Hubert Burda Media

Classic Car Collectors: Ken Khoo (1of4)

This series features four men with a passion for classic cars. Khoo first talks about why such machines won’t go out of style.

KEN KHOO

With the 1969 Ferrari Dino 246 GT

You can say Ken Khoo’s love for classic cars is in the genes. His father, who had a special love for cars, had amassed a vast collection that included the Jaguar E-Type coupe and roadster, Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III and Ferrari Dino 246 GT. Growing up, Khoo often took rides in these cars with his family.

“The passion has been inculcated in me since I was a kid,” he says, “always going around with my dad in different cars. So his love for cars was passed down to me.”

Whenever he goes on overseas golf or driving trips, or visits his children who are studying in England, he tries to include a visit to car museums in the itinerary. He reminisces: “Enjoying the same passion as my father and appreciating classic cars always bring me back to my childhood days.”

When his father passed on in 2011, Khoo and his siblings decided to sell the cars as it was a hassle to maintain road tax and COE for all of them. But he kept the Ferrari Dino 246 GT. “This was his favourite car,” he reveals, “and the one he kept the longest.” It also has a poignant history, and was built in honour of Enzo Ferrari’s first son, Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari, who died at 24 from Duchenne muscular dystrophy. “There are not many left in the world and I think there are only three in Singapore,” Khoo adds.

For some time, this sweet ride was the only classic car he owned until a couple of months ago, when he purchased a blue Volkswagen Beetle convertible. One that’s close to Khoo’s heart, it is the same model as the very first car he bought when he obtained his driving license but later sold — a decision he always regretted.

While this businessman loves his classic rides and believes they should be kept as close to original condition as possible, they must offer a certain practicality in Singapore. “For example, in our weather without air-conditioning, you know it’s not going to be enjoyable or pleasant to drive the car,” he says with a smile. “This Ferrari was built with no air-conditioning but my father couldn’t tahan, so he had an air-conditioning system installed.”

Classic Car Tip:

“The car needs to start at least once or twice a week, so it’s most important to have an efficient, reliable battery charger and keep it hooked to the battery. If the batteries are not charged, you can’t start the car.”