William Chong’s unique spin on his 2015 Proton Suprima S is the first Malaysian-made vehicle selected to represent Malaysia at the World Semi-Finals
Back for its third year in Malaysia, the Hot Wheels™ Legends Tour, in collaboration with Art of Speed Malaysia, is back and bigger than ever. The world’s largest traveling auto show is on the hunt for the next custom vehicle worthy of being immortalized as a 1:64 scale Hot Wheels® die-cast vehicle.
This year, William Chong, a trailer truck technician from Negeri Sembilan, is making his country proud with his custom Proton selected to represent Malaysia at the World Semi-Finals.
2022 marks the fifth year of this exciting global competition. Malaysian enthusiasts joined those in the United States, Canada, Spain, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and new additions in Indonesia and the Philippines in the race to become the next die-cast vehicle pressure available for sale in over 150 countries worldwide.
The Malaysian leg of the competition saw 204 entries, a 25% increase on last year – a notable reflection of the thriving community of car enthusiasts in the country. It was William Chong’s unique twist on his 2015 Proton Suprima S that broke through and clinched the top spot.
The Malaysian final, held in conjunction with Art of Speed Malaysia, was judged by Hot Wheels® designers Bryan Benedict, director of die-cast vehicle design for Hot Wheels® and Matchbox® brands, and Brendon Vetuskey, the current lead designer of Hot Wheels®. Wheels® Monster Trucks and Red Line Club vehicles.
They were joined by guest judges: Tengku Djan, DEV JBC and Ahirine Ahirudin. Entries were judged on authenticity, the embodiment of Hot Wheels®; Creativity, an unprecedented singularity; and Garage Spirit, exemplifying the build-not-buy attitude.
“One of the things I really love about working on these international Hot Wheels™ Legends events is that we are exposed to cars, culture and brands that we don’t normally see. [design] is just off the charts, super cool. With the body kit, floor-slammed stance, and spoiler, this thing would make for great Hot Wheels® all the way. Completely, authentically, Hot Wheels®,” said Brendon Vetuskey of Chong’s entry.
Chong was faced with a great mix of car models from all over the world. The 12 finalists were: Izat Emir Bin Embong (2018 Toyota Alphard), Abdul Hadi Nasrallah Bin Ahmad Ridzuan (1970 Datsun Laurel C130), Eiadywan Bin Sakroni (2015 Mitsubishi Triton), Toon Chin Yee (1979 Toyota Landcruiser HJ45), William Chong ( 2015 Proton Suprima S), Mohd Saifful Bin Mohd Razuan (2012 VW Scirocco), Mohamad Hezri Bin Abdul Gani (1989 Daihatsu), Muhammad Fakhrullah Bin Zulkifli (2002 Perodua Kancil Custom), Mohd Faiza Bin Arshad (2003 Proton Arena), Chan Soon Aun (Mercedes CLA 250 2017), Norman Ng (Porsche Boxter 981 2014) and Darmah Raj (Honda NSX 1997). Sofyan Darmadi (1969 Vandetta VW Beetle) was selected as a special guest by Tengku Djan.
Hot Wheels® Legends Virtual World Semi-Finals
“It’s really cool for me to see the unique car culture in Malaysia. There are unique brands like Proton and Perodua that we don’t see in the US and there’s a unique twist that people put on things. which I find really intriguing. They are done in a unique way that is distinctly Malaysian and I love that. I think there is a certain whimsy that I see in Malaysian inscriptions that is exciting and in the spirit of what Hot Wheels® Legends is,” Bryan Benedict said of the Malaysian entries.
As the winner of the Malaysian leg of the Hot Wheels™ Legends Tour, the 2015 Proton Suprima S will compete in the Hot Wheels® Legends Virtual World Semi-Finals this 11e November 2022. Chong will compete against the other winners around the world for a spot in the Global Grand Finals on the 13the November 2022.
For the first time in Hot Wheels™ Legends Tour history, the brand is launching the Regional Fan Favorite program for winners in the Asia-Pacific region. Fans will be able to vote on Hot Wheels® social media for their favorite design and the winner will have their custom creation transformed into a one-of-a-kind (OOAK) die-cast vehicle. The winner of this program will be announced at the World Grand Final.
“I can’t believe my car was chosen to represent Malaysia in the Hot Wheels™ Legends Tour World Semi-Finals. What an honour! I put so much of myself into this build, so to hear that the judges think it’s cool and unique is a great feeling,” said William Chong. “I hope I can make Malaysia proud!”
William Chong and his 2015 Proton Suprima S build will be at the 2022 Hot Wheels™ Legends Tour Virtual World Semi-Finals on Friday the 11the November 2022, 9 a.m. The livestream will be available at www.facebook.com/hotwheels/.