We might not have realised this, but it has been 38 years since the birth of Malaysia’s first national car, the Proton Saga, which was originally launched on July 9, 1985. To celebrate the occasion, Proton held a mini carnival at its headquarters, the Proton Centre of Excellence (CoE) on July 9, 2023, to celebrate the national car’s 38th anniversary.
Held from 9 AM to 7 PM, there were many activities at the carnival, with one of the main highlights being the gathering of Proton Saga owners organised by various car clubs. The gathering saw the national car from different generations – the first-generation Proton Saga, to the Saga BLM, as well as the third-generation Saga VVT.
Proton’s official race cars were at the event too, with one of them being the Proton R3 team’s official Proton Saga race car, which took part in the Sepang 1000km Endurance Race. A couple of the first-generation Sagas owned by private racing teams which took part in the Malaysia Speed Festival (MSF) Saga Cup were present as well.
Besides the official race cars, restored, modified, and even some special variant Sagas were also present at the event. This includes a replica of the Proton Saga Iswara Group S rally car which was once driven by the legendary rally race driver – Karamjit Singh, alongside the Proton Saga Knight and Saga Limousines.
At the Proton-MSF Merdeka Race Carnival held at the Sepang International Circuit last year, professional race car and stunt driver Faidzal Alang set a record doing the “Ski Driving Stunt” for a distance of 2.9 km on the race track using a third-generation Proton Saga and was recorded in the Malaysia book of record. The certificate was then handed over to Faidzal and Proton at the mini carnival.
Visitors of the carnival were also given an opportunity to experience “Taxi Rides” using third-generation Proton Saga cars on Proton’s makeshift “gymkhana” track. The cars were driven by professional drivers James Veerapan and Farique Hairuman.
In addition to the cars, there were stalls that sold all kinds of souvenirs, toys, and clothing at the carnival too. Proton themselves held stalls selling its official merchandise, as well as genuine parts such as Proton R3-branded engine oils, body kits, door visors, and NVH guards. Family-friendly games were also held for visitors to participate in and win prizes.