Singapore - 9th August 2018 is not only Singapore’s National Day but also marked SGK3’s Round Island Drive to commemorate the joyous occasion. The group comprises of primarily Kia Ceratos and Koups kicked started their day early doing a tour of the island in a convoy before proceeding to Carros Centre where Team 9tro joined them for a video and photoshoot. We caught up with SGK3’s administrator, Scott, to learn more about the club.
9tro: How did SGK3 first get started?
Scott: The group was formed casually via Whatsapp chat group by the pioneer batch of friends who were the first few drivers to change to Kia’s K3. Some of them changed to K3 from Fortes and Koups while the rest came to know about the brand and decided to give KIA a try.
It was a small group back then, we shared our experience on aesthetic changes to performance enhancement to even small things like finding ways to improve fuel consumption. Our group of members are vastly different from typical car clubs; besides cars, we also chat about anything under the sun. Before we knew it the chat group had almost 80 members coming from all walks of life.
I remembered our first formal meet-up was a dinner over at a Japanese fine dining restaurant where over 20 members met up for the first time. It was something to remember because we were served some of the finest cuisine, the dinner was ‘Omakase’ style.
Some of us were commenting that if we were to have casual meet up there every week, we would have nothing left to buy parts and mods for our cars. After the dinner, we took a short drive to a multi-storey carpark for our first ever photoshoot too! That photo taking session became a tradition for us, a must do for our monthly meet-ups ever since.
After the dinner, the founding members formed a committee to officially start something because members joining were asking if we have a common identity, something that we didn’t have at that point of time. So, we decided to start something by designing an identity and name for thegroup.
We came up with a myriad of designs and names along the way but decided on SGK3 as our group’s name, SG stands for Singapore and at that point of time, the majority of our cars were K3s, so we chose K3 as our logo. This is how the group was started. After which, we also use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and also recently Telegram to reach out to more people.
9tro: Could you tell us more about the activities the club engages in?
Scott: Our group committee comprises of people from different professions, a lot of us are parents too, so when we came together, the first common thing we talked about was how not to create trouble for the local car scene. Most of us joined other car clubs before, we already knew what its like and thus wanted to have something friendlier and family oriented, so everyone can join in the fun.
Currently we have a monthly meet up organised for all members to participate. It is mainly for existing members to come together to share and show off their cars while for new members, to receive their pre-ordered decals to be officially part of our group.
Yes, joining our group and participating in our activities has its perks and this is what our committee is working hard behind the scenes, voluntarily for the group. If you have joined us on any meet-ups before, we strictly forbid testing of cars, loud revving and any other stuff that causes irritation to the community.
Well, you might ask just how do you test your machines? As you know, besides the Stinger and Koup, most of our rides are normal cars. Yes, it brings us from point A to B and there are members who like to know what else can their car do for them. Upon knowing this and after serious considerations, we have studied and done two recce trips to Malaysia on where to bring our members to drive and eat.
Just this July, we officially organised a one-day road trip to Malacca for our members who love to drive. For a few, it was the first time they covered 500km within a day, it was something they talked and share about (food, itinerary and most importantly their car’s performance) when came back to their friends and families.
Besides meet-ups, we helped out charities too. For the past two national days, our group joined in the annual rice charity along with other car clubs organised by one of our friends. Besides making donations to buy rice for different homes, our group also sent 30-40 cars to help deliver tonnes of rice to the different homes. Having the privilege to own a car here in Singapore, it was something could do as a group to contribute back to society.
On normal weekdays, we have east and west cliques in our group where members will ask each other out for lunch, coffee or dinner. Well, currently we are still waiting for someone to treat us to a durian feast!
9tro: How was this meet-up for u guys?
Scott: National Day is a special day for Singapore, for the past two years, we’ve participated in the rice charity drive with other car clubs, although our friend did not organise the charity drive this year, we decided to do something different.
Believe it or not, as a car club that’s been around for over three years, we have not organised any rounding beforehand. If you know anything about 08/08 you will know it is due to the stigma we have thus we didn’t want to risk having any problems with the authorities.
However, after some deliberation, we felt rounding doesn’t have to be fast and furious. Rounding in a convoy can be organised in a safe, enjoyable and family oriented manner. It is all about how we have the correct mindset and mentality to our fellow members.
As usual, we formed a working group within the committee to spearhead this project. So, we came up with this idea to do a round island drive to bring our participants to different parts of Singapore to explore the scenic views we don’t see every day. Most importantly, the drive is for us to enjoy and experience the long drive in a convoy.
The 120km journey took us to different places like Tanah Merah Coast Road, East Coast Park, Keppel Road, West Cost Park, Lim Chu Kang, Neo Tiew Road, Kranji Way, etc. It was something different for our club and for most participants, it was the first time they drove in a convoy. The entire drive was smooth and easy as the traffic was light in the morning - definitely something we can do again in future.
It was during the last recce when we were at Carros Centre close to midnight that we decided to give a try to see if we can ask 9tro to take some professional shots for our car group. To our surprise, you guys agreed, and we were more than happy for professionals to take great photos of our cars!
9tro: What was its objective?
Scott: The specific objective for our National Day meet-up was for our members to experience some thing different from our usual monthly meet-ups. It is an annual event our members look forward to. However, our overall group’s objective is still to get members to mingle around and to get more people to understand that participating in car groups is not all about mods and speed, it can be safe and family oriented.
9tro: What are your future plans for the club?
Scott: We will be doing a debrief session over dinner in the coming week for our past two events to analyse if there is anymore room for improvement in terms of engaging our members and organising future events.
The next thing for us to ponder about is how to bring our group to the next stage as a car group. Will the name SGK3 still stay relevant in the next few years? We adopted an approach for organic growth and development within our group and as time passes, members change cars, from the photos you can see there are different cars within our group besides KIA now.
So, how can we continue to bond our members together, discuss various topics about automotive amid having different cars and interests within the group. This is something for our committee to think about, it will be a challenge, but we should be able to overcome it and emerge as a more united group of friends!
9tro: Any last words for our readers, who might want to join you guys?
Scott: SGK3 is a car group but it is not all about cars, it is a vehicle to bring us out to explore life and friendship. We stayed in the group because of friendships we’ve forged over the years and more importantly we can discuss anything over here if we encounter problems and we will be able to find some SMEs (subject matter expert not sausage mcmuffin with egg) or links to them to answer our questions. Hope to see you soon!