention sa kung ano yung nagpapaandar sa oto. Kaya usually, maganda nga oto makikita mo naman tumitirik o nawawalan ng preno. Pero kung may "challenge" talaga, yung budget yun!

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How about approval from misis though?

Okay lang naman! Supportive naman siya basta unahin muna yung mga bills and stuff. Minsan nga when I do DIY, tumutulong din siya sakin!

Special shoutout to Raymund's fam at Beatbox Cavite and Grupo Tamaraw FX!

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