The next recipient of the My Proton Makeover programme has been identified – Sashideran Radha Krishnan’s 17-year-old Proton Wira, which he inherited from his father, will be given the reworking treatment by the R3 unit of Proton’s Motorsports Department.

The 24-year-old budding engineer is the first winner and second recipient of the Proton programme. The first was of course Fadly Hisham Roplay’s 1992 Saga, which was reworked by the R3 boys and handed back to him in September.

The white Wira that will receive the makeover was purchased by Sashideran’s father, Radha Krishnan, in March 1994. Interestingly, the day the car was registered also coincided with both their birthdays. “I still remember the day she was driven up the driveway of my house, all gleaming in white. I knew straight away that she was special!” Sashideran said.

In his submission for the contest, Sashideran described his Wira as more than just a car, rather a member of his family. The car reminded him of many key nostalgic moments, from ferrying him on his first day in a new school to bringing his mother and new born baby brother home from hospital.

His “darling Wira”, as Sashideran calls her, was also instrumental in being part of his first date, and was his reliable mode of transport to his first job interview and subsequently his first job.

“At one time, she sheltered me when I was away from home with no money to spare, becoming my room and bed for the night,” he explained, remembering once that he threatened never to speak to his father again when his dad said he was going to sell the Wira to get a new car. Dad has since relinquished full use of the Wira to Sashideran, who maintains the car quite intently.

“Sashideran’s story was so well written that it would be wrong not to reward him and his family for the love they shower on the car,” said Proton Director of Group Marketing, Branding and Motorsports, John D. Chacko. “We were a little amused considering that Sashideran is a passionate car lover, but his father still keeps a strict eye on him about how he cares for the car!”

Tengku Djan Ley, Head of Engineering of the R3 unit at Proton Motorsports, explained that Sashideran’s story caught the team’s attention because they weren’t expecting a “love story” with a car described in such a unique and heartwarming manner. “He and his family really love their Proton Wira, and the car definitely deserves the gift of a new zest of life,” he said.

The My Proton Makeover contest will reward four more lucky Proton car owners with a complete makeover of their car – entries close on December 28. As for Sashideran’s Wira, it’s scheduled to be returned to him in November.