There is no shortage of automotive blogs and websites on the internet showcasing unique cars and a peek into the different street car culture of each country. However, a particular group of people felt that Singapore deserved a voice of its own and despite the limitations and restrictions from the various authorities; there are cars in Singapore worthy of online automotive highlight. This group of people is the boys from The Right Wrong.
Created and run by students, The Right Wrong is a team of dedicated enthusiasts from Singapore who aim to bring the best of automotive content through their own words and photos, as well as from online sources. Using two online platforms – their website and Facebook page – they spend time outside of their school books to feature the best local cars so as to show the tuning culture of Singapore to the world, and at the same time unite Singaporeans with a love for cars.
“In the States especially, we see a lot of online sites like MayDay Garage and Speedhunters showcasing car cultures of various countries, but hardly anything on Singapore. We acknowledge that Singapore is very different from other countries – because of the COE system, drivers only have 10 years to do up their cars. Yet, there are still people passionate enough to spend substantial amounts just to customise their cars with aftermarket tuning. Hence, we wanted to create a platform to show appreciation to these owners and their proud rides,” explained Ben Wong, one of the founders of The Right Wrong.
Joined by Ray Ng, Neo Wei Yu and Leong Jie Yong, the four of them took two months to put their idea into fruition. They could have effected sooner had they been able to come up with a unique name quicker.
“We wanted an interactive website at first, with user-generated content derived from voting results from readers. For example, we would put up a photo of a car on Facebook and allow people to like or dislike, in a way voting ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. Only the ‘right’ cars would then be featured on our website. We eventually decided to do away with this voting system because we might lose great cars that belong to owners who feel shy about putting their rides up for ‘approval’ from the public. But from that we coined the name ‘The Right Wrong’!” said Ray, who is responsible for the written content of the website together with Ben.
Driven by enthusiasts for enthusiasts, The Right Wrong was officially launched on 2 August 2011 and in six months, they achieved an amazing 20,000 likes on their Facebook page and a daily unique readership of 500. The team has expanded to hold nine people now, including two overseas correspondents. While the cars featured are mainly from Singapore, there are occasional entries on overseas cars that users submit. Posting an average of two features a week on their website, The Right Wrong is always on the lookout for cars as unique as possible, the type that makes you want more upon first glance.
Here’s a quick profile of the founding members of The Right Wrong:
Ben Wong, 26, full-time student
Ben was exposed to the world of aftermarket tuning and introduced to the local street scene through a very good friend from the age of 14 before he attained his driving licence. Influenced by this friend, Ben’s first car was the Honda Civic EG6. He switched to the Subaru Impreza WRX (2003) and then to the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX RS that he drives now.
Ray Ng, 27, full-time student
Enriched with mechanic experience, Ray loves working on his own cars. Driving one of the few EK4 hatches left in Singapore, Ray re-wired the entire car himself and rebuilt everything except the engine. Before this he was driving the Honda CRX DelSol EG2 which he still misses fondly. Previously, he worked an eight-month stint at local workshop KC Autolink, during which he was part of the crew that built the Honda Civic EK9 that came in fourth at the 2010 Sepang 1000KM endurance race. He was also part of the crew for another winning car, this time the Honda Civic Type-R FD2R by local workshop ST Powered that won the 2011 Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race touring production class.
Wei Yu and Jie Yong are cousins and the main photographers for The Right Wrong.
Neo Wei Yu, 27, part-time student
Wei Yu, more affectionately referred to as ‘Neo’ by his friends, picked up photography four years ago when he wanted to shoot fireworks with his Canon G9. Combining his interest in photography with his love for cars was only natural when Wei Yu started to take photos of his own Honda Civic EG6 that he still drives today. From the G9, Wei Yu has switched to the Canon 450D, then the 40D, the 7D and at present he uses the 1D Mk III.
Leong Jie Yong, 22, full-time NTU undergrad
Although he does not have his own car, the youngest of The Right Wrong founders is happy just following the rest around to the garages and to the track – although he does want to get his own car soon. With a general passion in photography, his automotive interest was sparked off by his cousin Wei Yu and they work as a team to shoot cars now. Jie Yong also enjoys watching videos from Top Gear and Best Motoring.
Q&A with The Right Wrong:
Q: How did you guys know each other?
A: Ben and Ray were school-mates from before, then Ben got to know Wei Yu in 2009 at a track day. When Ben and Ray came up with the idea, Ben remembered Wei Yu took good photos and hence roped him in. Then Jie Yong was pulled in along with Wei Yu as a photographer team.
Q: What makes The Right Wrong different?
A: We are unbiased, non-profit and totally enthusiast-driven. You can say this is a self-funded initiative and we have no commercial gains, hence being able to offer fully independent and objective content. Owners don’t need to pay for their cars to be featured but at the same time we do have an internal selection process – the cars can be stock and need not be modified, but they must look good! We just want to bring everyone together, regardless of which workshop you go to or what aftermarket brands you use.
Q: What are some things you hope to see from the Singapore automotive scene?
A: We hope that the authorities will be more flexible with the regulations on car modifications; like maybe allowing forced induction, engine swop or having roll cages so that we don’t have to go through the hassle of bolting one on each time we go for track days. The other thing we hope to see is motorsports being encouraged on a greater level – racing has this ‘bad boy’ image and we hope this perception will change. Less golf courses, more race tracks please! Lastly, we hope there will be more career opportunities for people who like cars – not as a racing driver or a mechanic, but engineers, designers and all that.
Q: What is the driving force behind The Right Wrong?
A: The need to make a change on public perception about the aftermarket industry and motorsports. Having already spent so much to buy the car, why not improve performance of the car, make it safer for yourself and the rest of the motorists and at the same time cater to individual preferences? Men spend on cars in a similar way women spend on branded handbags, but the difference is our cars will be unique to us whereas chances of another woman having the same bag are much higher.
Q: What are your dream cars?
Ray: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and the Honda NSX.
Ben: Porsche GT2 RS, Mazda RX-7 FD and the Honda NSX. Actually the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX is one of my dream cars too so you can say that I’m living my dream already!
Wei Yu: Just like Ben, the Porsche GT2 RS, Mazda RX-7 FD and the Honda NSX, plus the Ferrari F40.
Jie Yong: Honda NSX, Ford GT, Mazda RX-7 FC and Honda Civic EK9.
Q: What are your pet peeves on the road?
Ray: Taxi drivers!
Ben: Road hoggers…
Wei Yu: Drivers who don’t bother to signal!
Jie Yong: Same as Wei Yu – drivers who do not signal when changing lanes.
Q: All-time motorsport idol?
Ray: Valentino Rossi! I’ve been watching him since he was in the 125cc class.
Ben: World Time Attack’s Eiji Yamada.
Wei Yu: Jim Clark and Ayrton Senna!
Jie Yong: Same as Wei Yu…
This is what happened when I spent a night in the sweltering humidity of a multi-storey car park in Kallang with the boys from The Right Wrong:
For more photos of this night, view here.