Grand Touring Involves…
Cabriolet Thailand

Knotty Nawadhinsukh Words by Knotty Nawadhinsukh
Aniwach Cheepsatayakorn’s Lotus Elan lead the way from Bangkok

The New Year for us at Grand Touring began in earnest on Sunday, 21st of January. Following our two “Grand Touring Involves…” events in the second-half of 2018 in Bangkok, our third installment this time around for the day was more in true “grand touring” nature. It was when we invited a selected group of keen grand tourers for some proper long distance driving. This time from Bangkok out to Bangsaray to an exclusive location—which is called Sunplay.

Drop tops were more than welcomed that day
French or German? It doesn't matter as long as there's no roof

Personally, I had thought that Cabriolet Thailand was this nice little community of like-minded enthusiasts who occasionally gather and happened to share the enjoyment of driving with the top down in the Kingdom. However the group is far from being “little” and in fact is over 300-plus members strong and comprised of convertible owners dotted across the country. To join, all that is required of you is to bring your car irrespective of manufacturers—as long as you can make the roof disappear and sample the pleasures of wind-in-your-hair driving along with the rest of the members.

“Looking Back”—back road leading to Sunplay offered an enjoyable driving experience (Photo: Author's Own)
Nice BMW Z4 also took part

As much as we would have liked to invite everyone from this nice and friendly club, Sunplay Bangsaray can accommodate only so much. And thus on a clear Sunday January morning, the group of around twenty cars (with several more joining later) with the owners and those who came with their families set off for the motorway with Aniwach Cheepsatayakorn’s Lotus Elan leading the way toward the lunch that awaited at our intended destination. While there are several options to get to Sunplay Bangsaray, the contingent chose a slightly longer route to sample the beautiful back road that would eventually lead to this premium residential property which is just under two hours away from the city.

Sunplay's MD, Chris Delaney (Right with hat), welcomed guests to the stylish private villa for lunch
Over 20 cars and 40 attendees took part (Photo: Author's Own)

As the invited members arrived, they were welcomed by Sunplay’s Managing Director Chris Delaney, whose team had prepared a magnificent lunch at the elegant private villa which belonged to one of the estate’s shareholders that overlooked a wonderful view. Just on this day all the Cabriolet Thailand members had the privilege all to themselves in driving around and admiring the grounds within this private property, including an exclusive viewing of Sunplay’s  luxurious condominiums and their pool villas which were about to be completed.

Cabriolet owners treated to driving through beautiful scenery (Photo: Author's Own)
Elegant Pool Villa visit

By early evening, the majority of Cabriolet Thailand members still continued to remain as we retreated to the Eco Dome, a pleasant spot within the compound which became the place that the guests themselves brought along their own items to prepare for a barbecue as a token of their appreciation to Chris and his team for inviting them to visit. The mood became even more festive than what we had anticipated well into the night before the return leg to Bangkok.

Head of Cabriolet Thailand Achananat Srithaporn (Behind) with fellow member Krisda Boonma (Foreground) (Photo: Author's Own)
Part of the contigent at the Eco Dome

So as it turned out, this trip became yet another great event that Grand Touring was gladly “involved” with. Not because by how many guests who had turned up. But because of by how many who did not want to leave.

Special Thanks

4 Speed Classic

All Photos by (unless otherwise stated)