Humble beginnings - Quezon SuperCab
In 1961, Quezon had begun taking an interest in sportscars following an encounter with a 1957 Ford Thunderbird. And so, using some leftover funds, he and a small team developed the Quezon Motor Company’s first car.
The Quezon SuperCab is a 2-door, 2-seat roadster built by the Quezon-Sarao Automotive Plant from 1962 to 1966. Powered by a 1-litre diesel inline 4 which made roughly 40 horsepower, it wasn’t the fastest thing in the world, but it certainly had enough to get it going decent speed. The small little diesel 4 was mated to a 4-on-the-floor manual, and could send the 800kg car from 0-100 km/h in roughly 25 seconds.
It didn’t handle like a typical sportscar, either. Being built upon a jeepney chassis, it handled… like a jeepney? It’s steering was rather heavy due to a lack of power steering. Combine this with a rear solid axle leaf suspension and rather useless brakes also from a jeepney, and you have something that was rather unique and fun to drive.
The interior was rather basic, only having 2 seats, no tachometer, a fuel gauge, an oil temperature gauge, a speedometer, some simple wood lining and an AM/FM radio to top it all off. At least there’s fewer stuff that might break…
Being based off a jeepney, however, gave it multiple perks. Most notably reliability. Since they shared a lot in common with regular passenger jeepneys; steering, chassis, suspension, and engine components, parts were cheap and easy to get, and if something broke you could simply ask your pare or that manong over there if they have any spares lying around.
178 cars were built during its rather short production span. It is unknown how much they were sold for, but estimates say that each car was worth at least ₱4500 in 1962. (Roughly ₱500,000 or $9000 adjusted for inflation.)
Numerous cars were imported overseas by collectors, and it is estimated that at least 150 cars are still running today, a testament of the SuperCab’s reliability. During the 1964 World’s Fair, two SuperCabs were exhibited at the Philippine Pavillon.
The Pinoy Pony - Quezon Laguna
A common complaint that Quezon got with the SuperCab was that it was simply “too small” or that “it lacked power”. Indeed it was small and it lacked power, being no sportier and no more comfortable than the owner-type jeeps of the era, it could barely even compete with any of the other cars being sold during that time.
And so, looking to satisfy these customer complaints, Quezon took the newer, and larger jeepney chassis and made something that he hoped could compete with whatever the American imports could offer.
With arguably one of the most confusing names in the car industry (at least to the locals), the Quezon Laguna is a 2+2 sportscar made by the Quezon-Sarao Automotive Plant, and later Quezon Motors Corporation from 1966-1971. Being built upon newer and larger jeepney chassis that were designed for hauling more
ass people and cargo, it was significantly larger and heavier than the SuperCab that preceded it.
What does a larger and heavier car need, you may ask? That’s right! More Power Baby! The Laguna was powered by a 283ci Chevrolet Small Block engine taken out of older Impalas, and they produced somewhere in the range of 190-210 horsepower. The engine was mated to the rear wheels by a 4-speed manual probably taken from a jeepney, and could send the car to 100km/h in around 9 seconds.
The interior was much more lavish than the SuperCab, with some leather and wood lining, a less shitty sounding radio, and wow! This time it actually has a tachometer! Would you look at that!
That aside, underneath it was still pretty much just a jeepney with a more sportier suspension. So most of everything was easily replacable and easy to work on. Though again, being based on a jeepney would obviously give it jeepney-like handling, which is something left to be desired.
This car gained the attention of American foreigners and tourists who came for a visit. The resemblance of its proportions to a first generation Ford Mustang (long hood, short decklid) gave it a nickname; “The Pinoy Pony”.
It’s estimated that at least 5,000 Lagunas were built from its 5-year production span. This time they were actually sold for a fixed price; ₱9500 (₱850,000 or 15,000$ adjusted for inflation.)
It’s estimated that at least 2300 Lagunas are still running on Philippine soil, and approximately another 900 on foreign soil. A lot of these cars were sold off to foreign collectors following the 70s gas crisis, and most others were either scrapped or written off.
A Filipino muscle/pony car? I never thought they existed until now, but this is a worthy example of the breed.
i have writer’s block rn send help
“Laguna is too uncomfortable! We need big luxury barges or bust!”
“Your company wont get anywhere without a car for the elite! We want a luxury car!”
“Mr. Quezon, we believe that the president would love a luxury car made by pinoys, for pinoys.”
To which Quezon replied;
“Putang ina! Eto na nga!”
After some customer requests of wanting a more prestigious car, Quezon eventually got to work. Stretching the already fairly large jeepney chassis to 3.2m, this would be the largest car Quezon would ever make.
Introducing the Princesa; a big, inefficient, and opulent luxury beast made by Quezon from 1968 to 1974.
Powered by a 409ci Chevrolet Big Block engine taken from somewhere and produced somewhere in the range of 300-315hp. Mated to a 3-speed slushbox automatic also taken from somewhere, it hit 100km/h in around 10 seconds. Obviously though, being a luxury car, none of these stats really mattered all too much. What really matters in a luxury car is the amount of
chrome luxurious amenities you can stuff, of which on the Princesa there were… some. The basic interior configuration was wrapped in leather, Narra wood and Bamboo lining, with the seats wrapped in Piña fabric and lined with the same material in abaniko fans, the steering wheel made from special polished aluminium and lined with Narra and Philippine Teak. The console mounted stereo was just as exquisite, with Narra wood lining and chrome accents all around. The interior was also available with made-to-order goodies for an extra premium however.
As these cars had incredibly complicated interior making processes, the asking prices were fairly high at ₱20,000 per car with the common interior trim (₱1,500,000 or 27,000$ adjusted for inflation.), customers had to place their order before a car would be built.
368 cars would be hand-built from 1968-1974, making these cars incredibly sought after.
The Princesa was the first Quezon to be officially sold outside of the Philippines. 63 cars were officially sold in the United States, Canada, and Mexico from 1971 to 1973 through a chain of small experimental shops which sold already built cars for a slightly higher price.
this was so poorly written aaaaa
Calm before the storm…
The second generation Laguna was produced by Quezon Motors from 1972 to 1980, succeeding the previous generation. The new design is more streamlined, with a fastback look which was designed to help with aerodynamics and give it a much sleeker look. Throughout its 8-year production span, it recieved many updates and changes.
From 1972-1974, the Laguna was sold exclusively in the Philippines. Its powerplant was now a larger 327 cubic inch Chevrolet Small Block license built by Quezon in their new engine plant in… Quezon… City. This 327ci engine ran on leaded 87 AKI, and produced 265 horsepower.
Interior features included a leather and Narra wood lining, an AM/FM radio… whATEVER you get the point.
The car was also optionally available with an “on black” paint scheme which included matte black hood paint. These model year Lagunas only came with a 4-speed manual transmission and allowed the car to hit 100km/h from 0 in 7.6 seconds.
The second generation Laguna would enter the International market for model year 1975, being sold in the US, Canada and other South American countries. Differences from the MY1972-1974 Laguna included the now regulated 5-mph bumpers, hubcap wheels that were either uncolored or body colored, an automatic transmission option, and the 327ci Small Block engine now ran on 87 AKI Unleaded fuel and as mandated by the US Government, had catalytic converters. Because of the lower octane unleaded fuel and exhaust choking caused by the cats, horsepower was now down to 223hp. All other interior features were the same as previous model years. The car was now available with either a 4-speed manual, or 3-speed automatic optional. As a result of the lower horsepower ratings and overall higher weight, the car now sprinted from 0-100 in 8.2 seconds with the manual transmission, and 8.8 seconds when equipped with the 3-speed auto slushbox.
For its last 2 model years, the Laguna switched to a better flowing 3-way catalytic converter, which increased horsepower ratings to 242hp, and helped improve 0-100 times to 7.7 seconds for the manual transmission option. The hubcaps were no longer available and have been replaced by 5-spoke alloys. Interior amenities were improved, with an 8-track stereo available as an option. Exterior options now included a white vinyl roof instead of a black one.
The car went on sale for ₱15,000 in 1972, and in 1975 for ₱27,000 lol inflation amirite. (₱850,000 or 15,000$ and ₱880,000 or 16,000$ respectively adjusted for inflation.)
Sales outside and within the Philippines were fairly strong, with almost 30,000 cars being sold yearly from 1975-1980, owing to a total production run of 210,462 cars until production was cut in late 1980 to make way for the third generation Laguna. The car was made popular for its rather affordable price, and its impressive durability; The Lagunas were very reliable until they broke down. HAH
Comet-Bar Off-road Accessories
The Quezon SR is a 2-seat, fibreglass bodied roadster built by Quezon Motors from 1975 to 1983. The SR was a technological leap over the Laguna and its predecessor, the SuperCab. Featuring a fibreglass body and a monocoque chassis, it wasn’t that much heavier than the SuperCab, and was significantly lighter than the Laguna at just under 950kg. It also featured independent rear suspension, which greatly improved handling.
Its power was provided by a 2.8L or 230ci Chevrolet Straight-6 that made 150 hp. Mated to a 4-speed manual, it could hit 60 in a swift 8.3 seconds, and had a top speed of 200km/h.
Unlike its predecessor, it had a much more premium interior, with leather and Narra wood lining, as well as a full gauge cluster set and an 8-track player.
Also unlike its predecessor, the SR was targeted at the European market as a competitor to British roadsters.
The car went on sale in late 1975 in the Philippines, and in early 1976 in the UK and parts of Europe. The sale price was ₱31,000 or 3000$. (₱1,005,000 or 20,000$ adjusted for inflation.)
23,000 SRs were made during its 8-year production span. Unlike contemporary British roadsters of its time, the SR didn’t have much reliability problems thanks to proper engineering and quality control, allowing it to be incredibly robust. At least 15,000 SRs are estimated to still be running, with at least 8,000 of those cars in Philippine soil.
That would have been its USP in a world where most Euro equivalents were not very reliable at all. But what’s with the trunk-mounted spare wheel and tire? It’s very anachronistic and out of place, being better suited to something from the Fifties, and should be omitted. At least it’s one of the best uses of the Capri mod body regardless.
As for the Laguna line, it looks like you used the Falcon body for that one - or did you? If not, what body did you choose?
I honestly don’t know myself, i made this at like 2 am and i dont like it that much
might redo in the near future
i get writers block when i write stuff for luxury cars aaaaaa
also expect the CSS to break if you’re on mobile or whatever
The second generation Princesa would appear in 1975 for the 1976 model year. Still being based on an older Sarao jeepney chassis but lengthened, the car was still fairly huge with a 3.1m wheelbase and a 5.5m total length.
The car would be separated into two different periods of changes, 1976-1979, and 1980-1984.
From 1976 to 1979, the Princesa would be sold with hidden headlamps, a mechanically controlled 3-speed automatic, and hubcap wheels. Engine options included a 230ci carburetted straight-6 that made 130hp, or a 327ci mechanically injected V8 engine with 183hp. This era of second-generation Princesas would be known as the “four eyes” era, as it featured both fender-mounted mirrors and door mounted mirrors for improved visibility.
Being a luxury car, it of course needed a
lot of chrome very luxury interior. And it did have a very luxury interior. Some would say it was more prestigious than the Malacanang, but we wont get into that because that’s boring.
All you probably need to know is that it had an 8-track player, leather upholstery, bamboo, Narra and Teak lining, as well as some chrome bits and buttons made out of Philippine Pearls.
From 1980 to 1984, the Princesa now had fixed headlamps, less mirrors, alloy wheels and an electronically controlled 4-speed automatic. Engine options were either the 230ci carburetted straight 6 carried over from the previous era, or a 327ci V8 with electronic fuel injection that made 202hp. Other than that, most interior features were carried over, with the addition of some extra electronic tidbits here and there.
Sales were low, with less than 100 cars being sold yearly worldwide. Combined with the Princesa’s fairly high cost to make as well as the second gas crisis in 1979 effectively killing off most large cars, the plug was pulled for the Princesa in early 1984 with only 672 cars being made over its 8-year production span.
Introduced in 1980, the new third-generation laguna was a rather large departure from its predecessors, with more wedge-like styling and an overall boxier shape.
Going along with Felipe’s plans for “innovation”, the Laguna was now built upon the same architecture as the SR. Which meant that it now switched to a unibody construction instead of body-on-frame. And what resulted was a car that was lighter, and more efficient, but was more difficult to manufacture, which was quite a problem for the small Philippine factory. And with Felipe’s goals of being able to build at least 30,000 Lagunas per year, the car’s bodypanels and chassis ended up being rather sub-par quality, with visible weld marks, poor machining leading to weird deformation, and such. Despite these faults in the body however, they were still the robust cars they came to be known for.
The car received a single update before production would end in late 1988 and Quezon would go bankrupt in 1989.
From 81’ to 85’, the Laguna was sold only with a V8 engine option, a 4.6 litre Chevrolet Small Block with 180hp. Despite being smaller than its predecessors, and being more efficient, the lack of a more fuel-saving option meant that it struggled to compete with its competitors within the Philippines, and overseas; notably the Toyota Celica and the Ford Mustang, which offered more efficient inline-four and inline-six options.
Engine aside, the Laguna was rather well equipped. Leather upholstery and an 8-track stereo as well as a sunroof came standard. Transmission options were either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed torque converter automatic. 0-60 time for the 5-speed manual was 8 seconds. Other notable features were vented front disc brakes. And that’s really all there was
In its last 2 years, the Laguna finally received a smaller engine option; a 2.8 litre Chevrolet Straight Six engine with a little over 120hp. Other changes included non-bodycolored headlight mounts, and the 4.6 litre V8’s power output was increased to almost 200 horsepower. 0-60 time for the 5-speed manual equipped laguna was now 7.7 seconds.
Despite the addition of a more efficient engine, the damage had been done; The Laguna was simply no longer selling as well as they’d hoped to. Poor build quality and its gas guzzling-ness had tarnished its reputation. The Laguna by this time was selling less than 1000 per year worldwide, and thousands of Lagunas sat unsold in Quezon dealerships throughout the world. Soon, little by little, Quezon dealerships would be closed down, until finally in July 1989, Quezon Motors Corporation had gone bankrupt, marking the end of close to 30 years of Philippine automotive history.
Over the course of its 8-year production span, 160,000 cars would be made, but only 5,000 would ever be sold. The 155,000 cars, and the former warehouses and factory of Quezon would be acquired by the Philippine Government, with the cars sold for scrap and the former warehouses and factory being abandoned a few years later.
Hey, why your car have 3 antenas?
What if another car company - a foreign one - bought the rights to the 80s Laguna, gave it a facelift, and improved the build quality, performance and dynamics to make it more competitive compared to more established rivals? It was quite a way to go, but surely it deserved a better fate. At any rate, with no more than 5,000 surviving examples, it would be especially sought-after by anyone wanting to bring a less mainstream sports coupe to Radwood.
2 of them are purely decorational and are there as a homage to Quezon’s jeepney building days
it’d be possible…
By this time, you’d usually expect for either the Philippine Government, or some half-Chinese business cuck keen on reviving the Philippine Automotive Dream to try and attempt to bring back the ill-fated Quezon Motors. The economy is booming yet again following the unfortunate Asian Financial Crisis, and the Philippines is trying another score at improving tourism in the country again.
Yet, here stood the former site of what once was the Philippines’ largest automotive company. Abandoned, and decaying, no owner and no one for it to be looked after. Its walls lined with graffiti, and the roof half-collapsed. The items inside, hastily salvaged by robbers, and littered with garbage thrown by the locals. A potential tourism site, abandoned in the wake of poor economic conditions and a government that simply could care less.
March 21st, 2000. 00:14
Philippine General Hospital
After 24 grueling years of battling tuberculosis, the founder of Quezon Motors, 91 year old Ricardo Alfonso Quezon has come to pass.
A parade of 1,000 original Quezons would parade throughout Quezon City that day in honor of Mr. Ricardo.
At Ricardo’s old residence, his 20-year old grandson Miguel Angel Garcia, would go through his series of journals as they cleared his former room. One thing catches Miguel’s eyes; a journal entry from the 16th of October 1960, the only journal entry of that day.
Build a sportscar.
The words repeated in Miguel’s mind.
“Build a sportscar.”
The words were simple. It didn’t matter how well it handled, what powered it, what it was based on. All that mattered was, it was a sportscar. The original Quezon dream.
Miguel Angel Garcia, the son of Ligaya Quezon-Garcia and Romeo Quinto Garcia. He had recently graduated from Mapua University as an engineer, and was currently running his father’s mechanics shop.
He was well aware that he was the grandson of Philippine automotive pioneer Ricardo Quezon (to the point he had boasted about it a lot during his elementary school days), he was also rather close to his grandfather as well. And thus when news about his grandfather’s passing came, it was a rather heartbreaking moment for the young man.
Going through his grandfather’s diary however, had sparked confidence within him. Confidence that he could potentially run the former family business better than his uncle ever could.
His father was the supportive kind, and had promised him as much financial support as he would require.
With that, all he needed was a new site to restart the company. The former location was too out of shape to be considered, and thus that was off the list.
Eventually after months of going around looking for some empty lots for sale, they would find a decently sized plot of mostly empty land in Barangay Bagong Pag-asa, where indeed a new hope for the future of the company would begin.
This kinda reminds me of a Pontiac Firebird. I love the design of the front fascia.
one of my main inspirations were actually the Camaro and the Mustang, but i can see the resemblance to a Pontiac due to the split grille
The Quezon SR-2 is a 2-seat roadster sold by Quezon Motors from 2002 to 2008. The SR-2 would be Quezon’s first model since its bankruptcy in 1989.
The SR-2 utilized a fibreglass shell and an aluminium monocoque, which may sound complicated, but it was all rather simple, as 40% of its internal parts were actually carried over from the SR.
Parts such as the suspension assemblies, the aluminium tub chassis, and other minor parts were all adapted from the SR, which greatly reduced engineering costs and saved development time.
Despite this, the car’s development took them over a year, with thousands of man hours spent perfecting the fibreglass shell and ensuring that all bodypanels would fit properly.
The resulting chassis would weigh a little over 700kg without the engine, owing to a total weight of 833kg.
Powering the SR-2 would be a naturally-aspirated 1162cc 4-cylinder engine from the Honda Blackbird superbike. It could rev to over 10,000RPM and had a maximum horsepower output of over 150HP. The engine was mounted transversally and was connected to the front wheels via a 6-speed transmission carried over from the Blackbird. This helped launch the car from 0-100km/h in less than 6.5 seconds.
The SR-2 could arguably be considered as a proper “driver’s car”. As it came with no anti-lock brakes, nor any form of traction control system, and Hydraulic power steering which gave more driver feedback than an equivalent electric power steering setup. This meant that there was little in the way of assists that would disturb the connection between the driver, the car, and the road.
The suspension for the SR-2 was carefully tuned to give it a more “oversteery” feel similar to that of a rear-wheel-drive car.
i honestly didn’t know what else to write its 12am fuck me
Special editions and variants
(2003-2006) 1.3 R-Turbo
The R-Turbo edition featured a 1.3L turbocharged Suzuki M13 engine that made over 204hp and featured a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system. Acceleration times were now a whole lot quicker, with the dash to 100km/h from 0 taking just under 4.8 seconds.
The suspension was updated to handle more cornering bah BLAH h BLAH you pRobably get the point.
The exterior recieved some tweaks as well, with a blacked out front air dam and larger side vents.
Due to the weight of the all-wheel-drive system, the car’s weight had now increased to 985kg.
Originally, 2500 units were planned to be sold from 2003-2005, but high demand for this special WRC-inspired model pushed Quezon to sell another 1500 from 2006-2007.
In 2005, Quezon had entered the WRC with a special variant of the SR-2.
Featuring an 300hp turbocharged 1999cc inline-4 engine developed in-house, this peppy engine would help in the development of future Quezon engines.
Because of the fact that the SR-2 was incredibly lightweight, for the WRC edition the car had to be filled with ballast to try and reach the minimum 1230kg weight limit.
The SR-2 would go on sale in mid 2002 in the Philippines for ₱1,100,000. (₱2,000,000 or $40,000 adjusted for inflation.) It would enter the International market in 2004, first selling in the USA and later reaching Europe.
The R-Turbo went on sale in the Philippines and in the USA and UK in 2003, 2005 and 2006 respectively for $36,500. ($45,000 adjusted for inflation.)
now that is hot
Definitely one of the fastest front-drivers in a straight line at the time - and one of the most fun to drive. As for the R-Turbo edition…
Absolutely blistering indeed. It would have been enough to challenge (and beat) many of its larger, heavier and more powerful sports car rivals of its day.