Street63 is the new socially led car website that aims to bring the Philippines’ modified motoring scene to the masses. Sponsored by Motul, the team behind Street63 couldn’t find a car site that covered their scene. So they created their own. We catch up with CEO and co-founder Jamie Miguel Echavez.
Jamie, what’s Street63 and how did the idea come about?
The name comes from Street and the +63 from the dialling code for the Philippines. The idea came about because we’re five friends who like cars and wanted to start a platform where we could share our work; our photos and words. And provide an automotive community for the Philippines. It’s been going for two and a half years.
What do you cover? What’s the ethos behind your site?
Out here, publications tend to focus on brand new cars. We felt we needed to bring some attention to the aftermarket scene. Mostly we focus on car builds, but there are some exceptions, like a rare “stock” McLaren 675LT that we did a story on. When we dug deeper, we found out it was one of the prototypes that was sold by McLaren.
How’s coronavirus affecting your work right now and how are you getting around it?
It’s definitely setting us back. Only one person can leave the house and we can’t go anywhere basically. All of our shoots and work are at a standstill because it’s not legal to go anywhere to shoot cars and create content. We’re doing some basic upgrades on our personal cars and improving the backend of the website to help it run faster. We also started the ‘BeStreet63’ programme. We wanted to have the community involved. They can send us their photos and text and if it passes our quality standards they can have their work published on our website. It gives everyone stuck at home a chance to be involved in our little project.
What’s your background: are you a photographer, writer, videographer?
Four or five years ago I started taking photos. The passion kept on growing and I wanted a platform to show my work. About my partners, two of them are photographers and two of them writers. We still see Street63 as a passion project but it’s not out of the question for me to make this my full-time job. The first thing we’re going to cover after coronavirus is a Motul event called Motul Superfast Track Day. It’s one of the biggest automotive events out here. We’ll definitely be there if we can.
What do you drive and have you modded your own car?
I drive a Nissan Silvia. We replaced the engine to a race one, built by the Motul distributor in the Philippines. He has a shop out here called Auto Plus. They maintain all our cars. Right now, the car’s pushing 350hp, but I’m planning on updating it after quarantine. Based on the useable power out here – there’s lots of traffic and bad roads – I think it’s practical to go for 450hp. Anything more I’d probably look into getting a different project car.
How did the Motul partnership come about and what difference has it made?
It’s nice to have their full support. It shows how much Motul in the Philippines is willing to support the local automotive scene. They also support many of the races out here. It has a really great presence in this country. I have had the engine in my car for six or seven years and nothing has been wrong with it. It’s always used Motul.