The sixth and final My Proton Makeover project car was unveiled this afternoon, when R3 Head of Engineering Tengku Djan Ley handed back the keys of this 1991 Saga Aeroback to its first and only owner, Madam Lee Koon Gaik. The 54-year old homemaker was ecstatic, and couldn’t recognise her ride, which has been thoroughly “overhauled” by the R3 team.
Lee said she liked the new colour and “comfortable seats” the most. “The whole appearance of the car has changed,” she exclaimed, going on to explain that the although the 21-year old Saga was difficult to start at times, and the air con wasn’t as strong as she liked, it had no major problems. It’s the only car that serves her and her retired husband, and she uses it to visit the market and fetch kids to school.
The thrifty lady from Seri Kembangan even sewed the car’s torn cushions herself, although none of that can be seen now with black leather and alcantara covering the cabin. The “furry” material is also found on the dashboard and original steering wheel. R3 also threw in red piping and a Sony single-DIN player.
Tengku Djan explained that the goal for this car was to “keep it as stock as possible” with some R3 touches. The top drifter also revealed that Madam Lee’s Saga was one of the easier cars to do – some of the previous chosen ones had specific requests, and some cars looked decent but were less pretty under the skin.
“Understanding her driving patterns as she uses her car for daily errands, we worked to give the car a more pleasurable drive. The engine and gearbox were rebuilt without adding any performance enhancements or mods, with the exhaust system being tweaked to improve torque without making it loud or noisy.
“Considering that she does a considerable amount of town driving, the car’s suspension was upgraded to improve ride comfort. To improve the car’s stability, we went with 16-inch wheels which will enhance the car’s overall road holding ability,” Djan added.
As a Saga owner myself, I really like the fact that R3 chose to maintain the “classic feel”, retaining the car’s original grill and logo. They would have put in original tail lamps too, but new OEM ones are no longer available. As seen in the work-in-progress images posted yesterday, exterior enhancements include a slim rear spoiler, gunmetal highlights and subtle red pinstripes.
Let’s give the final word to Madam Lee. “I have always maintained that this car would be sufficient to serve me a lifetime. Thank you Proton for your commitment towards simple customers like me, going the extra mile to help me keep this car going,” she said.
Previous My Proton Makeover projects include Fadly Hisham Roplay’s 1992 Saga, Sashideran Radha Krishnan’s 1994 Wira, Norzamzarini Mohd Bajuri’s 1996 Iswara Aeroback, Hafiz Mohd Hashim’s 2001 Satria GTI and Amirul Azim’s 2001 Satria 1.3.