Genesis: History of GSR Coupe PH

A very LANCER GSR story

Introduction

I ordered my usual; an upside-down grande caramel macchiato with half irish and half vanilla syrup. Ah, the second best drink in the world next to an ice cold beer.

I requested this meeting with Alex because I wanted to learn the history of GSR Coupe PH and I want to know the key persons who were involved in the very beginning.

We settled at one of the tables outside and as I began to set-up my device for audio recording I was resisting the urge to ask that coffee joke question often heard among friends. “Open-minded ka ba?”. I can’t help but laugh at myself. For a second, Alex must have thought I was weird but he shrugged it off. I asked him if he was ready to recount the story. He nodded and so we began.

An attempt to unify: GSR Pinas unable to gain traction

For Alex, it all started in one of the many LANCER pages in FB. Some guy was seeking for advice regarding an issue he had with his LANCER GSR. A great majority of members in a group page are contented of just taking in information. Alex was once part of this great majority. He had a GSR so that particular thread caught his eye. And as the thread got longer he had this idea to create a group page to discuss  LANCER GSR related topics. He expressed this idea in the thread and surprisingly, everyone agreed. Hence an FB group page dedicated to LANCER GSR was created and it was named GSR Pinas.

“Naisip ko kung GSR lang din ang paguusapan bakit  hindi kaya tayo gumawa ng sariling group page?” – Alex

Times were hard at GSR Pinas. The admin was viewed to be too strict and posting of topics seems controlled and limited. Although the group increased in number, engagement was poor. And when they decided to have an EB (Eyeball), a local term for a meet-up, only four members showed up.

Picture of Rix, Levi, Jr and Alex
EB at Eton Centris, Quezon City. From left to right: Rix Oracion, Levy Arago III, JR Biteng, and Alex Martinez

Little did they know, that fate will eventually bring them back together.

Alex gave me this picture. And these three gentleman are the ones that I need to reach out too.

Rise of GSR Philippines: Conversation with Levy, JR and Rix

I can hear Levy’s voice spark with excitement as he began to deep dive in memory lane. For him it all started with seven friends who just wanted to discover the potential of their LANCER GSR.

“Nagsimula ang lahat sa Fun Run sa Cavinte Laguna. Kaming pito lang noon; Ako, JR, Rix, Rod, Lester, Royd at si Guido.” – Levy

He said that fine tuning the engine and testing its outcome via long drives called “Fun Runs” was a source of absolute joy.

Performance was the key.

None of them had to worry about a car breaking down during a road trip. Like a pack of wolves, they comb the countryside as one. And nobody gets left behind.

picture of GSR fun run
From Left to Right: Lester, Levy, JR, Rix, Rod, Royd, and Guido
JR added that the intention to invite other people to join their circle never occurred to them at that time. They were merely friends who shared a common passion. They were LANCER GSR enthusiasts. By themselves, they establish a network of connections where they can efficiently acquire the parts and the quality workmanship that they required. This was necessary because like any old car, which is distinct in terms of the variant, maintaining a GSR’s performance in tip top condition is a great challenge.

“Japan surplus ang target. We wanted to know kung saan kami makakakuha ng aming mga pyesa.” – JR

Rix created their FB group page, which he named GSR Philippines. The page serves as a means to coordinate the schedule of their activities. They also use this as a platform to share new and insightful information they’ve learned such as ways to improve performance, places to acquire parts , and troubleshooting minor issues. He said that never in his wildest dream expected that the page he created will be the page that is known today as GSR Coupe PH.

From this day forth…

GSR Philippines already had the ingredients for a legitimate car club. They share a common passion and the sense of “Kapatiran” or brotherhood was very strong. Naturally, they attract the attention of other LANCER GSR enthusiasts, it was inevitable.  And once they began to open the group, the number of new members grew rapidly. Alex joined the circle and he began to actively recruit new members. Suddenly, a group originally composed of seven friends grew to fifty and then a hundred.  And on June 2015, a grand EB was held at the Mall of Asia complex open parking lot.  There it was determined that GSR Coupe PH shall be the car club’s name.

“Demokrasya talaga, pinag botohan namin kung ano ang pangalan pati ang logo” – Rix

Reflections

In a tribe there is a tribal chieftain, who stands as the supreme leader, along with his constituents. And then there is the tribal council, which consists of the elders. Although the tribal chieftain stands as the head of the tribe, the tribal council guides everyone with their wisdom and most importantly, they symbolize the values that the whole tribe should live by.

Our elders stressed the importance of instilling the sense of brotherhood. To always look to create deep and meaningful relationships that extends beyond the subject of a car. They would like us to value the act of reaching out to all members. To let every member know that we are brothers and sisters here. GSR Coupe PH is a support system and each club member must have a sense of duty; a duty to be there for one another.

Because like wolves we comb the ups and downs of life. Like wolves, we never leave a friend in need behind. And like wolves, we run together, and we unite as one. Life is like a fun run.

And Levy was right. Performance is the key.

Cheers to us all!

Lambert, 4:38 pm