Jansen Tan’s life is ruled by grit and daring. In his youth, a bicycle gifted by his father started long days of exploring bike trails that formalised into a stint as a national cyclist. At the cusp of adulthood, he was drawn to motorsports. Towards his thirties, he became entrepreneurial, starting a bicycle brand called Coast Cycles with designs that he took to a manufacturer in Taiwan. From bikes, he moved on to cars, flying across the world to take part in competitive racing and drifting.

In the meanwhile, the Industrial Design graduate of Temasek Polytechnic helped his father grow Tak Products & Services – a laminate business the elder Tan started in 2001. Tan is the creative director of the homegrown brand, in charge of developing new products for use by architects and interior designers.

Along this trajectory, he got married – not surprisingly, to a girl he met at a motorsports event – and had two children. The thought of having his own house was always in his mind, and that came to fruition when he chanced upon an ideal plot of land. This was not only to house his family, but also a place where Tan could tinker with his impressive collection of cars.

“When I was younger, I was always competitive, be it in areas of driving, racing, drifting. But as I got older – and a bit wiser – I thought that maybe it’s time to channel my energies toward car restoration instead of risking my life doing all these dangerous activities. I still do some racing and competitive driving but not at the level I was at before; now it’s more recreational,” said Tan.

He buys old cars, restores and rebuilds them to the way he sees fit. “I guess it’s no different from painting or other forms of hobby. It’s just my way of being alone with myself and being able to channel my energies into something positive. This is my escape. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke – no vices. This is how I relax.” 

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