When Mr Daryl Yeo got his first car – a Renault Clio – in 1992, it piqued his interest in hot hatches.
The next year, he swopped it for a Suzuki Swift GTi, a budget pocket rocket. Since then, he has had several cars – such as the BMW 335i, Nissan 350Z, Subaru WRX, Mercedes-Benz B200 and Nissan Presage – as he went from bachelor to married man to father of twins.
The 53-year-old IT professional works in an American multinational company. His wife Isabella, 52, is also in the IT industry and their daughters, Daphne and Cheryl, turn 16 this year.
But Mr Yeo could not wait for his girls to grow up before reverting to his inner racer.
In late 2017, he was among the first to buy a sizzling Honda Civic Type R after it was introduced. His wife drives a BMW 1M which, like the Honda, is sporty but can seat four.
Mr Yeo says: “I have owned some practical cars with automatic transmissions and, while they made driving easier, I realised I still preferred cars with three pedals.
“I also had the earlier Civic Type R back in 2009. In some ways, I feel that car was better in terms of engine refinement and gear shift quality. And I miss the manual parking brake,” he adds, noting that the new model does not have one.
But the petrolhead appreciates the new Type R’s 315hp turbocharged engine and its supple suspension, which is adjustable between comfort and sport.
“It clearly has better performance and rides much better,” Mr Yeo notes, adding that he replaced the car’s 20-inch wheels with 18-inch BBS rims, which “further improved the steering, ride and handling”.
Mr Yeo is a founding member of the Traction Circle Club, which was formed in 2002.
He used to help organise monthly drives to the Sepang race track near Kuala Lumpur for members. But since he became a father, he has reduced his participation drastically. “The twins really kept me busy,” he says.
What’s in the boot?
• A DSLR camera
• A camera tripod
Besides, it has not been possible to drive to Malaysia during the pandemic. “I have not taken this Type R up to Malaysia, but I am curious to see how well it drives there,” he says.
He has had his share of cruising along coastal roads, tackling twisty mountain passes and pushing a car “to its limits” in a race circuit across the Causeway.
His other passion is wildlife photography. On weekends, he will be at parks, gardens, wetland reserves and forests capturing animals with his lenses.
He says: “I hope to hold an exhibition or publish a coffee-table book one day.”
Mr Yeo would like to own a convertible one day.
He fancies the Honda S2000, a 250hp high-revving topless two-seater. The six-speed manual rear-wheel-drive was launched in 1999, but Mr Yeo says it is “still looking good till this day”.
“Alas, prices for the S2000 have gone through the roof,” he adds. Advertised prices of well-preserved units exceed $170,000, which is not far from what he paid for his Civic Type R four years ago.