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My favourite ride

Harold Koi
Saturday, February 09, 2013

HE was never a car-kind of guy, growing up in the suburb of Raiwai in Suva. Unlike the several stories I've written on car lovers in this Motoring edition, Shawn Coalala's fascination for the perfect car came later in life.

Whether it was fate or persistence, Mr Coalala says he was looking for a family car and stumbled upon a new interest he didn't even know he had.

Once he fell in love with the car, it took him two years to convince his friend to sell it to him.

The former Marist Brothers High School student grew up in the hard-knock neighbourhood of Raiwai all his life, and went on to run his own graphics and screen printing business in Nadi.

"I have a design shop in Namaka, we do custom designs, corporate and sportswear, and also a section in the business that I am in partnership with national rugby rep, Netani Talei.

Talei and Coalala's business called Drua Rugby will kick off with a launch in March. Mr Coalala said Fiji Rugby Union—Chief Executive Officer Manasa Baravilala, a great friend and mentor has guided them through the building up and mileage of the brand.

"I personally was surprised that through the struggle of getting the brand up and running, received recognition from Mr Baravilala," he said.

This brand will be pumping out the new Fiji Rugby merchandise and great things to look forward to.

Mr Coalala said his car was originally a project of a friend, Salmaan Khan who featured earlier in this edition with his fast car LETHAL.

"I was employed by M. Recht Accessories before I started my own. I watched them upgrade the car from scratch," he said. It was a normal diesel engine a Toyata Crown Mac 4. It was brought in from the Nadi Back Road to a mechanic, a friend of Salmaan. Mr Coalala said he eventually became acquitted with the mechanic and trusts him for the work he does.

"The mechanic stripped it apart, modified the body and fitted a 1JZ unleaded engine, three inch exhaust system, twin mufflers, 18inch rims and tuned up extra boost on second gear.

This car can go from 60km/per hour to 120km in three seconds.

Mr Coalala immediately fell in love with the car and discovered his keen interest for the muscle car. "The last thing was picking the colour. Back then in 2010 the Incredible Hulk Movie came out, there was something about this car's muscular look, so I gave it incredible Hulk's green colour.

The number plate just fell through automatically. The Hulk

"My wife and I were always planning to get a nice family car when the time was right. I used to always trip on owning the Hulk, and when this car was complete. I had my mind fixed—that was the car I wanted.

"It took me at least two weeks to convince the Mrs, and I was constantly persistent with Salmaan to sell it to me. It took me two years to convince him, he never drove it. It used to sit in the garage in admiration, until one day as the saying goes, 'everything has a price', he finally gave in.

"I went on to get a new interior look and with the help of Mrecht accessories, I got the interior dresses in black leather. Nice! I can finally call it my own.

I am not really into drag racing or joining any car club, all I can say is that, there's no other like this Baby! and it's a definition of muscles".

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