Monday, November 07, 2011

Driving home a message

One Man's Meat

While on holiday in the Gold Coast of Australia, former Miss Malaysia finalist Leng Yein fell in love with a pink-coloured Hummer H3 limousine. She has acquired one for herself and turned it into an expression of girl power.

WHAT happens when a female model buys a masculine sport utility truck – a pink Hummer H3 – the only such vehicle in Malaysia?

Last month, Leng Yein, a former Miss Malaysia finalist famous for publicly admitting she had gone under the knife, bought a greyish blue Hummer.

And to celebrate Girl Power, the 26-year-old model turned the “manly” vehicle into a “girl’s car”.

It was – to borrow a cliche, love at first sight, when Leng Yein saw a pink-coloured Hummer H3 limousine in the Gold Coast in June.

“I went yeah! I can turn this manly vehicle into a girl’s car because no man will want to drive a pink car,” she recalled.

“The Hummer already stands out because of its bulk, and I told myself; ‘why don’t I turn it into a symbol of girl power to show that women can drive any car guys drive’.”

During her Australian holiday Leng Yein rented a white-coloured Hummer H3 as there were no pink-coloured ones available for rent.

She drove it for more than a week and liked its “steadiness. I felt like the Queen of the road.”

But when the model returned to Malaysia, she did not rush into buying a vehicle associated with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was among the first to own a Hummer.

“I knew General Motors in the US had stopped its production and I was worried that if the Hummer breaks down, it would be hard to get it running again,” she said.

Leng Yein dilly-dallied until Oct 9 when she flipped through a local car magazine and saw in the classifieds a brand-new full specs H3x, the only one in Malaysia, for sale.

She bought it and dressed up her spanking new Hummer H3 by giving it a “pink frock” with lots of chrome (rims, sidestep, bumper and tyre cover).

“I chose chrome because it looks like a mirror and girls love mirrors. And pink and mirrors go together. It is definitely girlish,” she added.

“But surely,” I asked, “you did not just buy the Hummer to make it girlish?”

She said: “No I got it because it is strong, outstanding, solid, fierce, steady, powerful, tough and rare.”

The model was reading a laundry list of reasons why she bought the Hummer which she listed on her Facebook page that has about 100,000 friends.

“It is about my identity. When people see a Hummer they go ‘wow!’ and want to see who is driving it. And it is sexy to see a girl driving one,” she said.

Leng Yein wouldn’t want to be caught dead driving her vehicle in its original greyish blue colour.

“If I drove a Hummer in any colour other than pink, it would be a guy’s car. And people would think that I was driving my father’s car,” she explained.

Driving the Hummer makes the model feel like she owns the road.

Even when she’s in a traffic jam in Kuala Lumpur, she does not feel like she’s stuck in traffic.

“Motorists will give way to my Hummer,” she said with a mischievous smile.

“Or maybe they give way because they would like to see who is the driver of the rare pink-coloured Hummer.”

Leng Yein also gets updates on her Facebook page from friends who spot her dream car.

“They will post ‘Jie (Leng Yein’s nickname) I saw your car parked in KL or I saw your car at a toll booth in Penang’,” she said.

Leng Yein’s Facebook address is prominently displayed on both sides of her Hummer’s exterior.

“I knew that many sponsors will be interested to contact the owner of this loud pink vehicle. So I put my Facebook address there so that sponsors will know who to contact,” she explained.

The pretty pink vehicle also displays her sponsors’ logos.

“There are many companies that want to advertise on my car. For example, there are six or seven car tinting companies that want to be my sponsor,” she revealed.

The model, who is currently hosting SEMA 2011 (the largest auto show in the world) in Las Vegas, has also received several calls inviting her to showcase her Hummer in events such as the Auto Fair.

Looks like the pink Hummer is getting to be as famous as Leng Yein.