Massive showing for 11th ‘Heelz and Wheelz’
If you weren’t at the Portmore Town Centre last Sunday, chances are that you missed one of the biggest auto events on the calendar. In its 11th year, Heelz and Wheelz lived up to its reputation of doing it big, so big that conceptualiser Andrew Lee-Sing is crowning this execution as the largest one yet, with a record turnout.
“We normally execute at least three events per year, and out of our 11 years, this was our largest turnout,” Lee-Sing told Automotives.
At one count, Lee-Sing noted over 800 cars parked inside the venue, with others on the outskirts of the town centre. He said that the event is usually held at the National Stadium, but the relocation to Portmore gives a feeling of being at home based on the capabilities of the venue. He noted, however, that there are upgrades to be made.
“We plan to do some improving in terms of asphalting so persons can have the ‘burn out field’ and the ‘car field’ along with the display,” he said.
What was clear about Heelz and Wheelz was that no stone was left unturned. Car lovers and their guests slowly poured in as the event progressed, and they could be seen enjoying a wealth of information and product displays from a variety of booths. Food stands and a drink bar were perfectly paired while patrons basked in the array of exquisitely modified vehicles.
Enthused drivers paraded trophies on display cars in hopes of adding a new Heelz and Wheelz prize to their collection. The standouts were many, but in the end, it was Claydon Ennis’ 2012 Toyota Axio that had the judges’ heads turning, and rightfully so.
“I did a glass bonnet and gas tank, wood-grain finish on the door covers, and I have also done a Burberry design inside the car, along with a marble finish,” he detailed to Automotives. “Nobody has ever done a glass bonnet or a wood-grain finish on a door cover before,” he added.
Winning best custom, best custom interior, and best engine bay – were expected victories, according to Ennis.
“It was definitely an expected win ... . I wasn’t aware of what my competitors were coming with, but I was confident of what I did.”
Though pleased that his objectives were met based on the success of the event, Lee-Sing, however, noted that his own victory was not without its teething pains. He said that no major sponsors had come on board, and complete funding of the event was offset by his own Lee Sing Concepts and Kno Option Entertainment.
“We also partnered with Tropical Battery and GT’s Auto Market, so it was totally sponsored by entrepreneurs,” he said.
First-time sponsor Glen ‘GT’ Thorpe, owner of GT’s Auto Market, said, “I really couldn’t miss the opportunity to come on board because this event is a dynamic one, and its success is crucial to the industry.”
Lee-Sing also added, “We are the premiere custom car show and display of brands and services in the island, so persons can come and set up booths. We cover all the bases.”
He said that most of the island’s largest car dealers, financial institutions and insurance companies were contacted but unsuccessfully.
Nevertheless, Lee-Sing and the Heelz and Wheelz family, have no plans of slowing down, as they are already looking ahead to year 12.
“Right now, if you don’t have a Heelz and Wheelz trophy, you don’t have any trophy,” he said.