Erwin Dato’ Azizi

A car buff on driving, collecting and adventure

When he co-founded the independent car owners’ fraternity, the Blue Jackets Society, Erwin Dato’ Azizi was spurred on by his love for the open road, great cars and the discovery of uncharted territory. As life shows, this combination has enabled him to savour some of the most interesting automobiles, become the first Malaysian to drive in the Ferrari 458 challenge (winning podium in that race) and experience a hair-raising adventure like no other.

On car clubs
I had always loved car clubs and was a member of the Porsche Club Great Britain before I returned to Malaysia. Back here, I started doing private drives with ten to 12 regular followers and our group kept saying we should do something for ourselves by way of a proper club. I started scribbling ideas into a book, with thoughts of convoy procedures, commands to use and the structure of drives. Over a lunch with Ray Hong – the co-founder of the Blue Jackets Society – he looked at what I had penned down and shared some of his thoughts. By the time we had our coffees, we decided to go ahead with the club and the next day, on 14th January of 2011, we formed the club.

On the Blue Jackets Society
Since then, we’ve achieved a lot as an independent car owners’ fraternity; doing a great number of drives and contributing to charity organisations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Last year, we were chosen as the supporting club for a supercar parade at the Kuala Lumpur City Grand Prix by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, the governing body of the Formula One.

On memorable drives
My most memorable drive by far was back in 2008, when we were driving back from Pai in Northern Thailand through to the Tak province. I had been following the map route when I was notified of an alternative on the GPS. Although I was hesitant, I decided to give it a go. At the time, I was leading a convoy of about 25 supercars, comprising Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Porsches. We drove past beautiful scenery at the start, but then the road turned into a mud and gravel track. Even worse was passing by roadblocks manned by local thugs, armed with knives, M16s and AK47s.

I had to reason with them that I was merely passing through on my way to Tak and our convoy covered over 200km of this nerve-wracking stretch going at 15km per hour. We were passing by trucks full of men in balaclavas, children with firearms and the air was filled with the scent of marijuana. Not knowing where I was, I asked a police friend of mine to meet me at the hotel where we were headed – and when we arrived, I told him about our journey. He informed us that we had just travelled through the main link between of Myanmar and Vietnam for the drug trade, a place controlled by local warlords where even the police and army did not venture. Somehow, by the grace of God, we were lucky to be alive. Since then, I’ve become very particular about the routes which we take, and for good reason!

ECErwinDatoAzizi_1On collecting cars
My approach to collecting cars has always been to buy the ones which give me the most joy in driving; a ’94 Harley, the Porsche 996 GT3 and a Ford CAV GT40 – the winning car at Le Mans from ’67 – ’69 in a time which was dominated by the AC Cobra and Ferrari GTO. It’s always a great feeling to drive a car which rewards you for keeping your focus. All your senses are tuned into handling the car, feeling the road and concentrating on so many aspects to ensure you’re harnessing the car’s full potential. The enjoyment and satisfaction you get out of it is indescribable.


Sign up for our Newsletters

Stay up to date with our latest series