The third car to undergo a complete refurbishment in the My Proton Makeover programme has gone back to its owner. Engineer Norzamzarini Mohd Bajuri received his R3-rebuilt 1996 Proton Iswara Aeroback at a simple handing over ceremony at the Proton Centre of Excellence yesterday.

The red, second-hand Iswara AB 1.3 that Norzamzarini purchased in 1998 received the full R3 treatment, though the ideas that went into the reworking of the car, as explained by R3 head honcho Tengku Djan Ley, was to ensure its practicality without compromising its external looks.

“As it is the primary mode of transport for Norzamzarini and his family, the car clocked high mileage with its daily use. Knowing that the consistency of its usage will continue, the work that was done to the car’s performance was not so much as to give it more power but to improve its drivability and efficiency,” Djan explained.

“Norzamzarini mentioned that he liked the colour orange. We then explored that option and decided to do the car up in Lotus orange,” he added. The colour was first seen in photos through work-in-progress stories run earlier.

“There was a slight fear that this could potentially make his car look a little tacky. However, the decision to use a significant amount of titanium-coloured detailing helped us avoid that and ultimately gives the car a uniquely classy and sporty look,” he explained. The car also sports a dark interior with strong hints of Lotus orange, fittingly complementing its exterior.

Mechanically, the engine and the gearbox were given a full overhaul, while the suspension system received special attention – it was adjusted to give Norzamzarini’s car a standard feel whilst looking sporty, with an emphasis to provide a balanced performance for day-to-day driving.

“We also opted to use 15-inch rims to improve and sustain the car’s balance, so that it will not result in high fuel consumption,” Djan added.

Meanwhile, Norzamzarini was pretty chuffed with the results. “This new lease of life that Proton has given to my car is a gift beyond words and is truly a blessing to me and my family,” the software engineer from Muar enthused.

The Iswara AB joins Sashideran Radha Krishnan’s 17-year-old Wira and Fadly Hisham Roplay’s 1992 Saga as the R3 makeover specials. Next on the cards is a Satria GTI belonging to Salina Hisham from Johor Bahru.