It is very rare to see a Proton Saga winning an international award, especially one that is nearly 40 years old.
But this one in the UK did just that over the weekend, defeating 49 other competitors to win the top prize at the 'Festival of the Unexceptional'.
Jon Coupland's pristine 1989 Proton 1.5GL Black Knight Edition won the Concours de l'Ordinare at the Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire, organised by classic car insurance firm Hagerty.
The 30-year-old policeman told Hagerty that he was not expecting to win first place in the exhibition event, which included 50 other participants.
"I became a car enthusiast when I was young and could only own this Proton model in 2019. Before this, I had never visited the Festival of the Unexceptional," he said.
"I was over the moon to be accepted for the concours, so to have impressed the judges enough to have won the overall prize is beyond my wildest dreams!"
The Festival of the Unexceptional celebrates normal everyday cars that are typically 'unloved' and boring, unlike the classic Porches and BMWs.
According to Coupland, his 1989 Proton Black Knight Edition is the last remaining model out of the 201 units the company made specifically for the UK market
How Many Left, a website that tracks the amount of vehicles left on UK roads, checks out Coupland's claim, that the Proton 1.5 GL is the only one of its kind still in existence.
He told Hagerty that the car's original owner fell ill and garaged the car in 1993, after only driving it for 3,600km. It remained in the garage until 2017, when it was sold to its second owner and was driven over 10,000km more.
Coupland said he only drives the Proton now to events like the Hagerty's Festival of the Unexceptional to showcase it.
Peugeot, Volvo, Ford, Nissan, Austin, Toyota, Lancia, Saab, and Volkswagen were among the other cars that participated alongside Coupland's Proton in the competition.
The Black Knight Edition is a sedan rather than an Aeroback, although it is painted in a similar metallic grey — 'Majorca Black'
According to Paul Tan's Automotive News, the car has the similar orange and grey colour scheme for the body stripes, as the local Saga Knight.
The decals, on the other hand, are unique, with elaborate knight-on-horse logos on the sides and rear. Those decals can also be spotted on the hubcaps (rim covers), which are exclusive to this model, as well as the rubber boot-lid spoiler.
The automotive news site also reported that Coupland runs a YouTube channel showcasing his two other Proton Sagas — a limited-edition 1.5 SE LE and a later 1.3 GLS (based on the Proton Iswara body).
In a post that went viral, this man explains why he decided to keep his 21-year-old Proton Saga instead of buying a new car:
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