From a very early age, Minhazul had a growing passion for cars.
"I have been into cars ever since I can remember; I grew up with cars, would often get scale models as gifts," he reminisced.
His hands-on experience with cars began when he got behind the wheels of his father's 1994 Toyota Corona.
"This car holds a special place in my heart. It has been with me through thick and thin and I cannot think of ever letting it go," expressed Minhazul during an interview with The Business Standard.
This '94 Corona's 20 years-long legacy eventually came to an end in 2018 when its engine died.
However, Minhazul was yet to part ways with it.
He had plans for the car and it finally started coming into effect with the first conversion – the dead engine was replaced with a 4th-generation 3SGTE, 2,000cc engine - one of the best Japanese prodigies.
"I had a vision and I followed through with it," said Minhazul while talking about the modifications.
Starting with the engine, the '94 Corona went through a complete makeover; it was given a Levin facelift followed by a custom trim level.
"Every single panel has been tweaked. I installed coil overs, replaced the bushing, brakes, lights, spoiler, seats, and exhaust system," explained Minhazul.
The '94 Corona now sports a Borla ProXS muffler with a three-inch straight pipe moulded by local mechanics. "Some people prefer OEM piping, but the ones made locally are also as good as the imported ones. You just have to find the right mechanic," said Minhazul.
He believes that it has been worth spending every single penny on this car.
When asked why he chose to rebuild an old car instead of working on a new one, Minhazul said, "In my opinion, old cars are like blank canvases, you can do whatever you want with them. A new car's set-up can be very complex. If it is an old one, you can strip off the entire car and build it however you want to."
Working on an old car from scratch can be very compelling and it has its challenges as well.
For Minhazul, the biggest challenge, so far, has been sourcing parts.
The required parts are either very expensive or are unavailable in the local market.
"Recently, I have been trying to source a good clutch kit, but it has become very difficult to find because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I can use Toyota's OEM parts but it cannot handle the engine's power. I already went through two sets of OEM clutch, but they did not last long."
Given the niche consumer market, sourcing aftermarket parts in Bangladesh can be very exhausting for enthusiasts.
According to Minhazul, if his car's coil ignition, knock sensor, or throttle body breaks down, the process of gathering spares can be toilsome. "In such a case, you would have to know someone with a blown engine who would be willing to sell its components, and luckily, I know just the right guy for it."
Maintaining a car with such modifications can be also very challenging.
According to Minhazul, the octane being sold in our country does not meet the standard required by his engine, the road conditions are not suitable for the likes of his car, and finding a good mechanic can be very hard.
"There are mechanics who can work with aftermarket products however, they could do a lot better if they had finer training. Speaking of mechanics, finding a good repairman for denting and painting is very hard. I know some good mechanics, but I can only get things done when I am physically there and instructing them on everything," expressed Minhazul while speaking of the challenges of maintaining his car.
Even though he had to face many hurdles while building his car, all the hard work pays off when he is behind the wheels of the '94 Corona, cruising on highways, cherishing his bond with the car for years to come.