The Malayan-built Special has always been an integral part of the racing movement in that part of the world, yet it is an aspect of the motoring scene that is least understood and often neglected. Initially, these Specials were simply “cobbled” together using bits from what was available, usually a Fiat for its sweet handling, a side-valve Ford V-8 engine, nicely crated in large quantity for the military, or an MG with its ancient ladder-frame chassis with easy-to-obtain gearbox and axle. Later on, an element of engineering was involved in the choice of suspension and chassis.
The first Special appeared in Singapore at the Farrer Road Speed Trials in 1938, built by a young engineer by the name of Lim Peng Han. Lim showed a talent for putting an attractive shell into a road-going chassis and turning the contraption into a race winner. His work attracted the attention of fellow racers, and he soon received requests to build such Specials faster than he could actually build them, particularly when his creations tended to do well at the sprints and hillclimb events.
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