We talked to five dads about their first luxury ride, and their favorite memories with it—one even put theirs to the test at a 12-hour endurance challenge at the Clark International Speedway.
While we should be honoring the important men in our life year-round, Father’s Day weekend seems like an appropriate excuse to let them indulge in both good memories and their passions.
A popular interest among the loving dads of society seem to be premium automobiles, which they maintain with care and eventually pass down to their kids with pride. So we asked around: what was your first ever sports car? Here are a few who answered.
Even when he’s not busy being the chief operation officer of the Auto Nation Group, importing and distributing Mercedes Benz vehicles, as well as parts and accessories in the country, Frankie Ang finds joy in cars in his downtime.
His first sports car is—no coincidence here—the Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 (C218).
“This was a gift from my dad,” shares Ang, referring to his father Felix, who is also the president of the company. “It’s a good thing he ran out of garage space and surprised me on my birthday with it.”
Sharing a passion for cars, both father and son often bond happily by driving the CLS, which the former describes as practical.
“[My] number one, most favorite thing about this sports car is that my golf clubs fit in the trunk,” he adds. “As most sports cars only have two doors and little trunk space, I love the CLS because of its practicality.”
He makes sure to stick to the vehicle’s maintenance schedule to take care of it. He parks it under a shade, too, and half-jokingly adds that does his best to avoid EDSA potholes.
While a practical vehicle, Frankie says nothing beats the time when, during an event in Clark Speedway, a professional DTM driver “took us on a hot lap using the CLS and even drifted through a few corners.”
“It was both adrenaline and excitement just building up in that moment,” he shares. “It was a good day [and a] fun time.”
With an automotive industry experience spanning almost twenty years, Marc Soong, the country’s dealer for Ferrari and Maserati, says he has had a number of sports cars of his own.
His most recent favorite, however, is the Mazda MX5—a racing version of it, which he says he has driven on the Fuji racetrack and “fell in love with it.”
“I chose it because of its simplicity,” he explains. “A new car with the feel of a classic sports car is what I like about it the most and the price is at a point many can afford.”
Apart from the look and the price point, Soong says its best feature is its manual transmission, something that most modern cars do not have.
“Mazda has a great warranty program and free service program, too, so ownership is worry free,” he adds. “Also, Mazda Philippines, headed by Steven Tam, gives great support to owners.”
Despite the simplicity Soong has mentioned, the vehicle can also hold its own in a race based on an unforgettable first-hand experience.
“My favorite memory of this car is competing with it in the 12-hour endurance challenge run by Clark International Speedway,” Soong shares. “It’s a superb car for the road and the track.”
The man behind Valkyrie, 71 Gramercy, Revel and Palace Pool Club, Cua says that while he has owned a couple of sports cars, he considers Porsche 911 as his first.
“It’s the first sports car I fell in love with,” he says. “It was my dream car.”
With its timeless style, Cua says the vehicle is the benchmark of sports cars. He says he particularly loves it for being “arguably the best all-around sports car.”
“From its looks, the sound of its naturally aspirated flat 6, its handling, and its practicality, this car has it all,” he says. “It’s one of the few cars that go up in value over time, too.”
To take care of the vehicle, Cua makes sure that it’s regularly maintained. No eating is allowed inside, too, which saves it from any drink spilling or sauces staining.
On when his best times with the car are, he says it is behind the wheels. “[I take it to] go out of town every weekend,” Cua shares. “[I take it] to the track once in a while, too.”
As someone who has a successful 18-year racing career competing in karting, circuit cars, rally cars, Formula Toyota, and Formula 3 and is now the head of a racing school, it’s no surprise for JP Tuason to be a sports car enthusiast himself. His first is a two-door Porsche 911 Targa 4S.
“It was an impulsive buy,” he shares candidly. “I don’t regret it at all, though, because Porsches were always great to drive.”
A rare Porsche to have at the time, Tuason says he particularly liked the 911 Targa for its classic styling that’s elegant yet sporty, while carrying a good amount of power.
He takes care of the vehicle through modifications—lots of it. “I believe personalization through modifications gives an owner a satisfaction of uniqueness,” he says.
For Tuason, however, the best part about having the vehicle is not just owning it, but also being able to bond with his kids through it.
“Sunday coffee runs to BGC [are the best],” he says. “I would take my son with me and we would have a morning date to check out the other supercars. It was a good time to bond and hang out while sharing my passion for cars.”
Known for his success as a nightlife purveyor with The Island at the Palace, Draft Gastropub, Xylo, Revel, 71 Gramercy, Yes Please, Reyes remembers the very moment he realized he wanted to purchase his first sports car, a 1997 Mercedes Benz SLK AMG.
“I was 28 years old and at a stoplight while I was in my Sedan when an older balding gentleman pulled up beside me in a BMW Z3,” he says. “That’s when I realized most people wait until their senior years, when they’re empty nesters and a lot older, to buy their dream cars and sportscars. At that moment I told myself, ‘I don’t wanna be too old to enjoy that experience.’”
He has since made a vow to work hard and save up for his dream sports car, which he finally bought in 2003.
The purchase, he says, was worth it. Apart from his favorite feature of the car, a retractable hardtop, he has modified it to his liking, too, like a custom quad exhaust and a full AMG kit.
The vehicle is memorable enough as his first sports car ever, but driving it to Club Punta Fuego in Nasugbu is one of the many wonderful memories he has had with it.