Angsada has pretty much kept the original exterior of his 500 SEL, apart from the 20-inch mag wheels.
Autos in some peoples’ minds are just a convenient means of transportation, but they have a greater meaning for others. Angsada Boonsoong is one who admits that his car inspired him to study design.
Angsada, a graphic designer for Easy Network Marketing, had a 1989 Mercedes-Benz 500 SEL passed down from his father and it is still his favourite.
“I’ve been sitting in the car since I was a boy,as it was my father’s car. I love the design of autos hitting the roads in the 1980s. Their design focuses on the boxy look. My father likes European cars and this motivated me to love them as well. With line-centric design, it persuaded me to pursue design studies,” he said. He is still crazy about his car and keeps it in mint condition.
“My car’s paint is still original from when I was young because my dad kept this car excellently maintained and, when I got it, I didn’t modify it much. I had my car’s paint retouched in some rusty spots. Its age causes rust. My car’s suspension is durable and I have never fixed it, except to decorate it to make it look new,” he said.
He did change his Benz slightly by putting on 20-inch mag wheels.
“I don’t pay attention to modifying my car to look distinctive, but I make it look good. I still have the original cabin seats and I don’t want to make any radical changes, as it is already a classic. The leather in the cabin is the authentic stuff,” he said.
Angsada is not much concerned about his car’s drive train, as parts are available at Shiang Kong, the shop for used auto parts.
However, a Mercedes-Benz 500 SEL body is unavailable.
“I don’t like driving fast. I use my car for daily life. However, it’s difficult for me to use the original engine as it is a 5.0-litre engine, which guzzles a lot of fuel. That’s why I replaced the original engine with a 3.0-litre engine from a Toyota 2J Non Turbo and it can save me a lot of pocket money as I use it on a daily basis. I don’t want to have a gas conversion kit installed in my car as I don’t want it to run into any problems,” he said.
“After I finished restoring it, my dad was surprised that I could revitalise it and he appreciated that very much.”